Shake ‘N Brake 2015 100k Race Report

Ooof.

I’ll be filling this in over the next couple of days as I’m pretty whacked from the race and pretty slammed at work.

ETA: It’s hard to explain just how hard this race was. Going in I had suspected it would be muddy and kind of a slog but I did not suspect it would be almost 7 hours of sheer destruction. I was very unhappy at the end, as is the case with any difficult cycling endeavor I was ready to go again the next day and felt really positive about my experience.

Leading up to the race was quite literally 7-8 days of hard rain every single day. Very intense weather, so I knew it would be a little bit muddy but I was prepared for how soft the roads actually were. Every mile that was offroad was a challenge and most of the gravel roads were difficult as well.

Leading up to the race I rode two 15 hour weeks but spent almost no time on the bike I rode during the race. Kind of stupid choices but I lucked out and had no position related issues on race day.2015-04-24_9-21-35

Trying to avoid the lower back pain I have had the past few months I dropped my saddle to the same level as my MTB (about -5mm from the old position) and moved it forward about 2.5mm. Had my tire pressure around 40-45PSI f/r. My set-up worked perfectly, at the end of the race I felt horrible as a human being who had been “racing” for almost 7 hours but had no pain related to my set-up. Tire pressure seemed good too, had decent grip in the muck but felt good on the road. I could feel rim contact if I rode heavy over roots and rocks but by and large I floated pretty well and had no tire issues.

I didn’t do any warm-up, pretty much got on my bike 2 minutes before the neutral roll-out and off we went. I got dropped by the leaders within the first 10 minutes, dropped by the main chase group after about 30 minutes and dropped by the last guy I saw about 40 minutes in. Spent the rest of the race by myself, which was actually pretty nice. Lots of things to think about in those woods.

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I wrote down what I ate after the race and added it all up, I ate around 1500-1700 calories in various forms. I had gels, shot bloks, gatorade, some chex mix and two weird clif bar things. I ate the last two because I felt that “too much carbohydrates, not enough fat” hole in my stomach after about 2 hours, same after about four hours. Overall I think I ate pretty well, if I had know the race would be so much longer I would have had more caffeine and brought a second camelbak. I also think i should have packed in another 100-200 calories but I don’t have any logic for this, just a gut (ha!) feeling.

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Some thoughts added:
The course was actually a pretty nice mix of singletrack, gravel and road (where it wasn’t mud). Having a good position right at the start is a good idea since the first section is a net downhill with a lot of twists and turns and if you’re not a good descender you need to really blast the flats/climbs to maintain your position. The first section of singletrack is pretty much one steep, curvy climb. I ended up dismounting and walking twice since running the whole thing isn’t an option due to a couple quick, short descents.