This was an excellent race. I’ve got some notes below
This is definitely a mountain pedal/shoe race. I originally had my road pedals on since I thought it might be like the Red Clay Ramble but after getting to the venue and seeing some mud I switched out to my mountain pedals and shoes. This saved my race, there are a couple hike-a-bike sections as well as some sections where the leaders backed up on the steep power line climb that required a dismount.
To a degree, weather dictates what I eat. Race was about 2:40 and I ate three gels and a powerbar as well as two bottles of water. If it was even a little hotter I would have needed a lot more water. I brought my camelbak but it was so cool at the start I decided against it.
Always bring gloves! It was pretty cool at the start and I was lucky to find some gloves in the glovebox (ha!) of my car. I only wore them for the first 15-20 minutes but it was very important.
I spent the entire previous weekend moving a ton of boxes down from the 3rd floor walkup apartment and didn’t ride at all until the day before. I did a pretty solid hour, hit up the foam roller and stretched a bunch. This seems to work really well. My legs felt so awful on Friday but come race day I was in pretty good shape.
My technical skills are awful, I got dropped from the main pack of about 10 due to overly cautious descending on the gravel roads. I hit the brakes anytime I encountered washboarding or loose gravel or mud or pretty much anything not smooth. This is a huge failing, need to work on descending.
I had a protein with creatine about 3 hours before the start and then an apple and a gel about 15-30 minutes before the start. Did a short warm-up 2-3 minutes.
This is the first time I’ve ridden this bike with 700×40 wheels/tires since the ramble. My handling was ok on the road and in the pack but it really fell apart on the powerline trail and double track. Need to do a little monster cross before racing next time.
Ran my tires at 35ish in the front and 45ish in the rear, I think I could have gone down a little but there were some significant roots and rocks that may be a liability at lower pressures.