Being that my longest ride of the summer was the DH 40 I knew it was going to be one hellacious day. Rolling off the line at 6 am in the pitch dark made for an interesting start. Once we were out of the resort area and were on the dirt roads I was wondering why I had a pack of riders around me. I was barely moving. Were these people slow, fat and out of shape, too? Awesome. I'm not the only one. Then I realized it was because I was the only one with a head lamp. Fast forward to the sun coming out and they dropped me like a bad habit. About 10 minutes after that I had to get off and walk. The body was not cooperating. I looked like a total idiot because I was actually walking on the flats as well as the hills. My body and I just needed to have a little chat. It would be a day of walking. I sat at the first aid station for about 15 minutes waiting for George. I figured I may as well wait and have some company. No George. Thoughts went through my head that he didn't even start and was back at the car napping and drinking beer. That didn't seem like a bad idea to me. Kegs and eggs.
A couple of hours in I started to ride more consistently. Unfortunately, my 2 x 9 and 20 lbs. of extra pudge didn't treat me very well. I was cursing everyone who spun past me on the uphills in their granny. Stupid granny rings. 8900 feet of climbing in 50 miles is not for a chick who is vertically challenged.
At one of the aid stations I felt so miserable I was going to ask if there was a sag wagon to take me back. I was embarrassed to do so so I started to get back on my bike and I heard a guy ask a girl at the aid station. My ears perked up. I heard the girl say it would be about a two hour wait. Oh hell no. I can ride.
Somewhere around mile 30 there was the Shangri-la of aid stations. The ladies were drinking mimosas and tequila and were having a blast. I was chatting up the ladies and wanted to stay there all day. Up until this point I had stayed true to only eating the nutritional products I had put in my pockets. Enter homemade cookies and brownies. "You have to have baked goods. Homemade. That Hammer Gel is disgusting. I don't know how you people eat that". Twist my arm why don't you. I couldn't get any worse. I had a brownie. Oh sweet Lord they were good. I took a cookie, some more brownies, drank some Mountain Dew, some Coke AND one of the ladies put a few Snickers in my pockets. Sweet. I was all cracked up and ready to go.
The next few miles were my best of the day. I just had to remember to drink some Coke or Mountain Dew at the aid stations or I was going to have the mother of all sugar crashes.
Just make it to mile 25. Just make it to 32. Make it to 40. 10 miles is nothing...I played this game with my body all day. The last 5 miles were the slowest and longest 5 miles I had ever ridden/walked in my life. It was a tease. I could hear the crowd and band at the finish. The cruel part was that the course took you away from the noise. You eventually snaked back up and around the mountain. The final piece of the course was coming down the mountain. I will tell you that I had no consideration for my safety on the final down hill. I let it go. I wanted the madness to end as quickly as possible. I was so happy to cross the finish line. It was my first point to point endurance race I actually finished. Albeit slow and ugly. But it was still a finish.
All of Team Dark Horse finished and was accounted for after the race (except for Waters who after only drinking two bottles in 50 miles disappeared and was rumored to be passed out in the parking lot)