That was awesome! But I wasn’t always thinking ‘This is awesome’ at the time. In fact for a good portion of it was thinking ‘What the halibut did I just sign up for?!’
The first 11 miles…
The start was very different than most, because we started off with the team. My team is 3 men from Ohio and a man originally from London (which I learned yesterday) but now resides in Philly, and myself. I wasn’t sure what to think when we started. Who would I be riding with? Should I try to keep up? Does it matter if I come in dead last?
I was super worried about coming in dead last, and then they called GO! I stayed with the guys for about .25 of a mile and then I was on my own for the entire course. It was normal single track until we hit the pile of people celebrating and cheering the riders on.
The first 3 miles were up hill
The crowd was in the center of a 1.5 mile dirt bike section with trick hills and tires to get over! Not to mention they were playing “Bicycle” by Queen… on repeat. This was at mile 3, and at that point I was not bee bopping to the sweet melodies and joyous cries from the crowd. I get it! I’m on my bike!... You wanna ride, you say?!?! Take my place?! This was the beginning of a slow and treacherous uphill climb. Or shall I say, walk. The next mile and a half was a very technical uphill single track battle with my bike. I had the ‘gopro’ helmet which added 3x the weight of the helmet to my head, and it was slipping back pulling my hair. I was getting very frustrated, and with not being a skilled technical rider I was making silly mistakes that were knocking me off my bike left and right. I knew that I had the muscle to at least make the climb…BUT THERE WERE SO MANY ROCKS! Who put them there?!
I would hit a rock sending my front tire off to the side, dismounting me from my bike and losing my momentum. Then, I would hop back up on my bike and start again, going uphill, gain some momentum and loose it all in the same manner. I think the frustration was also brewing in the fact that this was an 11 mile race, so I was gung hoe on going fast. I could take my time on the 43 mile rides, but this was a time trial and I was going nowhere.
Finally, I got through that section to find a beautiful downhill road! I double checked my heart rate, making sure it was between 160 and 175, and I cruised down!! That is when I started having fun. I finally got my legs and the rest of the race was a fun battle with rolling single-track, rocky sections, and fun climbs.
I started an small uphill climb which opened up to THE FINISH!! Everyone was cheering and all I had to do was ride around the lake and not fall in. I didn't fall in, Thank God. Though, I'm sure it would have been a relief, giving the heat.
I pulled into the finish line and realized it was all just beginning. THAT WAS AWESOME!!
OH. P.S. - I almost forgot. at one point a rider pointed out that my handle bars were getting extremely close to the live electric fence the trail was following. for 2 miles, i avoided electric shock my 5 inches. This is the real Tough Mudder BABY!!