Monday, October 24, 2011

BT Epic 2011 - Race Report...

I’d heard of the Berryman Trail, the BT Epic race and all of the stories that go along with it. I had been looking forward to a handful of great endurance races this season and after missing out on Burning at the Bluff, I just HAD to try my best to get a spot in the BT Epic. It’s been busy times around my house and getting the kitchen pass was going to be difficult, but somehow, even with a billion hiccups along the way, I was out the door on Friday morning to pick up The Manimal, Justin and Drew to head south for just shy of 60 miles of good riding and (2) nights of sleeping under the stars. The Vdub Express is a killer road-trip machine and we enjoyed a comfortable 4.5 hour drive to Bass River Resort, home for the weekend.
Justin, Drew, Burnsey, The Manimal & Sarah
There was a huge crowd of riders at this event. With some big cash payouts up for grabs, you knew it was going to truly be an epic race. After arriving we established camp, suited-up and headed out for a pre-ride to warm our legs. For some jack-ass reason we followed The Manimal UP the start of the race course; a 3.2 mile uphill gravel slog, then into nice flowing single track. Why we did the initial hill I don’t recall. It really sucked the life out of my legs. I should have planned a better warm-up, but so it goes and we went. We rode a bit, had enough and headed back to camp to eat dinner and chat with our pals as they arrived.
The Kid
The Vdub Express
Seems like all the cool cats were there. We told all kinds of fishing stories to many faces; Shoffy, The Bald Chimp, Pyro, Old Man Winters, Timbo, Sarah, Dr. Dover, Gabriel and many others. Everyone was ready for the race and psyched for the 8:30 start the next morning, even as temps were dropping into the low 30’s.
Mass Start
Morning came and we dawned our tight pants and team colors. The crowd of almost 300 racers lined up and we were off. The fast group broke off the front early and were out of sight in no time. I was mid pack doing my thing, trying not to blow-up and maintaining a steady pace on the long-ass climb. I was feeling pretty good, passing granny-geared folks along the way. When I made it to the single track it was already man-train-city and moving fast wasn’t going to happen until this thing derailed. Feeling slightly bored at the current state of affairs, I made the best of it by log hopping and playing on features as we went along.
Burnsey Rolling...
Checkpoints/aid stations were at the 11, 20 and 40 miles markers (approx.). At 11 miles I went through the aid station w/o stopping. I was still great on water and nutrition so there was no need. The trail from here to the 20 mile mark was totally awesome! Deep bench cut trail on steep hillsides that would weave back into deep drainage's and out again, then onto rolling hills through the changing leave. Pure bliss and fast rolling, awesome. I really enjoyed this section and was moving very well.
Justin, Man Style (one gear)
After the 20 mile checkpoint the trail changed into something like this; long ass climb, descent, long ass climb, descent, repeat. I was getting worked like a minimum wage job. My knees hurt, my legs hurt and if I were riding naked you’d think I had the biggest, most swollen clitoris you’d ever seen. I was starting to fade into the chump-zone, a point at which you are not sure if you should stop and just die in the woods, keep going or what. I‘m a lover of pain and just kept on trucking, though at a slower pace…much slower.
Pete, being Awesome - 3rd Single Speed
Pyro, Probably lost in the woods
At the 30 mile mark I stopped to grab my zip-tie (you needed 4 of these, in different colors to prove you made it to all the checkpoints) and with Luck, Micah was there handing out special brownies. I needed the special fuel and stuffed one giant mass of chocolate goodness down my throat. This was the fuel and mood change that gave me the juice to roll on to the last checkpoint. 
Proof I was there...and that I crash my bike on ocasion
As I looked for Dana to hand off my goods, I was surprised to see my back-up hander-upper being Shoffy. He hooked me up (unfortunately not with beer) and I was off to finish the last 16 miles and get my drink on. Shoffy said this last section was single speed friendly and so I was psyched to check it out. Indeed it was friendly and super nice trail. I enjoyed this last bit before the 6 miles of gravel back to camp, and once on the gravel had a solid pace and enough energy to get me to the finish line without being totally dead. I’m surprised I wasn’t DFL, my legs sure felt like death, knees too. But, it was a good day in the saddle and I did succeed in my usual goal; Finish, not last.
The Bald Chimp - 1st Single Speed
The Manimal - 2nd Single Speed
Post race food was BBQ and Beer, perfect. The KUAT crew (Beau & Luke) provided free beer for the event (thanks!) and most peeps seemed to tie-one-on at race speed. Awards were given, raffle was done and the bonfire started. Those few who could hang did, and Pete Awesome made short work of trying to rehabilitate the tired-ass folks around the fire with his usual antics; this time being a made-on-the-spot-MacGyver-style beer bong. He taunted the crowd and pressured at least a dozen to toss down a cold one. When folks were saying no, Pete would just shoot one himself to keep the games going. A true sport!
Pete Awesome doing his The Kid
To wrap things up- The Bald Chimp, The Manimal and Pete Awesome rolled in at 1-2-3 in the single speed game (the only important field really). Pyro got took a wrong turn with a crew of fast guys only to loose 30 minutes. The Kid was out there riding hard, but we don’t really know what happened in the end, other than he was feeling really good. Timbo and Kevin made it through looking solid. Sarah, Justin and Drew all rolled in before me. In general we had a great time among friends, got in a good and painful ride and walked away with two podiums for Ethos. The Old Man took home the cash. I hope I ride that hard when I grow up. Not too sure who all the other fast fellas were, so check the link to the results if you care (because I don't).
The Bald Chimp Following Protocol  - Post Race Hydration
Next year I will be doing this race again, and you should too. Results were posted fast on-site, trails were marked well and the course was great. Killer good time!

Results are HERE  AND Photos are HERE (Thank You!)

1 comment:

TeamSeagal said...

Damn, sounds you made the most of a man train of epic proportions. Or rather, bro-portions. Nice work.

Oh, don't forget to fuck yourself.

-Casey F. Ryback