Pat’s Peak 12 Hour Race

July 15-16 2006 Race Videos Race Results

I followed John and Shelby up to New Hampshire Friday and we got to Pat’s Peak around 2:30pm. The heat was brutal. We set up camp after finding a nice shady spot (with a huge sinkhole from all the rain), registered for the race and headed out for a pre-ride. The first climb was short and turned off into a half circle around a scenic pond and into a quick piece of technical single track before encountering the first of the mud bogs. We lumbered through it and headed down the mountain a bit before looping into another rocky slick single track and out into an open field which had the largest mud bog in the race. John and I got through it but I heard an oompf behind me and turned around to see Shelby flat out in the mud. It was at least 5 inches deep and 10 feet across. Yuk. It was so hot it immediately dried, her face was the only part of her body not covered in mud. We kept riding, the course traversed across and up the mountain with sections of single track and grassy climbs. There were 2 very long climbs with no tree shelter. The 2nd one just went on forever climbing the mountain and at the top was a stretch of trail that was mostly mud and standing puddles. But after this section the real fun began. Fire road downhill to what was some seriously fun freshly cut stretch of single track that made you forget all the climbing. After this section another fire road to a slick narrow bridge and back to the resort for the finish. We were pretty bummed about all the mud and estimated laps would be around an hour despite the course only being 5 miles. The heat and the climbs would be a large factor for lap times. Robin, Kyle and Danielle arrived in the evening and we hung out playing cards until bedtime. Saturday morning was overcast and less humid than the day before. Arch and Evan showed up and set up their gear, Kyle and Arch registered and we relaxed until the 1pm pre-race meeting.

Arch and Kyle flipped a coin to see who would ride first and Kyle won and wanted to do the first lap. I volunteered to do the first lap as well. This was my first le mans start which means you start on foot and run to your bike location when the horn blows to indicate the race start. Fortunately the run was only about 50 yards. Kyle did the run last year at Dalton when we had a 3 person team but the run was much longer. Running in bike shoes is pretty awkward. As I get on my bike and start the 1st climb I look ahead and see Kyle is the 1st rider up the mountain, I’m about 20 riders back and we stay in single file for the 1st quarter of the race until racer’s start bobbling in the technical sections or falling back on the climbs. I am ecstatic to see that some of the mud has dried up and get a huge rush because the course was so crappy on Friday night but I am absolutely loving it now. I note on the 2nd huge climb my heart rate is 197 but I’m feeling pretty good so I keep the pace steady. The guy in front of me tells me I should slow down but he’s doing a solo ride and needs to be more conservative so I keep my pace and pass him in the single track. Got to the lap tent in 43 minutes and Shelby is standing there with some ice cold water. I take a couple big sips and off I go for lap 2. The big mud bog gets me this time. I tried to muscle through it but my front tire sunk about 5 inches and me and the bike ended up buried in it. It took a few tries to get myself out of the mud and my bike didn’t want to come out either but I try one huge pull and I’m on my way again. Another good lap and John relieves me at the lap tent. I quickly tell him the conditions are better and he’s off. With 40 to 50 minute lap times that doesn’t leave a lot of time to get ready for the next set of laps. Evan takes my bike to wash all the mud off and I head back to camp, refill my camelback, take a quick shower, get my kit on and head up to relieve John. He and Kyle are doing sub 40 minute laps and setting a tough pace for themselves. Laps 3 and 4 are both good, my legs are fine and the conditions seem better with each lap. When John relieves me he says he might do 3 laps but I should be there after the 2nd lap in case he changes his mind. So run back, Shelby cooked me some soup so I ate that, cleaned up and headed back up there to see how he feels. He comes through and wants to do the 3rd lap so I head back to camp to put my feet up for a while then go up for lap 5. Michael got up to camp and immediately went to work cleaning up and put my lights on my bike, checked it over to make sure the bike was functioning properly and sent me out. John comes in and it looks like he’s happy to finish. The 5th lap I am still feeling incredible, I sucked down a Gu called Espresso Love that must have had a serious caffeine kick because when I came through I told Shelby I would do at least 3, maybe 4 laps. It’s nice and cool now, the night riding is so much better than riding in the heat. I feel like I could ride forever with these temps. John is there after lap 6 and wants to go and we go back and forth about who is doing how many laps. I can’t believe we are arguing over who gets to ride next and for how many laps, we are insane! We decide that I will go out for a 3rd lap, John will do the next 2, we calculate that that will bring us to just before 2am when the race ends and I will be ready to do a last lap if he comes in before 2am (The race started at 2pm). Michael cooks me up some Beefaroni, I munch on some snickers mini’s and a pop-tart and we all go up to the lap tent to wait for John and figure out where we are. John and I are the only co-ed team so we know that we will win that bracket but we are personally competing with the 2 person men which is why we are pushing for that extra lap at the end. We figure out if I get that last lap in we would have come in 2nd place in the 12 hour 2 person men bracket so when he comes in just before 2am I head out again for that last lap. It’s very quiet out there now, I only encounter one other guy riding. We chat for a while then I’m alone until the end. The crew is waiting when I finish the lap, I thought everyone would be in bed so I was psyched to see them. We recap some of the highlights and head back to camp to clean up and get a couple hours of sleep. This ended up being a great race, a great time. We had some incredible volunteers. You absolutely cannot do a race like this on your own. Every time I completed a lap Shelby was there with an ice cold bottle of water, Evan took my bike to the bike wash, Robin patiently answered every “what time is it?” and calculated what time everyone would be finishing their next lap so the next person was always ready, Mike supplied bike and light support (and entertainment!). When Arch got there on Saturday he told us Jeannie read his horoscope (Taurus) and it said work as a team and watch out for a side of a person you have never seen before. We figured out the team part but the other part is still a mystery…-Jill

1st place 2 person co-ed with 15 laps: Nerac Earth 82 – John Stockford (7 laps), Jill Nugent (8 laps)

1st place 2 person men with 16 laps: Nerac Earth 64 – John Arch (8 laps), Kyle Stockford (8 laps)

Support:

Robin, Shelby, Danielle, Evan, Mike

24 Hours Of Pats Peak (another perspective)

Sure enough as race day approached the forecast calls for temperatures to be in the mid 90’s and as if this race held at a New Hampshire ski resort with an elevation gain of 850 feet per lap wasn’t daunting enough, over coming the heat index would be a challenge in itself. I have to say I would srrive race day with an extra case of the pre- race jitters having been diagnosed with Limes a week before the race I was instructed by the infamous Dr. Squatrito to stay out of the Sun and to be aware that the antibiotics will cause havoc with the proper absorption of nutrition due to the fact that the antibiotics kill the healthy intestinal flora as well as the bad bacteria. So in layman’s terms I could expect to feel like crap is that what your trying to tell me Doc? The thought of trying to find Kyle a new teammate crossed my mind because I would hate to let him down with a bad performance but being that the race was a few days away, time dictates that I just try and get through it.

Race Day: Looks like the Sun God might show us a little mercy with the skies being intermittently overcast keeping the temperatures slightly lower than expected. After a riders meeting and a team chat discussing little to no strategy, it is 2:00 and time to start. I shoot some video of the Lemans style run/ start a dramatic beginning to an endurance race. Time to check over the bikes and get ready to relieve Kyle. Our plans are to do two laps respectively and we assume the field will ride conservatively being that it will be a long 12 hours. Kyle and I go out pretty fast and put down lap times in the mid to low thirties, yea maybe too fast but time will tell if we have enough to hang on or not.

Fast-forward to the end of my 4th lap and it seems the law of psychosomatics is rearing its ugly head. I had no sooner been thinking about the lecture on healthy intestinal flora when my stomach chimed in and suddenly it felt like I had just downed an 80 lb bag of mortar mix. Then my legs followed suit doing some funny twitching and as Jill was kind enough to point out I didn’t feel good or look good. I make my way to the tent where Kyle is ready to go. I head down to camp to hydrate. Solid food is not possible at this point, so gu , sport beans, and an orange is all I dare to eat. Robin Stockford sees I’m stressing and comes to the rescue and gives me a (strictly therapeutic leg massage) With some ointment that contains an ancient Chinese secret that smells like Ben gay. I have to ask, was it as good for you as it was for me Robin? Moving along I hijacked some of John’s electrolyte pills and with my legs on fire I made my way to relieve Kyle. Before I roll off Kyle asks how I’m doing and offers to do another lap to give me some more recovery time. I felt inspired by his team spirit. Hypothetically speaking of course, we could have been arguing about how many laps we could do as to look good on our individual resumes, but it seems we are looking out for each other. Into my next lap I’m feeling much better thanks for asking, and as day turns to night, the riding has become less stressful and actually kind of fun. The H.I.D. light I borrowed from Jay was the bomb and a must have for the technical downhill section of this race. I passed many a six- volt halogen light on the way down making up valuable time. I was elated when I rolled in at 2:05 and Mike informed me that Kyle and I took first place and I was so relieved to have finished.

Closing Thoughts: In a day and age where especially in the competing environment. The art of being egocentric seems to be the prevalent mind set it was a refreshing end to a long day when 17 year old Kyle approached quietly and humbly and without words we just shook hands on a job well done and called it a day

The Event: A grass roots effort in the building process that had a welcoming feel with great promoters happy to accommodate the rider’s needs.

The Course: Lots Of elevation, Many lengthy muddy sections that would suck the life out of you, Great technical single track downhill to reward the weary and a section of Cheering campers into the wee hours of the a.m.

Recommend? Yes indeed

Thanks: Evan, Mike, the Stockfords, and Kyle a great rider and teammate. –John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s