This Sunday was the 2nd annual Stoopid 50 in State College, PA. I did this race last year and finished in 6 hours 59 minutes. I really wanted to beat my time last year by at least an hour, I figured that was feasible with better fitness and some longer rides than last year.
I arrived Saturday night around 8pm, set up camp, grab some spaghetti dinner, and watch a movie at the pavillion. Sunday morning started with packing up the tent, then enjoying some pancakes and coffee. The race started promptly at 9am with about 3 miles of road/gravel road then entered some sweet singletrack. There was quite a bit of bottle-necking early on with a few mud bogs and muddy bridges.
When the traffic cleared it was a blast, until at about 7 miles I heard my rear tire hissing - hopefully the Stan's would fix it, not a chance. I pulled off the side of the trail and there was about a 1/4" slice in the tread, so in goes a tube and there goes 25-30 riders right by me. Now of course I'm in chase mode (read: time to blow up)
I passed right the through the first aid station and up the gravel road towards the hike-a-bike. Boy was that fun, it felt like we were walking forever. Finally at the top, you have a nice break from climbing for a bit, some sweet decents on some really cool singletrack. I made a turn onto the road exiting the singletrack and caught up to Mike Carter who also had a flat. We was climbing really strong and pulled away from me up the next long (2 mile) steady climb. That was the last I saw Mike until the end.
At about mile 30 my stomach started feeling pretty bad and my legs were cramping pretty badly. I felt as though I was drinking and eating enough - I guess not though. I pulled in the aid station around mile 33 and those people were great! They filled my camelback with water, my bottles with Heed, gave me a sandwich and a cup of Coke. I grabbed my drop bag, downed some sportlegs and E-caps and headed out. The next couple of miles were really cool sweeping rollercoaster like singletrack, with a few climbs thrown in.
Now the rocks were starting again, usually I'm pretty good on the rocks but by this point I was riding pretty sloppy. I rolled up to area where the guy was taking pictures through the one rock garden, and I was walking! After walking the rock slabs, I jumped back on the bike and cruised down to the next road crossing around mile 40, this is the point where I was really done. There was a guy hanging out at his truck and offered to give me a ride back to the start/finish area. I unfortunately took him up on the offer - my first DNF. While we were driving back to the finish I saw Mike Carter riding strong to a 5:47 finish!!
I rolled though the timing table and told them I DNF'd, went to the car and cleaned up. After getting some food I started to feel a little better, but also glad I didn't do the last 9 miles. So the Stoopid 50 ended up being the Stoopid 40 for me. They had a really cool pint glass for the riders - fortunately not just the finishers.
I hung out and talked with a few friends and then headed out on the 2 hour drive home. I guess if I really want to do these longs rides I should start riding a bit more. Seems to me that I'm a bit more suited towards the 2 hours and under events.
Hopefully the weather will hold out for the Neshaminy XC race this weekend. Look like some rain is headed our way for a few days. This is a day of registration only, since it doesn't drain all that well I guess. See you all there.