The story and legends that follow Lumberjack run really deep, enough so that I wanted to give it a shot. Stories of epic pain, extended suffering, and a fun event with a great atmosphere. That all sounds like a event I wanted to finish. The lumberjack 100 was my first outing for a Ultra Endurance Event. I spend most of my riding time on racing and training for shorter event. I didn’t know what to expect for an event like this. I had no idea on how to fuel, drink or what pace to hold. Despite not knowing I signed up and made the 14min window to get in.
I made the drive up north the night before and was able to stop in in pick up my packet. Even before the race started I could tell that atmosphere for this event was different. There was an atmosphere of people who are relaxed and generally looking forward to a great all-be-it difficult bike ride. Everyone had there own reason for racing, past lumberjack story or personal time goal. For most this was a race against yourself.
Race day stared early 5:00 am with a 7:00am mass roll out down the road. 350 people seem like a lot more when you pack them across two lanes. At the masses hit the trail the pace was slower than I would have like. Going up hill had some added difficulty as I was running a 1×10 setup and the front chain ring was a little big. The first lap felt like I had never worked so hard to go so slow. Hind sight showed that the lap time was fine but slow climbing and riders riding the brakes on the down hill can become a test of ones patience. As the first lap finished I dropped in for a quick pit stop. Having a support crew was a welcome addition to the race. They reminded be of the things I needed as my delirium was building. With the bottles topped off and a few GU’s tucked in I took off.
Lap 2 was my hardest lap of the day. Half way though the lap I cramped up. My quads and hamstrings lock up and I couldn’t turn the pedals over. I got off the bike and started to hobble up the trail. Thankfully a few strides later my legs loosened up enough. I climbed back on and turn the cranks in small circles. Rolling in to the pits I was starting to question the 3rd lap and I wasn’t sure how much fun it was going to be. I eat some food a snickers, a banana and 2 orange slices and started to feel better. One of my teammates recommended I take some electrolyte caps with me. Seeing no harm I down a few and took the remainder. Oh how wise he was.
Lap 3 was so much better. No cramps, open trail and the only thing to hinder my speed was my endurance and a hike up to the fire tower. The last lap was a lot of fun. I pushed hard and a few of the riders around me talked like we might be close to breaking 8 hours. That was a much better time than I expected for myself and I pressed on. Rolling into the finish line at 8:07 I felt good. I had done much better than I had expected. An unlike the end of some races I was not telling myself how I would never ride a bike again. The post ride beer and meal were a warm welcome and made for a great post race atmosphere. I am unsure if I will sign up for lumberjack next year but this years event was a blast.
My result and other Founders racers can be found here