BIG Marnie results

Congratulations to Josh & Jess! A beautiful celebration up at the Rowe cottage and some crazy fun times at the reception! I am quite sure the Founder’s team holds the record for “Most People Crammed into a Photo Booth.”  Best wishes to Jessie & Josh!

After the wedding, I crawled into bed around midnight, knowing I would have to be up by 6:30. After what felt like a 5 minute nap, I woke to the sound of POURING rain! Great. I dragged my butt out of bed and heard Tenner say, “100%”  All week Rick, Jeremy and Tenner spent every day working on Merrell Trail toying with the idea of doing the BIG M race.  IMG_5980During my first 3 trail working days, Tenner was 50/50% about racing, then, 40/60% but at the wedding he was 85% sure he would race with me.  (It must have been the Founder’s IPA talking.)  THIS morning, it was 100% NOT racing. I was on my own.
During my 2+ hour North drive, I watched the thermometer on my car drop to 52 degress. Yes, it is JULY 28! What the @%*$!  Summer_rainGot to Big M in a downpour, welcomed by Dennis and Joni (& her umbrella!) rain-13but looking at my glass half full, I figured at least the sand would be packed down.  The sun peaked out just in time for the start and we were off! Brent reversed the Lumberjack direction so the beginning was just a nice steady climb to warm up. (Yeah, not much time for that.) 2 young girls shot off the front right away, I wasn’t sure if they were Elite or Expert because all of us started at once. Never saw them again.
Our team has GOT to do this race next year! The course was AWESOME! After Boyne’s “torture-fest”, this felt really great! The rain caused the trees to droop & whip you with wet branches as you ducked through the rain forest 490831542sections but the wide open downhills were worth it! I don’t usually hit speeds of 27mph on a trail! I think Dennis said he hit 32! In other words…the course was FAST! Packed down, swoopy hills, some long steady climbs, and GORGEOUS! (I know guys don’t care to hear about it but the ferns & trees glistened as the sun took turns with the showers through the entire race.)
By lap 4, Summer Olmstead caught up to me and said her Infinite Nutrition was kicking in.  two-women-dancing-and-laughingMy “Wedding Legs” were kicking in.  Why did I feel the need to dance all night at the wedding? I ended up crossing the finish 2nd. Good enough to keep me at #1 for the Champion Point Series. A $40 payout covered the entry fee & parking cost.  Yea!
I missed my boys!!! IMG_7229The only other Founder’s racer that raced was Dennis. Finishing 11th out of 13 (50+.) A shout out to Nancy & Tim Curtis for cheering us on, too!IMG_6885
IMG_7307Next year…let’s attack this race and dominate as a team!

Boyne Marathon Mountain Bike Race Recap

Stats: 46 miles, over 5600 feet of climbing

shields_Page_12Is this beer going to hurt my race performance tomorrow?  This was the discussion the night before the Boyne Marathon Mountain Bike Race at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, MI. Yes, that’s a lot of Boyne(s).  It’s pretty rare to be able to stay in a resort condo at a race venue, so sitting in the woods at Boyne resort the night before the race, 7 teammates relaxed around a table drinking a Founders Centennial, then another and then the question started coming.  Is one more going to hurt my race tomorrow?  I guess we’d find out!

The next day started pretty easy with a 10am race start, which meant most of us without kids were able to sleep in.  The weather conditions were great at the start and it didn’t seem like it was going to get too warm.  The field seemed a bit small with only around 170 racers total, but maybe everyone else got the memo as to how hard this race was going to be.  A little after10am my field went off and I let almost everyone else get ahead of me, including Matt Remelts.  I had never raced this course before and I knew I had at least 3.5 hours of racing ahead of me so I decided to take it easy at the beginning and let everyone else race for the hole shot.

I knew I was in for some climbing and some fast, technical descents, so I prepared myself to not be surprised at either one. A lap ended up being a wind around at the bottom of the mountain, then climb, climb some more and keep climbing until you reach the top of the mountain.  Then Descend.  Wash, rinse and repeat 4 times.  Easy right?

The first lap hurt, even at an easy(er) pace.  The second lap felt kinda decent.  The third lap I was hurting but feeling okay and I came across teammate Matt Remelts who had crashed earlier and we rode for a bit until I got enough wind to pass him toward the end of the lap.  IMG_6173I was excited because Matt is a better rider than I am so passing him on a mountain bike trail gave me confidence.  Then I started the fourth lap. At the bottom of the hill as I was rolling the flats, I rolled it very slow to down some Hammer Nutrition endurolytes and a Gu Energy Gel to keep me going.  1 minute after taking both, I felt my legs starting to seize up.  100 yards later, I couldn’t move my legs anymore.  I was frustrated.  Was I going to have to abandon?  It was tempting as I knew I had a Founders Centennial waiting for me at the finish but then Matt passed me again.  I had to catch him! I ended up massaging and stretching until I could get back on the bike and slowly turn the legs over.  About 10 minutes later I felt refreshed (I owe this to Endurolytes and Gu gel.  They saved me)!  My legs hurt, but I could feel the cramps disappear and I was off!  About 10 minutes later I caught Matt again, who was also hurting pretty bad and I found the wind again to pass him.  For the next 25 minutes I pushed as hard as I could without going over the breaking point and finished.  I was happy with my time, but even happier to have just finished one of the toughest races I’ve ever participated in.

IMG_6633Everyone on the team finished the race, which is a great accomplishment.  In each of our respective categories, 20% DNF’ed in total.  Congratulations to everyone who raced and especially to Jeremy Karel, who took 3rd place in Elite and Marnie Tencate, who placed 3rd in Expert Women.

In the end, it’s hard to say with scientific certainty whether or not that 3rd Founders Centennial helped or hurt my performance, but I’d put myself in the camp that says it helped.  Who knows! If I hadn’t had that 3rd, I may not have been able to finished the race!


Elite Men:
Jeremy Karel podium’d at 3rd place of 8 racers!

Expert 30-39:
Josh Hogeterp 5th of 8 racers
Matt Remelts  6th of 8 racers

Expert 40-49:
Scott Tencate 12th of 14 racers

Expert 50+:
Dennis Murphy  7th of 11 racers

Expert/Elite Single-speed:
Tom Stolz  4th place of 7 racers

Expert Women:
Marnie Tencate  Podium’d at 3rd place!

Joshua Hogeterp |

Sweat Shaker Showdown


I have been trying to get Max to be our “guest blogger” since the race.  It has proved to be harder than getting him out of bed in the morning.  So, here “we” go:

Since my husband, Tenner was in the U.P. on a biking adventure, I decided to spend my 22nd wedding anniversary with my 15 year old son, Max.  I know Rick’s wife, Cathy “gets this”.   We thought about doing the Gran Fondo.  But the $120 registration fee steered us away.  “How about the Sweat Shaker?” I asked Max.  His only response was, “How early do I have to wake up?” I chirped back that he could sleep in the car, then registered us both Thursday afternoon.
Saturday morning was unusually cold for the 29th of June.  56 degrees when we left the house. As we made our way to Mid Michigan Community College, we noticed the sky getting darker and darker then WHOOSH! It started pouring! (At least the temperature was rising…slightly.)
By the time we arrived to the race, it was only sprinkiling a bit and 61 degrees.  Dennis greeted Tom, Scott T , Max & I in the parking lot asking if we had any extra layers or arm warmers.  You know Dennis works in all of the warmest places so his blood runs thinner than most Michigangers.  Since none of us packed extra layers, Dennis was lucky enough to find an extra jersey to wear under this year’s kit.
Now it was time to warm up.  Max was so nervous, he kept asking me what the course would be like and since I had never ridden it, I could only go by what others had told me:  Jody Beard recommended wearing 2 jog bras calling it the “boob shaker”.  Bill Shaver simply coined it the “Nut shaker”.  So we figured we would definately be in for a bumpy ride.
Tom, Dennis and Scott T. took off in front of me, then the ladies pulled up to the line….followed by Max and the other 15-19 year old riders.  I didn’t recognize any of the girls, so now…I was nervous.  We started out on the wet pavement, wound around to a 2 track, then raced across a nappy grassy/weedy area to get to the singletrack.(Honestly, that might have been the bumpiest part.)  Once we got on the singletrack, it was like riding in a tropiclal rain forest.  Trees real close to the trail, their leaves all wet above us making “tunnels” winding through swoopy hills, a few 2 tracks spaced throughout, rocks and roots here and there, and then these “surprise bumps” that you would not even be able to see, you’d just be on them bumping along.  I didn’t dare look down to see what it was because I had already been grabbed by a tiny tree and wiped out.  It seemed this trail went on forever! I knew they said 16 mile laps but like Max said, “Every time you’d see a building, you thought you were getting close and then you’d go ride for another 20 minutes in the woods.”  I really liked the course because it didn’t have any huge hills to drain your legs and burn your lungs.  Plenty of spots for passing (2 track sections) and a lot of fun swoopy woodsy sections.
Fast forward to the end:  The rain was pretty steady and after riding for over 2 and a half hours, I was done.  Nobody said it was a LONG race.  It was! Max, Tom, Dennis and Scott were there to see me finish.  I had come in after 2 elites…DON’T BE GETTING ANY IDEAS…and came in first for the experts.  I asked Max how he did and he said he had gotten first, too! A GREAT day for the TenCate’s.  When talking about the race, Max told me he took off with a group of other guys and had no idea who was racing in his category.  He hung out with another dude and then said, “want me to take the lead for a bit?” (wink-wink) and the rest is history.
The guys did great, too: Single-speeder Tom Stolz took 3rd with a speedy time of 2:13: That Terry Sensiba just keeps getting first! Dennis and new daddy, Scott both did it in 2:32 and I came in at 2:43. Max did one lap in 1:27 which I thought was pretty good considering he rarely rides.
A fun day at the races….I would definately do it again with 2 jog bras.
Looking forward to Boyne on July 13th. My 6th race of the season, 4th in the CPS.  We’ll see if we can get Max out of bed for that one.