Date: May 21, 2016
Race: Cranky Monkey #2
Location: Quantico, VA
Rider: Jessica Kutz
Results: Jessica 2nd place 6 hour solo female
I have a feeling nothing is going to go my way with these Cranky Monkey races. Before race #1 I had a stomach bug, which left me off my bike for a week and a half prior to the race. Before race #2 I twisted my knee, leaving me with only 3 rides prior to the race. OOF! Well, feeling less than prepared as usual I decided I would show up for the “adventure” of racing 6 hours on my bike. The race prior I couldn’t even contend with the pro woman who won, she is quiet fast!
For this race I was flying solo, as Brad had the puppy at home and no one else from the team was racing. Lucky me, it was 92 degrees on race day! I knew hydration was going to be an issue but I was oddly calm prior to the race- I must be getting use to this poor preparation beforehand. The whistle blew and everyone was off. This course was much different than the prior race. There were lots of fire road and steep tough climbs both on the trail and fire road. There were several climbs that left me with my chest on my stem, hovering over my seat and praying my bike wasn’t going to flip backwards. Surprisingly, I had the lead after the first lap (I didn’t know it at the time though)! On lap 2, super fast lady caught me. I eyed her up and decided she was stronger, so I attacked! I was curious to see if she would respond, which she did not. I held on to a small gap following lap two. Now at this point, when I started feeling like I was cooking from the inside out due to heat, I started to have concerns. Fast lady returned, and this time she attacked me on one of those very steep trail climbs- needless to say I could not respond. I was bummed, but I knew if I did I would likely bonk. I had one pace in that heat and she was getting faster.
Some time around lap 4 I started to realize just how hot I was. I was racing superman style with my jersey open like a cape for some airflow. Needless to say several men followed my lead- trendsetter! All I could think about was the fact that I was there alone, didn’t know anyone, and was going to have to drive myself home. Not the ideal thing to be thinking during a race. It’s actually pretty hard for me to think about hydration and race at the same time. I prefer someone to just yell at me when they think I’m not drinking enough, instead of me tracking that. I had no choice during this race. When I decide fast lady was far out of reach I started taking hydration seriously. I was stopping at every aid station to enjoy some water and a smile from the friendly volunteers. My only goal at that point was to stay in 2nd.
On lap 5 I convinced myself it would be my last lap, it was just WAY to hot. Several of the guys I was riding with were also making it their last lap. I started to think about what I would eat for dinner (I was getting very hungry) and the fact that Brad had eaten the last popsicle at the house. I was really hoping he replenished the stock while I was gone (spoiler alert- there were no popsicles when I got home!) I rolled across the line just after 3pm (the cutoff is 3:30 for another lap). It took me a while to find someone who knew what was going on with timing because I wanted to make sure I could skip doing another lap. Much to my surprise I knew the guy in time of charging, and much to my dismay he convinced me to do a lap #6! I was not thrilled about this, it’s hard when mentally you tell yourself you’re done and then you have to try and go again. Well I did it, all by myself…since all the guys I was riding with had quit. It was a very quiet lap, I only saw two other people but in some odd way I was pleased to finish the sixth lap. For me it was another maid of honor finish for Cranky Monkey #2 and a 6 pack of beer for a prize. The last Cranky Monkey Race is coming up at the end of June….can I catch the fast lady….?