Originally I had planned to do this one solo but got an offer from B-Rad to join him in a duo attack so I took him up on the offer knowing he would lead us through the first lap strong arming weaker riders off the trail as he charged through the field.
When Brad came in off his first lap he was earlier than I expected somewhere in the top 10. Excited at our chances I took off determined not to get passed by any other team riders on my lap.
My goal for the race was 4 laps a piece for Brad and I, 8 laps in 8 hours. The cut off for the last lap was at 4:15 with the finish time of 5:00. I knew as long as we kept our lap times right at the hour mark we would have a good chance of pulling it off. Our first lap Brad and I both came in at just under an hour. After that I added a minute or two to each lap as fatigue and the pain set in.
Throughout the course I would stay fairly clean and dry but as soon as I would enter the pit area and cross lake Ocho, it was all over. As the day wore on it got worse and worse. Coming off a fast decent into the finish our tires were slinging brown water everywhere. By lap 3 and 4 the brown water turned into mud. The shiny silver polished finish of my AIR9 was converted to a nice shade of brown.
My last lap went well, I felt surprisingly stronger than the previous lap. The nasty section that had challenged me all day while still nasty in spots looked a bit drier. Not wanting to have been a pansy and run it every lap I gave it my best effort and rode the entire section with only a couple of slips.
As we waited for the final racers to come in Brad and I learned that we had victoriously finished 1st in the Sport division but because of the low numbers across the team categories we had been grouped together with the Open guys. Our overall placing was still good in 6th finishing with 8 laps only one lap shy of the team with the most overall.
I'm not sure if I'll actually get around to drinking this stuff or not, maybe I'll hold onto to it until B-Rad and I get together for the 2nd race, the H8R in Knoxville at Haw Ridge.