Well, as we were lining up to start the race, I somehow ended up in the front row, excellent, just what I had planned (NOT!), I was on my TT bike too (I would do this race again on that bike, great decision and I don't think it hindered me at all, I love my new bike and it climbs like a champ!), not ideal for a mass start, but I was stuck so I just rolled with it, the starter yelled, "GO!" and we were off. I pulled over to the side a bit so I wouldn't get in the way of all the lead guys and just started to settle in. I kept the lead group in my sites for a while, but I just wanted to ride how I felt and be strong and consistent the whole time, so they were out of site before Makawao.
The first few thousand feet were uneventful, I rode with Sau and company and we were chatting away, pedaling up the mountain. At about 3000ft (I think), I decided to start pushing a little bit more and left the group, from then on, I was riding by myself. It's beautiful up on that mountain, the time goes by quickly as you are pedaling and watching the scenery. Climbing, climbing, climbing. I'm not sure when, but at some point, I passed Brown Sugar...I knew he was wanting to ride around 3:30 so I had to be in pretty good shape at that point to have a solid ride.
The miles kept ticking away, I was just riding solid enjoying my time on the mountain. Right around 8000ft I started to see more and more people, up in the distance, I don't know if it's the altitude (which doesn't seem to effect me, so far anyways) or my endurance training that had me passing people, but this made the 1000ft from 8000 to 9000 go by pretty fast. Once I hit 9000 feet, I was over the ride already, that last 1000 takes FOR-EV-ER. But I just kept keeping on. Finally you make the final turn and the last 200? or so yards is so steep, into a headwind and you are just ready to be done, that when you see the finish line, it is a sight for sore eyes! I ended the day in 3:28, so with no expectations and just wanting to have a fun day out there, I'm super happy with my result!
|top 4 out of the top 5 ladies (1st place not pictured)|