The Ponca 4hr marathon race would be another test of ones mind, body, and soul… I have heard all good things about this park and its trails, so I to get signed up Friday night and see what it had to offer.
With over 3 inches of rain Thursday into friday I was a bit skeptical that it would go off, but all the rain would never reach the north-east corner of the state.(till later).
It’s quite a drive up. Almost 3 hrs….ugh! Upon arrival well worth it for sure!!
This race was two weeks after DK200 so having much to go with was asking for a small mircal. Just looking for a solid ride and lots of fun on new trails.
As we lined up I took my place in the back of the field of 20 riders. I know not a huge field but when ya gotta cram all them fellas between two trees right at the gun it’s kinda sketchy. Not bad tho. As we made it down the road to the single track I was waaaay in the back. To far for sure. The single track starts with a grunt of a climb. And some of the fellas had a time getting it up and over. Missed gears dropped chains trying to muscle it up and not enough muscle. Shit, Stop and get restarted and lose contact with the front 10 or so riders. Better just settle in and recover a bit. Its four hours you have always been able to pick em off as the race wears on.
As the race wears on…… I was just not feeling it. Then it started to rain. Great!! now they will call it off and I can get the hell out of here. Never happened. The dirt was so dry that we kept on a racing. Meaning we were not damaging the trail at all. The rain was soaking in pretty well as it fell. And just as I was not having a good time the legs somewhat came around and we felt pretty good. However going crazy fast wasn’t in the cards. It was slick as a mofo and my rear tire is a hard pack type.
As soon as hr 3 rolled around the skies cleared and it was getting tacky and faster. But I wasn’t. Just running out of steam is all. Climbing sucked big time. The descents were way fast but didn’t last near long enough. As the time winded down I rolled through the finish and the offical said I had 10 mins left if I wanted another lap. Naw. Thats good. I was just in it for a good day in the saddle. Hell I had no idea how many I had anyways. Ended up with 8. Pretty good with that. 2 off the winner and I could have gone out for a 9th but hell that would have only moved me up a couple of spots. Another solid top 10. I’ll take it. I really need to get the starts down that’s for sure. I’m apprehensive to really get on the gas at the start afraid to go boom. I know I can drill it. It’s just a matter of doing it and seeing how it all plays out.
Would going into the single track 5th wheel or so help the outcome? No idea. If you know it would I’d be interested in you opinion.
Photo’s are credit to McColgan Photography!!!!!