Thursday, May 23, 2013

Trans Iowa v9 Recap - Part I: Summary

I am very happy to have finished the Trans Iowa 323-mile gravel road race this year.  The weather was near perfect and that was a big contributor to my success.  I finished with just 2 hours and 5 minutes to spare which could have easily been consumed by the 8 or so miles of B-roads if I had to walk them.  As best I can compile, here are my basic stats:
  • 325 total miles, includes the 323-mile TI route plus 1-1/2 extra miles looking for C-store near Melbourne at mile 72 and ½ mile due to overshooting a turn after the C-store in Gladbrook at mile 183. 
  • 31 hrs, 55 min total time, includes 28 hrs in the saddle and 3hrs, 55 min off the bike at checkpoints, convenience stores, pee breaks, etc, ....
  • This gives an overall average of 10.2 mph and an on-bike average of 11.6 mph.  Up through cp2 my on-bike average was 12.8 mph, after that (the last 150 miles), it fell to 10.6 mph.  All this is pretty slow, I know.  I feel fortunate just to have finished.
  • Of the 91 riders who started the race, 81 made it to cp1 - 52 miles  before the 9:30 am cut-off, and 70 made it to cp2 - 173 miles before the 9:45 pm cut-off.
  • Robert Fry at cp2 indicated “almost 50” riders had passed through when I got there at 7:15 pm.  Assuming I was #48 out of 70 to pass through cp2, it appears the last leg was my best, finishing #24 of the 36 finishers. 
This was definitely a high-water mark for me in cycling.  I trained hard and thought about this race for a long time, but at the end of the day (or 32 hours rather), I had several things go my way.  I can’t deny good luck played a role in my finish.  A lot of cyclists faster and stronger than me did not have such luck, so I realize I was fortunate.

Continue on to Part II: Preparation and Training, Bike Set-up, Clothing, Nutrition, Hydration

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