The Pickett's Charge XC race is a local race held on trails that most Bend locals frequent on a regular basis. In years past the Charge has had several fireroad miles throughout the course. This year however, the organizers decided to change things up and mix in some more technical singletrack. It was a nice addition considering the trails around Bend really aren't that difficult anyways.
Coming into the race I knew I would still have some fatigue in my legs from the prior weekends' race in Ohio. With the usual speed demons toeing the line (Sheppard, Plews, Williams, Thompson) I knew the pace would be fast from the get-go. The race begins with a 2 mile leadout on a fireroad before darting into the singltrack.
After a mile things already began to seperate and by the time we reached the singetrack there were a few small groups formed. I was in the second group with Plews, and 2 other riders. Plews set the pace early on, although I think he was probablt riding easier than i was. I was full throttled to stay on his wheel. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold this up for long, and sure enough after 7 or 8 miles I began to slowly lose sight of him. The other 2 riders and I then began to work with each other, only this time I was the pace setter. Not able to shack them of my wheels we stayed together for the first lap. The Chris Brandt joined us and he moved to the front to set the pace. This is when the fatigue really began to settle in.
I still have yet to master the proper pacing for a XC race. Around mile 28 of the 34 I was fading back and losing time. Trying to push the bigger gears began to really be a challenge, and I couldn't believe how little strength I had in my legs. I crossed the line roughly 20 min. behind Sheppard who won for the 2nd straight race. After siting down I looked at the data on my Cateye HR monitor and noticed that my Avg and Max HR's were lower this race than they were in the 100-mile race the weekend before.
Bruce Rogers and I after checking the results.
Having the ProAir/HFA banner set up turned out to be a success. I have numerous people approach the booth to get some info and ask questions about ProAir/HFA, the #1 albuterol inhaler. As we were taking down the banner, one woman asked if ProAir/HFA was my sponsor, I said yes. She was very happy to hear that a product such as ProAir/HFA would support an athlete. Needless to say she has been using the inhaler for years and even has some friends who do as well. I gave her some discount cards to help save her some money on her next prescriptions.