12 Hrs of Amelia

Posted on January 12, 2012


12 Hours of Amelia – Jan 7, 2012

I had no idea how things would turn out this race. I’d been sick for over a week prior and hadn’t been on my mountain bike since FSC #9 Santos on Dec 11th. No matter how much I coughed or spat up mucus prior to race start, everyone was so encouraging. I gotta say, in the MTB community, I’m surrounded with some pretty awesome peeps…and I love it!

The laps at Amelia were about 10 mi each, consisting of approximately 70% sweet flowing singletrack and 30% grass/gravel (I’m a data nerd, but lost my computer during the race, so I don’t have exact stats). The course was a welcomed change by all racers from the previous annual 12 Hours of Oleta course.

The race started out with a quick sprint to the bikes and immediately went into the single track. There were a few traffic jams throughout the first lap, but I was in no rush. It was going to be a long race. A lot of people go out saddles blazing, but I really paced myself the first five or so laps knowing it would only be a matter of time until my consistency would pay off and I’d start to move up the rankings.

My primary source of fuel during the race was GU Roctane gels, GU Brew electrolyte tabs, and Mix1. Nutrition play s an important in longer events, but there’s a mental side to it too. After eight laps, I had Little Debbie Christmas Cake (the Zebra Cakes w/a Xmas Theme) and it was soooo good. Treats like that are a real pick-me-up even if you’re not down.

I remember coming into the pit after nine laps amazed at how good I felt, yet knowing that it may not last the rest of the night. The laps were going by pretty fast and I was having great time. Any sickness that was lingering prior…I killed it. I was excited for night to fall so I could bring out my Lupine Piko X and Magicshine lights. Pow! Those babies really light up the trail.

Around lap 13, my back was starting to feel a bit fatigued, so I got an Advil from Tom in pit at the start of my 14th lap. Still feeling good, I rode hard to make the cut-off so I could start a 15th lap. Hammering the last part of the lap around the lake, I passed pro rider Bob McCarty who said, “You’re not trying to make the cuff-off are you?” Last year, I had about 15 minutes left to start a 13th and final lap at Oleta and I held out. That WAS NOT happening again. So, of course I replied, “Yes!” A minute or so after getting back into the singletrack Bob was right behind me…“You know…you guilted me into this one.” What an awesome feeling that was for me. We rode together until the Car Trail when I said “my bike feels like it’s going faster than my eyes.”  It was all downhill from there. In the last section of singletrack before exiting the trails, I couldn’t stay alert anymore and I rode right off a ridge and into a ditch of pine needles. It never felt so good to crash and just lay there. A dude who came to check on me said  I told him I wanted a hot dog. Yumm. I guess I was out for a few minutes since Bob put 7+ min on me in the last ½ lap.

Post race, the Big Wheel Support Crew, handed me a huge plate of pasta. Apparently I thought it looked more like a pillow, but managed to eat every last scrumptious bite.

In the end, I ended up with 15 laps. Good enough for 5th place overall solo, 2 laps behind winner Bob McCarty, and 1st place solo female. I got a HUGE trophy which is proudly displayed in the Big Wheel N Miami shop, a check for $150 (going towards the new bike), and a sweet bike light from bikerayusa.com. The Big Wheel Sport Team placed 3rd with 17 laps and teammate Rob Yeske, also solo, placed 10th with 13 laps.

Oh yeah… and in regards to my comatose riding, I woke up around 3am the morning after thinking of the shape of that Advil my wonderful fiancé had given me on my 14th lap. It wasn’t the rusty saucer of your typical Advil, but it was a blue can similar to the shape of an…ADVIL PM! Could it be? YES! When confronted, he claims it was the race that made me tired, not the PM in the Advil. Tommy!!!  :O

Posted in: Racing