Sunday, April 28, 2013

Training for Butte 50

Butte 50/100 - "The most difficult 100 mile mountain bike race in the country"

Jen at mile 30?
Click here to view 2012 Butte 100/50 Teaser made by Jon Wick.

John and Jen Bardsley at race registration
The Butte 50/100 - insane cross-country mountain bike race on the Continental divide. It is known as the "The most difficult 100 mile mountain bike race in the country"

I raced the 50 last year for the first time, and it was epic.
That is a word I use often, and not usually does it really hold the meaning....but this course truly is E.P.I.C!

It took me 8 hours to complete. I was on my bike racing from 9am until 5pm.
Holy crap - I am so so so sore.
What is amazing to me is the way the body reacts to that kind of treatment. Riding over 10,000ft of mountain back-country trails, I just kept putting fuel in - and my body kept going. The key for me in this race was the science of intake. Every time I ate a Powerbar, Cliff bar, Hammer gel, Heed Water, or Salt-tablets then my body would instantly feel better. Honestly, it was like pushing a button to ON.

Butte 100/50 staff at the Finish
Missoula Girls Represent! Kelly and Jen after race
What is strange is how your body starts to reject food. WERID! You really don't want to eat anything when competing in such a long endurance race. I was getting nauseous and my stomach was twisted up on the hard Basin Creek Climb - in fact I was cramping in strange places other than my hamstrings and calf muscles too. One cramp actually occurred cornering a steep section and I ended up wrecking and laying there with both legs seizing in pain, not able to even bend them. Thankfully, a rider came along and asked me how many Salt-tables did I take so far...."only 2" I said. Ops - this revealed that this was my first Butte 50. She told me to take 2 every hour and eat with food so I would not get nauseous.

Amazingly! That it worked - and I mean instantly. After stretching and taking a few minuets to eat and re-group, I felt really good for the rest of the 25miles of the race. In fact, i road harder having the nutrition figured out. THANK ANDREA from Missoula!

One of the coolest thing about doing this sort of event are the people. For one, the Volunteers are awesome.
Also, there is a sort of kin-ship on the course when you are hammering away 20miles back in the wilderness. I wore funny pink socks that had pom-poms that dangled while racing. Some guys were calling me "socks" and asking about "wind-resistance" - good ice breaker when suffering collectively.
Tinker with his Race Number at Registration 2012
Another awesome moment is when Tinker Juarez passes you on the course. I love that when he went by me all the guys ahead were all cheering for him too all the way up the hill.
Tinker is a Pro that rides for Cannondale. His presence at the Butte 100/50 is so great. First of all, he is so humble and such a beast on the trail. This year he won the 100mile race and beat his time from last year by over an hour! (8:22.41) That is like my time for the 50 !!!! ha ha ha - Thanks for coming to Montana Tinker!

Riders at the Finish

Our old friend Mike B. from Butte with his daughters after 100 - Good Job Buddy!

It should be noted that my man John raced a full hour and half faster than me ! Ha ha - so amazing.
John's time was 6:45 and he came in 20th for the men. Pretty impressive since he wasn't on his bike until June this season. (Why? Because he was in Finland doing Math Research for a month - John's a math Professor at UM).
I ended up taking 8th in the women's open division with a time of 8:11 - stoked to make top 10!
A big "Cyber High Five" to my women's team MT ALPHA - these ladies came to represent!
Jamie Terry took 1st in women's 50, Heidi Gaskill won women's Elite for the 50.
WAY TO GO Ladies!

At the Finish - John replenishing responsibly and Jen with Beer. Thanks for the Custom MUGS Organizers!
Cool finish line with Posters of past year images
John's race number
Volunteers at Race - Thanks guys!
Butte 50/100 mile race - Highland Mountains, Montana

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