Pre-dawn start. Immense feelings of remoteness. Sweet wooded single track. Two different loops. 75 miles and lots of climbing.
Sounds like a good combination for a great race, right? I think so!
Last weekend was the 3rd (I think) annual San Jacinto Enduro. I participated in ’10 and had a blast. I couldn’t wait for it to come around again. I was a little more prepared this year, but so was everyone who showed up.
The first lap covers about 48 miles and 6500ft of climbing on my GPS (Garmin Edge 500). We rolled out at 6:10am, a little later then planned. We then had a very cold roll down the 74 to the dirt we would be riding. The race was neutral until this dirt and once on the dirt, everyone took off. I don’t think everyone takes off because they are racing as fast as they can, I think it is to try and warm up! (Just a note: the temps were in the mid 30s).
I saw Guy Sutton take off and break away from the group. Then, I saw another group of two guys split off, and another guy got up the road a bit. I was sitting 6th, right behind the guy in 5th. I yo-yoed with him a bit and eventually pulled away and caught 4th. Later on the descent, I was caught by the guy who I’d passed in the beginning, Landen (sorry if I spelled that wrong). We rode up the road until we were caught by Ryan Odle and another rider whose name I didn’t catch. Once back onto the dirt, Ryan took off and showed us the fitness he’d been working on since the last SJE. I tried to keep with him as long as I couldn’t but his pace was more than I could handle. As he rode away, I caught and passed another rider, the guy in red.
I finally made it back into Idyllwild, onto the May Valley fire road. I must have enjoyed this dirt road because I didn’t make the turn off for the log-pile singletrack. I finally realized I missed the turn and flipped a “U”-ey to make it back to the trail. I caught and passed the guy in red again because he got by me when I got lost.
I got in from the first loop at 10:30, not far behind the leader (Guy Sutton). I took off on the powerline trail and had a good pace. I felt like I could just keep going, so I did. In fact, I missed the turn off on this trail too. When I finally realized I was off course, I turned around and found my way. I only found my way because I saw a pair of riders heading up Forbes Ranch Rd. I rode up to them and hung with them until one guy dropped back. He wasn’t feeling well and ended up abandoning the second loop. I rode with the other guy, Landen until he pulled away on the descent. I saw him up the road a few times before hitting the Climb up to the Ramona Trail, but never caught him. I was still riding decent, but walked a few times to keep the cramps from coming. I powered back up the road and finished just after 2pm and 2:03. A time of 7:53, almost 30 minutes faster than my time from last year.