The Carson City Epic was a terrific experience for my first long and hard, epic of a race! I chose to do the 35 mile race instead of the traditional 50. I had never raced any where near 50 miles before especially at high elevation, therefore the 35 was perfect. My race included a grueling start loop followed by the customary Carson City ridge-line course loop. Nothing to joke about!
Having already ridden the course the week prior, I felt pretty confident that I could perform well. Feeling great the morning of, I was becoming more nervous to start my first big race. I geared up my bottles and nutrition hoping it would be enough to hold me down for the entirety of the race. Rolling up to the start line I was amazed on how many people where about to race. With a mass start I was near the front and was feeling great. I wasn't completely sure on how to pace myself at the beginning but I was just focused on not trying to blow up all my matches on the start loop. I had a group of fast guys with me for almost the majority of the race which made me very motivated and focused to keep up with their tempo pace.
The long rocky mountain downhill is where I did most of my fumbling. Tired from the climb I was trying to keep great composure but sometimes that got the best of me. I had a big train of guys behind me during a steep switch back and my front tire washed out causing a guy to ride right over me. Displeased I got up and focused on passing this group and giving it all for the main loop. Rounding out the start loop and grabbing my feed bottle I knew I needed to kick it into gear!
The heat was definitely a controlling variable the entire time which made it an even more grueling race. During what felt like an endless climb, I persevered to the aid station where I refueled with a pickle and blocks. That gave me the energy to finish off that final climb and go hard. I was starting to feel fatigued on the downhill but luckily my scott spark was here to absorb every rock and root to help lessen the intense terrain and help let the bike flow. Giving it my all in the heat is exhausting and I couldn't wait to cross the line. The whole race I wasn't to concerned on my placement but come to find out I finished first in my category! That made my day even better.
In the end, I'm glad this race is done and dusted and hopefully it will be a great training factor for Nationals coming up this July! I definitely plan on going to more races like these especially hosted by Epic Rides because of how well put together everything was and how great the riding is. Good job to my teammates, Alex for grabbing a 1st place in the 35 and Colin with his 4th place in the 50! Nothing was easy about this race!