Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pinnacle Challenge '08

Another year in the books for the Pinnacle Challenge. And another year that I won't have to buy maple syrup. I was really looking forward to this race this year due to how much fun we had last year and because we managed to talk some more friends into making another 'Blue Zoo' team.

mmmm, syrup.

The weather this year was amazing, couldn't have asked for anything better. A little crisp in the morning but it warmed up to mid 60's and the sun was shining.

We were down a member from our team from last year due to injury. Christina broke her foot and her Doc wants her to stay off it for another 6 months. Lucky for us Adam had a friend from high school who ran track through college and was free this weekend. Jeremy agreed to join the team with a disclaimer that he 'was a little out of shape'...more on this later.

This year we started out with Natalie on the road run. She put up a great time of 36min, putting us in real good shape going into the mtb leg.

Ice emerges triumphant

Adam didn't have as much traffic to deal with this year thanks to Natalie and put up another great time around 34min.

The brothers Bradley owning it

Then it was my turn. My goal this year was to, obviously improve on my time from last year, but specifically I was looking to try and get to that 40 min milestone (meaning I would have to cut 2mins and change off my time from last year)

It was a lofty goal but I have felt pretty strong this year. In retrospect I think this year I was stronger going into the race but I think I prepared a bit better last year. Last year my schedule allowed me more opportunities to simulate the time trial effort on a course near my house that is similar. I didn't get around to doing that as much this year. Oh well.

Course was in great shape this year, some portions had been repaved since last year, traffic was minimal, and the wind was swirly in spots but not too bad. I came out of the start feeling pretty good, trying to conserve a bit of energy for Lovering Hill. The climb started well for me but I think I got a little overconfident about 3/4 of the way up and gassed it a bit too much because the last little pitch over the top almost sent me 'to the point of no return'. Luckily I was able to get up and over and recover a bit on the descent.

Hurting a bit over the top

I was giving it everything I had on the haul back to Newport. I could tell I was a little bit off my desired time so I was really trying to dig deep. I ended up pulling into the transition with a time of 41 mins and change (good enough for 25th overall, road times were much faster this year), taking about a minute off my time from last year but still not quite hitting that 40 min goal. No regrets though, my average heart rate was 181...I'm not going to get much more from my body than that.

So while I was fighting off the urge to puke I passed our timing chip off to 'slightly out of shape' Jeremy who proceeded to annihilate the trail run course coming back in with a time of 23 mins and change, putting up the fastest time of anyone there by over 2 mins.

en route to victory

So thanks to everyone getting a little bit faster and to Jeremy laying waste to the trail run we cut a cumulative 15mins or so off our time from last year and won the Co-Ed class by a somewhat hilarious margin of half an hour. But even more impressing is that our time put us in 6th overall of all teams and solo racers competing...pretty gnar.

But I think the best part is that the Co-Ed team that came in second 30 mins behind our team was none other than the other Zoo team made up of Amanda, Ben, Naro, and Dustin. A great result seeing as the team was thrown together last second and that none of them really had any current race experience. They have the taste for syrup now though, and next year we are gunning for a Blue Zoo Co-Ed podium sweep.


  1. Excellent wrap up, but you missed the best pic of the day:

  2. haha I did miss that pic. Amanda really was having fun the whole time, even while suffering...that proves it.

    That one combined with the one of Dustin blowing a kiss to the photog are priceless.

  3. please post the dustin pic, congrats on killing it.

  4. that cameraman can consider himself officially SEDUCED!