Powderhorn 24: Race Day

I was quite anxious about getting to the event as my solo friend Keenan Brown told me to meet at the Testoterdome. I arrive at the spot and everyone slowly anticipated our next 24 hours. Juice Box Crew, Ben Erickson(such a boss), Keenan Brown, Michelle Anderson and I stretch, crack last-minute jokes, pump tires. I was planning on documenting my whole bike race but fell deep into a trance as I had 24 hours to bike.

Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013) Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013)

On our way to the Greenway, Keenan, Michelle and I stop on 10th to put some stuff in Keenan’s trunk with made for a great stopping point during the race. I know I live about two blocks off the route, but I’ll talk about that story in a bit. Anyways, the first 2 hours were pretty good as I was still trying to figure out my pace for spreading out the 24 hours of racing. Around midnight I was feeling a great pace which this method was a better time til 5 a.m. to bust through some laps with no traffic. Up until 2am, when we had the Nice Ride Bike Bonus point. Which involved doing a whole lap on a nice ride bike. if you have ever ridden one of these things it is a delight. The harder you crank it seems to aim for one speed, super slow. At that point my knees seemed to start giving out and started into the dark hours. This time between 3-5am I felt in the zone as I blasted some metal playlists consisting of Converge Suicide Silence to get the blood pumping. I felt a huge sense of spiritual moments of riders like Ben Wallace, Ben Erickson, Juice box Crew, Erin Young, Anna Schwinn, Keenan Brown and many others throwing words of encouragement. Mainly Ben Erickson Screaming ZANE! really got me through those tough times. I have to give a lot of credit to an amazing person  as every lap I accomplished, she ran over to chat and give me a spiritual energy. Thanks Ginnie Marie Herman, you are shining light of inspiration.

Powderhorn Park. (Photo by Zane Spang/Sure Dude © 2013)

With my front derailleur acting up and forced me to do a lap on the heaviest settings which I made do until the knees got worst. Got it fix and I had to pull through to the first 100 miles aka 20 laps. At this point, I couldn’t even think  and my delusions were haunting me. All I could think of was that damn sun rising and finally hitting my first 100 miles. The photo above was the sun poking its head right above Powderhorn Park. I had never ridden 100 miles in my life and through the night. The spiritual feeling that had rushed through my mind and body. I could not explain, I had never felt this happy in my life. It was a perfect time at the pit stop to grab my camera and snap a photo to signify this time in my life. I thought of my grandmother who recently passed away in January. She would be proud of me and thought I had to do the next 50 mile for her as much as I had to do it for myself because I knew it would be a struggle. As I glanced at people riding down into the park I realized that the yoga bonus point were happening. Which did wonders on my body and sleepy is what I felt afterwards. Then doing a lap to have breakfast, which I ate a lot, drove me into to this yoga/carb full death spiral of tiredness. I ughed my way through a couple of bonus points/laps and proceeded to head toward my house to sit/stretch, charge phone, upload new playlists, quick chat online and before I knew it I flinched to awakening 45 minutes later. I hopped up and rushed back to the finish line and feeling a little more energized. I had some peppermint oils and started rubbing it all over my knee which I believe helped my leg. Anyways I kept at a delirious pace and struggled through 10 laps and the fishing bonus points, dear lord that was rough haha. Anyways, at this point I was riding basically to hit all the bonus points and dreading the south side of the course. My legs were hurting again, I realized I had pushed myself a little harder in the beginning and was basically running on empty. My first goal was 150 mile laps and had my last 5 laps to complete which were pretty gruesome I must say but I had it timed perfectly. The second to last lap was pretty emotional as I crossed lake on 21st and proceeded down the street. I had thought of grandma Bertha always giving me encouragement in my life and how much I missed her. My knees and Achilles tendons were struggling and just hoped that she could help me pull though that pain. As I started tearing up my new buddy Max Dingeman snapped me back into reality. Then after that every single person built up every single bit of juice I had left, whether it be the riders, community and check pointers. On my last lap I had about 25 minutes left and that was cutting close as I left the 3rd check point and had 10th street to go I took all I had left and gunned it down til the last checkpoint with minutes to spare.

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