Monday, September 27, 2010

Schenectady Muni Race - The Race

Sunday was race day. The course was at Schenectady Central Park.

On the way there, I had one more right turn to get to the race. But then I saw a sign:

Sorry, I didn't take a picture and that image is the best I could get from Google StreetView. It says:
<--- I knew the golf course was to the left, but I thought the muni was supposed to be to the right. I wasn't fooled, turned right and found the race just fine. But someone needs to fix that sign! ;-) There were 11 riders. Some rode 29ers, some 24's. I'm not sure I saw and 26's. I saw a 20 or two, but they may have just been for playing with off the trail. A CBS reporter named Mitch Butler came to the event with an associate (sorry, didn't catch his name). Mitch is actually a unicyclist himself!

The course was on the harder side. Like with all my rides, at first my breathing was more difficult and my heart rate was off the charts. There was a hill climb to start, so that didn't help. I found myself riding with Perry and James for a while. The course was very winding so you'd even if a rider was 500 ft ahead of you, he might actually be only 20 ft next to you. Because of that, I saw a lot of Perry and James during the first lap.
About 1/3 of the way through the first lap I encountered Roland and Steveyo. They were expected to be the top riders, so I knew something wasn't right. One of the two had a camera attached to their uni to help Mitch get some extra footage. Apparently they had some technical difficulties and were fixing it. But they got moving just about the time I was there and were soon out of sight.

Mitch and company were filming in different areas of the trails, always at the more exciting features of course. It felt like every time I was about to finish something difficult, a root caught me. And they always caught it on tape! Hopefully they'll edit all that out. ;-) I'm sure I'll be posting his video once he produces it. Sounds like that might happen in about a month.

There were a good number of logs, log features, and skinnies to ride. Some of the skinnies seemed to go forever. Those we so much fun.
As expected there were some very rooty sections too. Some of it was insane and had to be walked.
There was also a up and down winding section. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time between hills to have the stamina to climb them all. I saw a lot of walking in that winding area.

Because of all the roots and hills, my lower back fatigued early. It was killing me! I find this at my local trails too. In the first lap I was feeling like maybe one lap would be it! Thankfully the trail flattened out in a few places and I was able to deal with the pain.

Part of the course comes back to the road where the finish line is, but then goes back up into the woods. At that point, the lap is only maybe 2/3 done. On the first lap I could hear and then see the people as I approached, and I was glad my first lap was coming to an end. But then the trail took me away for more pain! Arg!
It took a long time before seeing that finish line again to complete me first lap. I think my lap time was about 45 minutes.

On my second lap, my back was hurting, but I was warmed up and my breathing and heart rate were better. I was having more success on the piles and skinnies.
And I ate my first energy gel to keep me going. Still, my back was killing me at times, and I figured this might be my last lap. I was seeing less and less of Perry who was behind me and less and less of James who was in front of me. A woman named Lisa was walking and running the course. We talked a bit on and off. She's a relatively new rider and I guess she was there to check it all out on foot.

At the end of the second lap I stopped to take a breather. I ate my second energy gel and talked with Amy for a few minutes. I had time to start a new lap, and seeing that I had come all this way with the family, I wasn't going to let my back pain stop me. She said I was in fourth or fifth place, which surprised me. I wasn't too careful about keeping track of everyone I passed or passed me very carefully. And a lot of that happened at the beginning of the first lap. But it was good news to me and helped keep me going.

On my third lap I was even more successful clearing log obstacles and skinnies. But I was UPD'ing occasionally for little things. My muscles just weren't responding well. But I made it through. I even did a few do-overs. I wasn't going to let a log pile I'd cleared earlier trip me up on my last lap and I didn't think anyone was close behind me. It turned out I was the last rider to finish.

Here are the results:
1. 3 Laps, 2:01, Roland
2. 3 Laps, 2:11, Steveyo
3. 3 Laps, 2:12, Mark Premo
4. 3 Laps, 2:33, Buzz (me)
5. 2+ Laps, 2:00, Jason K
6. 2 Laps, 1:45, Perry
7. 2 Laps, 1:56, Kai P.
8. 2 Laps, 2:10, Baker
9. 1 Lap, Logan
10. 1 Lap, Steven T
11. 1 Lap, Eric K.

Roland and Steveyo are at the top, as expected. Mark rides a lot of street. He certainly has great cardio stamina. I don't think he messed around much on the skinnies, as I saw him running past me on foot.
Jason stopped at 2:00. He was right at that point on the trail I mentioned that comes close to the finish line. He thought there was no point in continuing since the time was up. And when he was told he could still finish, he chose not to. He was ahead of me for so much of the race, I think he would have finished ahead of me had he continued on.

This time I had my GoPro charged to the max. It still ran out of juice before I did, but I got a lot of good video. I'll be editing that soon I hope!

Schenectady, NY Muni Race - 2010-09-26

1 comment:

  1. I am in awe of your achievements. Truly, you are an inspiration. I started unicycling about five weeks ago and I must admit that it is the most addictive thing ever. I cannot give it up. It is a unique sport and people who have not tried it will never understand the power that it holds. We are like the Jedi - exclusive...Hahahaha.

    I use Endomondo to track my progress and the distance travelled on my uni. I am an urban cyclist, I have not Muni'd yet. I will soon though.

    I write about unicycling as well. Have a look at my blog and tell me what you think. My tags are "one man one wheel"...

    Are you on twitter by any chance?