Friday, December 02, 2011

LHF/Survivor Cross

Two weeks ago I did the Living History Farms Race and afterward rode Survivor Cross. Two races, one on foot, one on bike, same course, same day. Very different races though.

LHF is a crazy race. Lots of people talk about how "tough" it is and how wet and muddy you'll get. That wasn't a big deal. The crazy thing about this race is that there are 8000 people on the same course at the same time. I had been warned to get to the front if I wanted to actually "run" the race. I lined up with the 8 minute mile folks, but when I saw the others lining up next to me (a couple in a tandem cow costume, a guy who admitted to having 30# of bricks in his backpack) I crept up a bit in the starting chute.

I guess I picked the right pace because I felt like I was running about as fast as I could maintain over the seven miles. Actually it was an uncomfortable pace for me since I'm used to running ultras, but I knew that ultra-pace was going to be too slow. I didn't get passed much and I didn't pass a lot of people.

I managed a top 500 finish which may or may not seem impressive. For perspective, I came in in just under an hour and there were still people coming through the finish chute and hour and a half after me. I was also beaten by a guy in a Sponge Bob costume. I'm not sure how I should take that.

As a side note, I guess some folks were upset by some of the costumes on course. All I can say is that if you encourage costumes and offer drink specials at the bar next door you have to expect some overweight guys to run in bikinis. As for me, if I were to run in costume I think I'd go as Anton Krupicka.

Survivor Cross was much smaller with a little over 100 people on course. I was expecting a tough race with many un-ridable sections. I expected to crash and have my bike covered in mud. Thus I brought my single-speed mountain bike. It was geared for climbing though and the 32x18 gearing was far too low for the mostly open course. I was spun out the whole time. The course was very ridable and the few stream crossings were easily managed. I would have been much better off on the cross bike. The worst I got was bashing my lower lip with my handlebars while shouldering the bike.

Both races were fun, but not my style. I doubt if I'll do them again. Too many people and too short.

P.S. Here's a great video of the bike race. Look for me at 4:40 passing on the left in the yellow shorts.

1 comment:

MrDaveyGie said...

That might get haunting if Sponge Bob continues to show up at all your competitions, unidentified, and always one notch ahead of you. If that happens maybe do a Tri, and see how well he can swim dragging that outfit with him. Just saying.