I have to admit I was a little worried in the weeks leading up to the Homage to Ice 2012, a 25km or 50km race at Mansfield Outdoor Center, Mansfield Ontario, organized by Dan Marshall. I have been working out all winter but not really doing a lot of riding and I had decided to challenge myself and go for the 50km ride. I have never ridden that many continuous kilometers of singletrack in a race before. I've done 50km tours and 50km rail trail rides with the family but not singletrack in a race and I was a little nervous.
The weather forecast was also a cause for concern. The day after I signed up the Weather Network.com said we were going to get 10-15mm of rain at 7C. That sounded down right torturous! When Adam and I were dating we went camping for a week at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado in January, we had a fantastic time but ever since that trip 14 years ago (wow, 14 years ago!) my toes have been sensitive to the cold. I think I must have gotten frost nip on that trip. So I wasn't looking forward to racing in the cold wet weather. Fortunately the weather forecast just got better and better as race day drew near and conditions were close to perfect on race day.
Dan did a great job designing the course, it was fantastic. You gotta love Mansfield because the sandy soil makes mud puddles pretty much non existent. There was so much singletrack I had a hard time trying to find a minute to drink the honey water shot that I take along for engery!
My goal for the race was to finish with no cramping or bonking and to not injure myself. And I did it in 3:23:55! I actually felt great at the end. In retrospect I could have gone faster... maybe next time. Right now I'm just happy I finished it!
Adam rode the 50k and was exhausted at the end. He finished an amazing 5th in the single speed category with a time of 2:43:13.