Buy Tickets HERE
ONLINE Registration is now available at www.eventzilla.net/web/event/tires-on-fire-mountain-bike-race-2138850133
Team Noah is hosting its first ever Trivia Night to Benefit SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
Friday March 18th, 2016
Doors: 6:30pm - 7pm start time
Location: Holiday Inn, 6921 S. Lindbergh Blvd. 63125
Feel free to bring any type of snacks you would like
15$ per person (pay on site)
We will be hosting a 50/50 raffle and a Silent Auction.
Gather your family and friends for an evening of brain teasers from a variety of categories.
This year we will be raising money for the Footprints charity through SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
The care coordination offered by Footprints℠ addresses not only the physical needs of a child but the emotional, spiritual and psychosocial needs of the family as well. The team evaluates each child’s and family’s needs to identify difficult issues which may arise while caring for their children. The staff of the Footprints℠ program works with families prenatally (before birth), when children are inpatient at the hospital and as children are outpatients on an ongoing basis. Once a plan is outlined, resources are then coordinated to support the needs of both the child and family.
Reserve your spot visiting: http://teamnoahtrivianight.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2138835581
Bring Cash or Check to the venue or pay online Click Here
Happy New Years Everyone!
2015 really went by quickly and we barely had time to keep up!
Our Team Noah Foundation Racers had an amazing year spreading awareness of our cause, congratulations to Peat, Emily, Ian, Maria, Matt, Brad, Brian for accomplishing some amazing things out there!
This past year was our most successful fundraising year to date and our first as an official 501c3 charitable organization. By the years end we were able to provide Cardinal Glennons Children's Hospital with a $5000 check!
A big Thank You is in store for everyone that supported, sponsored, or participated in a Team Noah Fundraiser this year.
So stay tuned for more Team Noah news and events in 2016!
We are pretty Excited to be working with St. Charles County Parks, Trailhead Bicycles and Terrain Magazine to be putting on our first Fundraiser/Mountain Bike Race.
The Race will be at Beautiful Matson Hill Park in Matson, MO. It is Typically known for being a Katy Tail pit stop. But on August 30th it will become Team Noah headquarters.
Day of Registration only. Parking will be at the Katy Trail Trailhead in Matson.
Riders will Depart at 9:30am from the Parking lot up Matson Hill Rd.
Make a Right on to Matson Hill Rd for .5 miles, then make a left into the Park.
Stay to the left as the course will flow Clockwise
Race course will include Matson and Oxen Mill trails in a loop format.
The idea for my 31st birthday party happened in the middle of my 30th birthday party. I was driving home on Saturday morning from Stage 2, the Aerie's 12hr Ultrarun, after running/hiking all night and covering 40 of the hilliest miles in the STL area. I had the entire day to sleep/recover and then was planning to slay a Double Berryman with Dwayne and HH on Sunday morning. I remember thinking I just want to go get my mountain bike and ride The Berryman right now. Screw this wait-and-recover strategy.
So for 2015, my 31st birthday, that's what we did. 31 hours, straight through. I planned outa giant loop around St. Louis that incorporated running and biking and 2 ferry rides. Weather in the week leading up to the event melted the singletrack, so we stuck to gravel and pavement and did the whole thing on our cx bikes, which honestly made logistics a TON easier. We had several different combinations of Team Noah Foundation members and friends on each stage - 12 different people in total. And no one person did exactly the same thing, everyone tailored their participation to their interests, fitness, and availability. That was exactly how I wanted this to work. I wanted to plan something on a massive scale, and then have my friends pick and choose how they wanted to participate. Sort of like howDBMFH works, no one person does exactly the same thing but everyone ends up crushed.
Of course this whole event raises money for the Team Noah Foundation, which is my mountain bike team. Last year we raised just over $2,100 and this year we want to do better than that. So if you have a few extra dollars, please click over to our donation siteand put them towards a good cause. Team Noah Foundation helps the families of children with a Congenital Heart Defect spend as much time as possible with their kiddos while they are receiving treatment. Dwayne and Bettina, Noah's parents, got to spend 10 beautiful weeks with their baby boy, and want to give other families the gift of that much time or possibly more. So after Noah's death, the Foundation was created and his memory is what we are riding for today.
Bike from Alpine Shop (Kirkwood, MO) to Aerie's Winery (Grafton, IL)
55 miles, mostly road
1600 Friday - 2030 Friday
I meet up with Dwayne, Peat, JZ, Chuck, Maria, and Jim in the parking lot of Alpine Shop on Friday afternoon. It's beautiful - sunny and high 50s, RealFeel. It takes a long time for us to get Chuck's tires swapped, admire Peat's new van (with Stow-and-Go and electric doors, holy cats!), get my car packed, etc etc etc but we finally roll out on this adventure around 4pm. There is no rush as we ride through Kirkwood, Webster Groves (hi The Hub!), Forest Park, DeBaliviere, super sweet bike path, then into THE CITY on Goodfellow which is actually not a bad road to ride. Some ladies even stop to chat with us and JZ invites them on our adventure. Smiling, they decline. We make it up to The Circle and then veer east on Riverview, eventually smacking straight into the Riverfront Trail. About then we start turning on our various lighting systems and continue up to the Chain of Rocks Bridge, crossing our fingers that the gates are still open. Even if they weren't, Peat assures us that he's lifted full kegs of beer, and bikes, and trailers, over the locked ones so we're in good hands. Turns out the gates are open, HOLLA!, and we cross the Mighty Mississippi and say goodbye to Maria and Jim (they're allergic to Illinois). Then it's onto the MCT system to bring us northbound to Grafton.
Once we pass Alton, it starts to get a bit cold, but thankfully our support car, driven by Matt, is nearby so we stop to get some heavier clothes and he feeds us heart-shaped doughnuts. Then it's flat flat flat roads and bike paths to Grafton which Peat and Dwayne and JZ use to sharpen their high-cadence skills (they are on SS, Chuck and I are on gears). We roll in to Grafton just before 8:30 PM and check in at Race HQ. I see a lot of my running friends but I don't have much time to get ready for the 9:00 PM start. I change shorts, socks, shoes, put on new gaiters, add lights, EAT, quick picture, and then we're off into the next adventure. 4 hours down, 27 to go!
Run Aerie's 12hr Ultramarathon (Grafton, IL)
40 miles, all trail
2100 Friday - 0748 Saturday
Aerie's is a 12hr race. The course is an almost-5-mile loop that you do as many times as possible in the allotted 12 hours. The loop is pretty heinous - 1,000' of climb (ridic for IL) of mostly trail and some pseudo-bushwhacking. This is a race that rewards constant forward motion over pure speed. So, perfect for me. Robin, the race director, sends us off and Dwayne and I run/hike the first loop together. The course changed from last year and at the major point of deviation, isn't very well marked, so we spend 10 or 15 minutes floundering in the woods trying to figure things out. But we finally do (really it's our fault for not looking at the 2015 map) and settle into 12hr pace. I'm running with 3 other women and I have no idea who 2 of them are...are they fast? I know the third, Melissa, completed 6 laps last year which is no joke so I try to stay ahead of her. My legs actually feel great and it's fun to run! But as we get to Race HQ, she has a lightning-fast transition while I stop for several minutes. So atypical for me but in my rush to make the start, I forgot to take care of some things so I'm forced to do those now (retie shoes, plug in phone, find food, fill bottles, etc).
Laps 2, 3, and 4 are pretty hard, but mostly in my mind. Melissa is staying solidly in front of me by about 5 minutes and I'm starting to crack mentally. I keep telling myself that racing doesn't actually start until the sun rises (about hour 9), but I am trying to run/hike pretty fast and only making up a minute or so on Melissa. I start to project the effort I will need to make up the remaining 4 minutes and that makes my head hurt. I start to doubt that I can win. This is pretty crazy because we are SOOOOOOO not about winning on the Epic Birthday Adventure - it's an ADVENTURE for godssake. But if you've known my last 6 months of solo racing, it's been a mind-screw for me, and 2nd place here will not help that. Thankfully, I hear a familiar voice behind me and it's DWAYNE!! I almost hug him in relief and blabber on about all of my fears and insecurities. Like the good teammate/mentor that he is, he gets my head straightened back out and we move. Not 2 miles later, Melissa appears in front of us, we run with her for a bit, and then motor on up the signature climb on the course, the "Big Long Turd" as named by Jeff in 2014.
Looking back at the splits, we made up 11 minutes on Melissa on Lap 5. 11 minutes is how hard my mind was screwing with my body. That is crazy. Thank you Dwayne.
Laps 6-8 are all good. I don't feel as great as I did last year (in worse conditions), or as I did a few weeks ago at POCAR in Indiana, but I just try to ignore that and focus on constant forward motion and conversation with Dwayne. We talk about pretty much everything, including bikes that have a treadmill on them and the purpose of time. What is time? Who decided how long a day should be? Is time getting longer? The sunrise on Lap 7 is incredible, despite Dwayne not knowing which way is east. It totally makes up for the fog-fest last year. On Lap 8, the course swings close to the cabin that we've adopted as our HQ and we see JZ outside. We convince him to join us and he even runs a little! We finish the lap, securing the women's win for me and 7th place overall, cheer on the men's winner as he crushes out his TWELFTH LAP!!!
I spend the next hour or so piddling with my bin (adventure racers will appreciate this) and getting ready for Stage 3. Kate rolls in right on time (she rode STL-Grafton solo this morning due to work obligations yesterday) and Ian gets dropped off as well. Chuck, having pushed far past his perceived limits, decides to call it quits and gets a ride home with Matt. The rest of us saddle up and ride out. 16 hours down, 15 to go!
Bike from Aerie's Winery (Grafton, IL) to Bike Stop Cafe (St. Charles, MO)
26 miles, mostly road, 2 ferries
0930 Saturday - 1230 Saturday
Our first task is to ride 4-ish miles west to the Brussels Ferry. That is mostly on bike path, along with a super-sketch connector trail to the ferry entrance which is pretty fun. We board the ferry with minimal waiting and cruise across the Illinois River with high spirits and a group pic. We're on a ferry!
Then we land in Calhoun County and have about 11 miles of road riding to do on the way to Golden Eagle Ferry. The nav isn't hard, we just follow the signs, but there is a significant headwind and the start of many rollers. Also the start of my inability to ride a bike in a speedy manner. I have ZERO power in my legs, I am pretty sure because of not eating enough after Aerie's. So I try to eat a bunch of food, but it's kind of difficult to operate the zippers on my pack without stopping. I have no idea why. I'm in a nutritional hole when we reach the Golden Eagle Ferry, but Peat gives me a birthday cookie, SS Kate shares a delicious rice krispie treat, and I eat another bar. The Golden Eagle Ferry ride across the Mississippi River goes well and pretty soon we're in St. Charles County, riding the flat floodplain roads another 11 miles towards lunch.
My favorite moment of this stage happens when we hop onto the Boschert Bike Trail and I see a giraffe. A real giraffe! I start excitedly yelling at everyone, "Hey look at that giraffe over there!!" and then I realize it's a fiberglass giraffe. Not alive. Whomp-whomp.
We take surprisingly well-connected bike paths all the way into St. Charles historic downtown, and begin the search for the Bike Stop Cafe. I know it's just off the Katy Trail but not exactly sure where, so we have a few map checks while Dwayne's stomach growls loudly. Finally, we spot the Cafe and barge inside to do some serious ordering of food. I think everyone buys 2 or 3 meals. I order an egg/avocado burrito, a bowl of veggie chili, and a cup of coffee. We enjoy a relaxed lunch outside on their patio, wait while JZ puts down an extra order of waffles, and then get back on our bikes to take the Katy all the way to The Mound. 19 hours down, 12 to go!
Bike from Bike Stop Cafe (St. Charles, MO) to The Mound (Weldon Spring, MO)
20 miles, mostly road
1330 Saturday - 1600 Saturday
Except, the warm temps (60 RealFeel) have turned the Katy into a soggy, tire-sucking, slow pea-gravelly mess so we decide to re-route on pavement. JZ knows a way through the discombobulated subdivision hell of St. Charles, so we follow his lead through miles of cul-de-sacs and tan vinyl siding. My slight slowness in Calhoun County has devolved into absolute anchor-laden bike riding. I think I ate too much at lunch and now all of my body's blood is in my stomach, trying to digest and distribute those calories. I can't do anything to help the situation either, besides pedal slowly and try not to get too down on myself.
Luckily, my teammates realize what's up and come to my rescue. Dwayne does a ton of pushing, which is crazy because he's on his singlespeed franken-bike (mtb frame, cx tires, thud-buster post, trunk rack, aerobars). Peat even gets in on the fun too with a triple push. Everyone else keeps the pace moderate in front so I don't fall too far behind. Struggle Street can be many lengths, but today it is 20 miles long. Even 20 miles has to end sometime, and finally we cruise through the Research Park and onto the brand-new GRG trail that links up with the Hamburg that leads straight into The Mound. Jeff, Maria, and Melisa are there as a terrific welcoming committee, but my first priority is getting off the Warbird and laying on the pavement for a while. I'm seriously WORKED and I just need some time to digest. Jeff knows exactly what's going on, he's been through this before too, and luckily everyone else finds things to do during the break so it doesn't feel like I'm holding anyone up. 22 hours down, 9 to go!
Bike OT Night Ride Route
30 miles, gravel/road combo
1700 Saturday - 1930 Saturday
The Mound is a perfect staging point for any variety of mountain bike or gravel rides, so we have plenty of options to choose between. Too many options, almost. In the end we decide to embark on a 30-ish mile loop of gravel and pavement known to many as Rich Pierce's Tuesday Night Ride. We put our own spin on it by using the Lost Valley doubletrack to connect to the Katy. The Katy is pretty soft still, but Peat motivates everyone with "POWER SECTION!!!" yells and we all motor through. I seem to be handling the flats a bit better and can actually hang, sort of, with the group. We get to the base of Terry Rd, one of the larger climbs in the STL area, just as the sun is setting and share my 630-calorie QT PB/Chocolate rice krispie bar as a group. Despite lingering bronchitis, Jeff hangs back and helps push me up Terry. I would be no where without my teammates.
Do you know how long a sunset lasts? Longer than it takes me and Jeff to haul my tired ass up Terry Rd. I keep wanting to stop and enjoy the cloudless perfection, rich oranges and golds silhouetting my friends, their bikes and the bare Missouri woods, but getting going again would take too much effort. So I just steal quick glances here and there, trying to conjure up a sense of gratitude for the beautiful day, however painful it's been.
We bomb down the pavement to Defiance, have a quick group conference to discuss gin shots at the biker bar, decide against them, then get back on the Katy towards home. Again, I can hang with the group on the flats but once we hop onto the Hamburg and its slow uphill grunt, I'm off the back again. But Peat sticks back to chat so we have a great time grinding out the final-ish miles. 25 hours down, 6 to go!
Hike Clark Loop of Lewis & Clark
5 miles, insanely muddy trail
2030 Saturday - 2230 Saturday
Now, the real purpose of sticking in some running-slash-hiking-slash-oh-come-on-you-really-thought-we'd-be-running-at-this-point?-Hiking-FTW! was simply to give our butts a break from the bike saddle before the final ride home. Also I wanted to introduce my cycling friends to some hike-only trails, which happen to be my favorite in MO. So we say goodbye to Jeff (thank you so much for driving support), hello to Yvonne, and switch into our running shoes for some time on foot. Yvonne tells us the story of the Love Connection trail as we access the Lewis & Clark trail system and start the Clark Loop. And we find a lot of mud.
Maybe not as much mud as Adventure Racing World Championships 2014 in Ecuador, but almost! And it's dark! We all spread out along the super-muddy trail, gingerly picking our way towards the bluff overlook. Maria turns back to save her newly-purchased running shoes before we get there. We spend a few minutes watching the moon rise at the overlook and I'm excited to start my second night of no sleep, which is uncharted territory for me during endurance sports. Sure, I've done a bunch of 24-hour races, even staying up a second night to cheer other teams on, but I've never actually pushed straight through the second night on foot or bike. After some nice group time at the overlook, Ian, Adam, JZ, Yvonne, and I press on, leaving Kate and Peat to retrace their steps back to The Mound (Peat's hip is still recovering from Aerie's).
My hip flexor isn't feeling awesome either, but my desire to do the "whole" Epic Birthday Adventure is stronger than the discomfort so I slog through the remaining 3 miles. It doesn't sound like long, especially to me since I've ran this loop so many times, but tonight it is long. So long, and full of mud that each step is like a slip-n-slide. Mud cakes onto my shoes, adding to the load my overworked hip flexor has to deal with. Yvonne chats with me for a while, and I grab a stick to function like a trekking pole, but eventually it's just me, alone in the woods following the faster progress of 4 bobbing headlamps in front of me. They wait for me every so often, but honestly in my emotional state it's better to just be alone, and somehow everyone understands that without saying anything and lets me bring up the rear.
The miles tick by so, so slowly. I get sadder and sadder. I cry a little. I know this is normal and a sign of being pushed to the limit, which is exactly what I asked for when planning a 31-hour birthday party. Whose idea was this anyway? Oh yeah, mine. I encourage myself by drawing on the strength of my friends - Peat refusing to let a broken hip ruin his bike racing. Adventure racers worldwide who battle through 12" of mud like it's a road 5k. Dwayne and Bettina absorbing more pain than I'll ever know after losing Noah. I can deal with a whiny hip flexor for 1 more mile. Finally, The Mound comes back into view and I tumble into the Interpretive Center, eager to sit down, eat something, and saddle up for the final part of tonight's journey. 27 hours down, 4 to go!
Bike from The Mound (Weldon Spring, MO) to Alpine Shop (Kirkwood, MO)
30 miles, gravel/road combo
2330 Saturday - 0300 Sunday
After returning to The Mound, we find out that Peat and Kate have already started their ride back to Alpine Shop, so it's me, JZ, Dwayne, Adam, and Ian left for the remaining 30 miles. Maria and Yvonne make sure we've got everything we need and then wish us good luck as we connect back into the Research Park and onto the Katy. Before we cross the Missouri River on the Page Bridge, we stop at the gas station across the street in hopes of pizza. No pizza, but they do have coffee, hot chocolate, turkey wraps, and potato chips, all excellent sources of fuel for a midnight ride.
Engines re-stoked, we crush out the Page Extension bike path and decide to execute a rare climb up Marine. During normal daylight hours, the climb is a bit sketch given its frequent traffic, limited sight lines, and no shoulder, but tonight it's perfect. I haven't regained any climbing power but everyone waits at the top and we cobble together a route back to Kirkwood using Craig and New Ballas. The pace is easy and I'm reminded about the joys of urban night riding - no traffic!! Dwayne gives me some more pushes and finally we're rolling into the Alpine Shop parking lot and our waiting vehicles. DONE AT 3:00 AM!
There wasn't much to do once we finished. No finish line, no crowds, just a quiet parking lot. Ian and Adam still had to ride home to their houses, an extra 45-ish minutes, and they both refuse rides from me. Studs. I say goodbye to Dwayne and JZ and we just all drive away. So simple and so complicated.
I knew that 31 hours was going to be hard. We ended up being outside a long longer than that, thanks to several leisurely stops for meals and changing clothes. For me, I woke up Friday 0600 and went to sleep Sunday 0400. 46 hours awake and 31 doing some form of exercise is great prep for a 72-hour race I have next month in Florida. We covered more than 160 miles on our bikes, and everyone had different foot miles, about 45 for me. But more than numbers, the support I felt from my friends and teammates was far beyond anything I'd expected. It's hard to explain, maybe I can only explain it to someone in the woods at 3:00 AM, but to everyone who joined in on this Epic Birthday Adventure, thank you for picking me up when I was hurting and telling me my crazy plans were not crazy at all. They just take a long time.
Also thank you Noah for the stunning weather.
Please consider a donation at http://www.plumfund.com/pf/teamnoah15 if you can :). Fundraiser closes Friday 13-Feb at midnight!
Aerie's Full Results
Hey everyone! Emily here, using some recovery downtime to update y'all on the summer so far. Things have been BUSY! I recently got back from a 3.5-day adventure race in Wyoming called Rev3 Cowboy Tough, my first multi-day race ever! I raced on a 4-person team called WABAR (not relay-style, we stick together for the whole race). We did a TON of riding and I used my Team Noah-taught endurance skills to power through each day. Here's what the race entailed:
DAY 1: 4mi run, 10mi bike, 6mi run/hike, 25mi bike, 20mi run/hike, 2hr sleep.
DAY 2: 2mi run, 200' rappel, 25mi bike, tomahawk throw, 20mi bike, 6mi paddle, 2mi run/hike, 9mi paddle, 7mi run/hike, 6hr sleep.
DAY 3: 1mi run, 15mi whitewater rafting, 38mi bike, 6mi run/hike, 50mi bike, 6mi run/hike, 4hr sleep.
DAY 4: 50mi bike, 5.5mi run, 5mi paddle, FINISH LINE BURRITOS!!!
I knew Day 3 would be a long one, most of the ride was on endless gravel roads with NO SHADE. And it was about 90F all day. Of course I chose to wear my Team Noah kit (thank you Dogfish!!!) which was perfect - the white color and summer-weight jersey kept me cool and the shorts were super-comfortable with NO chafing. Full race reports are being posted on my personal blog but I just wanted to shout out to all the Team Noah Foundation fans out there - this jersey gets around!
**Spoiler Alert: Honey Badger-1, Cohutta 100-0**
After losing my NUE virginity at Fool’s Gold 100 at the end of August last year (2013), I was much more prepared for the first NUE race I would conquer in my 2014 mountain bike racing season: The Cohutta 100. I had been preparing for this race for a while and tried to get an idea of the race from previous years' blog posts. I knew I would be seeing some of my former teammates from my collegiate mountain biking team at Union College (KY)--Greggy and German (AKA Nay-no/Nano) raced, and Wesley (AKA Wessypoo) would be helping out at Aid Station 4/5 down by Mulberry Gap--so I was super excited about that. Plus, I was excited to ride at MG again.
Thursday, April 25, 2014
Got Strange Thursday night (Strange Donuts that is—great pre-race carbo-loading with my favorite donuts in St. Louis, MO). Went home to pack as much as I could before getting too tired (I think this was the first time I did not forget something—anytime I travel I think I always forget SOMETHING).
Friday, April 26, 2014
Baby Noah's 3rd birthday--Dwayne and Bettina (Noah's parents) went to the St. Louis Children's Hospital to take pillow hearts donated through the money raised from Emily's Epic Birthday Adventure.
Road trip with Emily, Trevor and Adam. The hardest part of the whole weekend was not climbing up Potato Patch Mountain, but holding my bladder through Nashville rush hour traffic.
Got to Race HQ to sign some waivers, get some SWEET schwag (a custom Cohutta 100 Thompson stem and a sweet C100 shirt), fill drop bags, and met Lyle, Steve and other volunteers who were super friendly and supportive of TNF (Team Noah Foundation).
Stayed at the Thunder Rock Campground with some cool Toasted Head dudes (Dan Rapp and Ryan).
Made a little list of aid stations and mile points (wrote it in sharpie on some duct tape that I stuck on my top tube) which was really helpful (thanks to Trevor).
Last minute preparation for the big day.
Saturday, April 27, 2014: ERMAHGERD RERC DER! (Translation: Ohmygod Race Day!)
Pre-Race: Alarms went off before the butt-crack of dawn at 5am and I did not feel too bad. I did not procrastinate getting up for long because I thought about everything that would have to get done over the next 2 hours. I was hesitant to eat too much since I only had 1.5 hours to digest it before the start of the race, but in hindsight, I regret not pushing the envelope on that because there was not a good place to eat during the single track (first 1/8 of course) (what the first section mainly consisted of before Aid Station #1). It was a slightly rushed and I definitely still do not have race prep down to a science yet, but I was ready with a few minutes to spare. I saw Nayno and we exchanged a hug and wished each other luck.
Start—Aid Station 1 (@ 16.5 miles)
I started yelling out my teammate, Emily’s, name so that I could start with her. I found her and made it to her with a minute or so before a quick prayer and the gun going off. I was not too worried about where I was in regards to the women’s field, but I wanted to stay in a pack riding those first 2 miles to the single track so I pushed the start a little more than I felt comfortable. Climbing up the road leading to the single track, I notice a tall, skinny looking guy in what looked to be a gray TruckerCo kit fixing a flat or something. Before I know for certain, I yell out, "Greggy?!" and I hear some sort of unhappy response confirming it is my former teammate, Greggy. Having mechanical issues so early in such a long race sucks...
I was the first into the single track in the group of people I was with and I started to feel cold water pouring on me. I was extremely confused and concerned trying to figure out how or why I was getting water all over myself—also concerened because it was a bit chilly in the morning. It was hard to figure out what was happening while also riding single track and making sure you don’t crash or slow down too much because there were a lot of people behind me. I was also too stubborn to actually stop to figure out what was going on. I discovered the Big Bite Valve on my Camelback came off somehow, causing the water from my bladder to just flow out. It seems 3-year-old Angel Baby Noah had a little fun with me (he likes to pull pranks on different people on the team). I tried to position the mouth piece area in a way that would keep it from spilling or flowing out, but it only worked to an extent. I tried yelling behind me to my teammate, Emily the Wise and Badass, to let her know what happened. She is so full of wisdomosity and reminded me the camelback valves are lockable. So I locked the valve to stop water flow. Great, but now it was harder to get access to water in the single track. I could also tell I had too much psi in my tires which caused for a sloppier and less pleasant experience shredding the majority of the ST that makes up the C100. Boo. Again, very stubborn because I did not want to stop before the first Aid Station. I finally gave in a few miles before AS1 and I was so much happier.
Once I got out of the ST, I started to play catch-up with nutrition because I could tell I was already getting hungry and behind schedule to eat around every hour. I asked anyone and everyone I could while I was at the first 3 aid stations if they have an extra Big Bite Valve for my Camelback with no luck. No one had even heard of that happening before--so be warned!
Sadly, the pace I was comfortable with holding left me by myself for most of the race--spending a few miles with one or two different riders total so I listened to music to keep my thoughts from straying to stressful thoughts about internship. My mini goal was to make it to Aid 4/5--focused on tackling the Cohutta 100 one section at a time.
Aid Station #3/6 (Between miles 36-51)
I started to feel much more energetic and stronger partway to Aid 4/5. I was getting more and more excited because I was getting closer to the Mulberry Gap and I just get really excited when I’ve been somewhere before.
I noticed a green Honda Element driving towards me and I wondered if it was Wessypoo (AKA Wesley Lamberson) and it was! I yelled and he stopped and I went back to hug and chit chat with him briefly. As I continued on, I started seeing the top guys going by (including Nayno and Trevor) and I would whoop or yell encouragement going by (or You go, Glen Coco!).
As I started the descent down PP Mtn. I started to cry I was so happy. I mean, I didn’t full on sob like I wanted to (it would have been very difficult riding down a mountain), but I was so overwhelmed by beauty, happiness, excitement, and how fortunate I was to be there racing my mountain bike in TN/GA on a beautiful day with lots of awesome people. I felt like Buddy the Elf in the movie Elf when he gets excited about Santa—that’s how I felt about Mulberry Gap and seeing the overlook on the way down Potatopatch Mountain (I had guessed that the climb up to Bear Creek trail at MG was Potato patch but I was not 100% while looking at the course map) so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the overlook.
Aid 4 - PINHOTI & MULBERRY GAP - Aid 5
My energy was high as I rolled into Aid 4 and grabbed my delicious PB&J to snack on throughout the lollipop of the CH1 course. I was psyched to shred part of the super smooth, fun and flowy Pinhoti trail and ride by Mulberry Gap before heading back up to Aid Station 5.
I talked to Greggy (who did not have as good of luck with his bike) at Aid 5 before starting my trek back up Potato Patch Mountain. It was getting really hot and I made the painful mistake of putting my extra (empty at the time) Camelback bladder and extra MTB tube I dropped at the aid station in my Camelback pouch so that I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to get it back later. The extra weight killed my lower back and did not help with getting up that 6 mile long mountain. It was almost as good of an idea as Miley Cyrus’ music video for her song ‘Wrecking Ball’. I kicked myself for bringing it with me and could not wait to get to the next Aid Station so that I could leave that stuff there to get taken back.
It took FOREVER to get to that 6th Aid. I rode as fast as a woolly worm inching up a string at the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, NC up that mountain. I even stopped once or twice to take in the scenery and stretch my back (that was extremely unhappy about the extra weight).
Between Aid 7, 8 and Finish:
I did not realize just how much I had climbed until I got to that 78ish mark (after Aid Station 2/6. It felt SO GOOD to just keep flying downhill after so much climbing. I struggled after Aid 7 (grabbed 1/2 a PBJ and downed some other solid food--was getting tired of "race food". My main thoughts consisted of and rotated between:
1) Dreaming about real food I wanted to eat: BBQ, fajitas with Dos Equis Amber, salad, pizza...When am I not thinking about food?
2) Jumping into a pool or the Ocoee River.
3) Please let me be back already. Am I almost there yet?
4) I do not want to bonk but I am so tired of eating the food I have that I do not want to stop to get out of my Camelback.
5) Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling (Similar to Dory's Just Keep Swimming song in Finding Nemo).
I got to the last aid station 8 minutes before the cut-off (I had no clue I was pushing it that close). There was a young man at that aid station that I had seen at an aid station earlier. I remember one of the volunteers asking him how old he was and I cannot remember for sure, but I think he said 14 or 15 (very impressive!). We rode together for about 2 miles on the Thunder Rock Express and then he passed me and continued on ahead of me. I wanted to talk to him, but I was just hanging on and trying to finish these last unrelenting miles of climbing then crazy downhill as fast as possible--needing all of the energy I could muster.
As I finished, I pulled up to delicious food, huge smiles and congratulations from my teammates and other new friends, and a very special Cohutta 100 Finisher's mug! Yayyyy! It felt SOOOO GOOD to take my MTB shoes off and fill my tummy with veggie burrito and sweet potato fries. My CatEye said I finished in 12:06:46 hours of riding time and my overall time was 12 hours and 50 minutes. Geez. I would have liked to have finished faster, but I spent way too much time between stops, visiting with old friends (totally worth it!) and the extra time from the extra weight going up PP Mtn.
The dementors did not get to me this NUE race like they did at Fool’s Gold 100 this past August. My Honey Badger Patronus got stronger and I learned more about eating during long races and had a better set-up which helped with accessing my nutrition. I get most of my tips and information from my teammate Emily, who told me about bento boxes and Bonk Breaker bars. My main nutrition came from Bonk Breaker bars, Hammer gels from the aid stations, Endurolytes (great stuff), pb&j sandwiches, lots of water and Carbo Rocket 333.
CONGRATS to all of the finishers--especially the women! My Team Noah Foundation teammates, new Toasted Head Racing friends, and former teammate, German Bermudez kicked some major booty! So proud of you all! :)
Thank you to everyone that put this race on (Charles Nelson, Trail Head Outdoors, Lyle, Steve, etc.)! Super awesome help and support all around. I had fun getting to spend the weekend with friends and other awesome people, and I definitely want to come back again next year!
Next up, Mohican 100 in 9 days!
Lots of love,
2014 is already approaching halfway and we didn't even take the time to show off our snazzy new kits and thank our sponsors for helping us on our mission to raise awareness about our foundation. Shame on us. We are truly appreciative and proud to represent you on every adventure we embark upon!
Dwayne Custom House Inc.
Stika Bros. Cement Contractors
Trek Bicycle Stores of St. Louis
Phase Training with Zach Brace
I Sell STL with Rebecca Brooks
We also don't want to forget anyone that has made a donation of $$, time, or purchased any of the Team Noah Foundation Apparel, we couldn't do it without you!!
We have many more adventures left for the year and many more stories to share. Stay Tuned For More!