Sunday, August 03, 2014

Revelstoke Steamer - Stage 4

Stage 4 was the hill climb race up Mt Revie this evening which I just found out about this morning while on the group road ride. The other 3 stages within two days...

Stage 1 - yesterday (Saturday), mileage and elevation ride in Penticton - Green Mtn Rd, Apex climb, Yellow Lake, Twin Lakes, Green Lake, Eastside Rd along Skaha Lake. 

Stage 2 - this morning (Sunday), wicked hard training ride with the coffee gang in Kelowna. 

Stage 3 - Sunday afternoon, last minute decision to enter race, quick pack up within 1 hour, 2 1/2 hour hot weather drive to Revie in long weekend holiday traffic. Running on adrenaline until 70k to Revie.

Found out Gordon, my Revie friends Jan and Alan's 18-year old son was hopping in the race with no training, on Alan's old road bike with Prairie gearing. Unloaded a couple bags and rode with Gordon to sign-on at 5 pm.

2012 photo of race start - photo

With each rider leaving 30 seconds apart, I was the 3rd last rider to go. Course started just below the highway overpass going 25 km up to the parking lot, then another 500m goat path to the top.

My 30-sec guy was in sight. The two guys starting last passed me in a flash. Otherwise, it was lonely for the first while. Kept a solid pace, wattage seemed high. Super hot as I was sweating profusely thinking a 1/2 bottle of water was not going to be enough.

Seemed to get closer to my 30-sec guy as we both began passing racers with earlier start times. 45 min into the race, boom!, my wattage was harder to maintain, my energy level crashed. I started digging out the bits of dates I had stored in my pocket. 

When I passed Gordon wearing his Camelbak, I asked if he needed his water bottle. Luckily he had enough so gave me his bottle. I maintained a decent pace. It helped to have riders to catch.

From the 4 km to go sign, it seemed to take forever. Wattage was low, energy lower. I had not felt this depleted in an event since pre-health issues in 2007. It was now a cooler temperature and I was getting cold.

2012 photo up goat path - photo

Nice to see signage marking each km from 5 km to go. Reaching the top parking lot, there was a crowd cheering and pointing the way up the last goat trail to the finish.

Must have only been 500m in distance, though I inched along. I needed 100m markings! The finish line was not visible and I was running on fumes. Even asked a woman walking her dog "how much further" in a desperate voice. 

Wildflowers from 2012 race - photo

Finally made it to the top which was hidden around the last bend. Despite my fatigue, I did notice the beautiful wildflowers roadside and caught the mountain views when I could - outstanding!

Quickly, rode back down to the parking lot to get my dry clothes sent up earlier. Off went the sweaty jersey, on went a nice warm jacket. I was still freakin' freezing though not shuddering. I was obviously so depleted from sugars that my body was robbing me of any warmth.

Normally, the descent is the reward after a climb like that. I had no desire. Jumped into Jan & Alan's vehicle as they came out to cheer.

Lots of learning that I did not allow enough time for recovery from the morning's event, and crazy hot drive after.  I had expected a hard effort double workout day though not the sugar depletion energy zap. Still, super glad I went! It was more the angst to pack in a flurry without preparation.

Awesome organizer Brendan MacIntosh from Flowt Bikes and many volunteers, with wicked food provided by the local deli La Baguette.

Great video coverage of the race and scenery from 2012. Small crowd of 48 riders though awesome to see many racers out of the woodwork.

My race stats:
25.12 km
16.3 avs
186w avg

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