Those are the words of my El Toreo teammate Rev. Warren Carswell (Methodist minister) after he rolled across the finish line at this year's Southside Scramble. He, like everyone else, was battling the soaring temperatures more than any rival on this day.
The heat hit Pookie very hard. Immediately after she finished (#1 35+ Sport Women, #1 overall Sport Women) she was having a hard time with nausea. I offered up a nice ice cold bottle of water from the cooler that she nursed for a while. Then it was a bottle of recovery drink (Hammer HEED + Protein powder). Still she felt awful. After about 1/2 hour, she was feeling a bit better, so I went to procure some post-race grub. A few minutes later I got word that she was really feeling bad. I had the EMTs come to lend a hand, pump her full of Gatorade, water and oxygen and help get her core temperature down.
After about an hour, we finally got her into the Jeep, cranked the AC and got her feeling better. She's back to normal now and still drinking lots of fluids to ensure a complete recovery.
This was by far the hottest race I've ever been in. A few years back I dropped out of the Dragon's Back race near Roanoke with temps around 90. This was worse. Luckily, I was better prepared leading up to this race. I don't know what the termometer said at the end of the race, but I overheard someone say it was 95. Now when I say better prepared, I mean better prepared to finish, not to race all that well. I have never been able to cope with hot weather. I'm a big fan of Spring and Fall races. Give me drizzle, arm warmers and a vest over this heat any day! I knew I was going to be miserable, so I planned accordingly.
My three main objectives going in were:
- Have Fun
I knew this would be a great ride. No matter how I rode, I wanted to enjoy all of the great trails this venue has o offer. I enjoy riding and racing here, although I don't get down to this neck of the woods too often. The fine folks at SVMBA have done an awesome job with the trail system in Danville, and I admire what they have been able to provide for the enjoyement of the local MTB community. This year we had 8.5 miles of mostly twisty, somewhat technical singletrack trails per lap. In the singlespeed class we had two laps on the slate for this race. This place is full of twists, turns, roots and ups and downs and I enjoyed the privilege of racing on it. Thanks SVMBA!
- Ride as well as you can
I pushed myself to the limit of what my body was willing to give me. I feel pretty good about it. Like a mentioned before, I don't do well at all in the heat. For me to finish strong (3rd place in SS, about 30 seconds out of 2nd place) in this kind of nasty heat tells me that I may be doing more things right than I used to. Last season I don't think I would have been able to finish a race like this. If I could do anything differently it would be that I would have worn a hydration pack. The tight trails made it very difficult to reach down and fetch a bottle, drink and return it to the bottle cage.
Along with finishing is knowing that I recovered well. I took in the proper amout of fluids post-race and was able to feel pretty good in about 15 minutes.
This is the second time that I've participated in this race, and it's been a lot of fun on both occasions. The City of Danville and SVMBA have teamed up to create a great event, and I'll be back next year again - but I'll be wearing a hydration pack!