That would be the lesson I learned yesterday! That or at least look at the finish times from last year!
As I stood at check in at 8:30 in the morning yesterday. I casually asked the guy checking me in how long this race usually takes. His reply defiantly got my attention! He told me the pros usually finish in about 4 and a half hours, and last year most people finished around 7 to 8. Then he tells me that the cutoff for the last rest stop is 6pm and if you leave there after 5:30 you must have lights on your bike!
I was dumb founded at that statement. I never even considered needing lights to finish a race that starts at 10am in the morning! Before the day was over I had my answer. That was the hardest freaking bike race I have ever done! Hands down! I walked I carried I damn near had to swim! Yes we had 4 river crossings that were way wider than I ever thought we would encounter.
The first one being the deepest and all of them being cold, really cold! Oh' did I mention it was raining and 45 degrees at the start. Although the rain stopped the cold never seemed to stop. At one time on top of one of the mountains it was still so foggy you could only see about 20ft in front of you!
When I hit the second rest station and I found out I was only at the halfway mark and I was 3 and a half hours in I just shook my head! Then to top the moment off the volunteer said I had about an hour and half climb in front of me followed by one bombing decent. Then the last mountain!
By the time I got to the last check point I was 6 and half hours into my day and about to croak! That my friends was the hardest bicycle race I have ever been apart of. I waded rivers, I about froze, I crashed over the bars twice and when I was done I said never again!
Then I had the worlds greatest burrito and a couple of beers, climbed into the car and the kid drove me home. We got home about 7:30 last night and I went to bed talking about how I would never do a race like that again. Then I woke up this morning and I swear it wasn't as bad as I thought yesterday.
It's amazing how time fixes things........... Next year will be here before you know it!!