Stage 5 – Shosone to Baker

From the 508 website:

Stage Five: Shoshone to Baker, 56.3 miles. Elevation Gain: 2186′.

After an easy 750 feet climb up Ibex pass (Mountain Section Seven), there’s a killer, long downhill, then the road to Baker is mostly flat and straight. Watch for Baker’s world-famous, world’s largest thermometer in the distance. The crew should stock up on gas, ice and food in Baker as no supplies are available until the finish”

After a 15 minute stop at Shosone for a complete kit change and refueling the support vehicle we were off. It was 5:30 ish in the morning. I wanted to get to Baker as soon as possible. Baker by sunrise is a really nice goal. Something I had never considered. More importantly is doing the Kel-Baker climb before it heats up. Baker is always hot. There are always clear skies and the sun just beats down on you.

Here’s a picture taken in Shoshone at 5:31am

The course description says “easy”. And it is fairly easy when you are not tired or sleep deprived. Do you remember when I said that the great tailwinds would later become miserable headwinds? I experienced them going over Townes Pass. Now I am experiencing the headwinds on the way to Ibex Pass.

Here is a picture after descending Ibex Pass. 23 miles from Shoshone 30+ miles from Baker. The winds were slowing me down and it was warming up. I should have switched to my TT bike Portia but my undercarriage was in pain. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A TAILWIND! I kept saying to myself.

This was my lowest point of the race. I’m over the 24 hour point. I haven’t slept and we are 350 miles and over 25,000 feet of climbing into the race. Usually once the sun comes up I am invigorated. “It’s a new day!”

But this was a lull. I knew what it was. I could indentify it. I have had lulls in my Ultras before. That is the first step in overcoming your lull. Indentify it. Then think what can I do to get through it? What haven’t I been doing? What do I need to be doing? Clothing change? Equipment change? Hydration? Food? Massage?

Unlike most people I like to look at how far I have gone rather than look at how much I have left. I do that because I get charged when I realize that I have come 350 miles. That is more motivating to me than I only have 150 miles left.

Coming into Baker

My goal for Baker was 28 hours. I had lost the 2-3 hour cushion I had earlier in the race and I was down to less than an hour. I got in officially at 27 hours and 7 minutes. My average speed had dropped to 14.11 from the start. And the section that was supposed to have a tailwind took me 4:45 at an average speed of 11.84 mph.

Total time off the bike had gone up A LOT on this time station. 1 hour 20 previous now add another 45 minsutes for a total off the bike time of 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Baker 382.6 10/05 10:07 27:07:00 14.11 04:45:00 11.84

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