More race photos from the Furnace Creek 508

They really take a long time to grow. 

Climbing Jubilee Pass 1293 feet the first of two climbs out of Death Valley on the southern end.  This is the morning after the windstorm that came through Death Valley.  This picture was taken at 8:21 am more than 25 hours into the race and only 310 miles or so into it.  The windstorm was about 25 mph steady winds with gusts up to 70 mph. 


Power Charts from Training Peaks

First up is the Performance Management Chart.  Notice how my Blue line is declining, my Pink line is declining and my Yellow line is rising.  In laymen terms this is what this chart should look like before a major or goal event.  Blue line is my Chronic Load or my level of fatigue for the last 6 weeks.  The Pink line is the amount of stress that I am putting on my body on a weekly basis.  And the Yellow line is the amount of rest or the balance between the stress and the rest — or adaption to that stress.  It gets more technical than that but you would like to see the Yellow line rising with the Blue line declining so that you are fit and rested for your goal event. 
Next up is the first 29 hours and 50 minutes of my Power Tap download into TraningPeaks software.  The CPU memory is only 30 hours so I have to use two CPU’s.  I guess they don’t expect Ultracyclists to be using power meters for more than 30 hours;)  Well maybe someday I’ll get faster at the 508 and won’t need to CPU’s.  You’ll see modest numbers because I had to conserve a lot of energy going through Death Valley not knowing what was looming for the next 200 miles of the course. 
And now Part 2.  The remaining 7 hours and 42 mins.  More modest numbers because heck I’m getting tired now;) 
But what about this number 15,758 kjs– yeah that’s huge!
kjs are like calories and significantly more accurate measurement of energy expenditure when taken from your power meter than when taken from your heartrate monitor calorie calculator.  My guess is those looking at their heartrate data might have as much as 20,000 calories on their watch.

More Race Photos from Furnace Creek 508

3 miles from the summit of a climb Brandy with a cute drawing made me smile.  I was having digestive issues and any little thing can help your spirits.  Notice the slow hand jive between Brandy and I.  Brandy has a way of always knowing when I’m not feeling well and she always finds a way to make me feel better.
Somewhere between California City (mile 82) and Trona (mile 152)
Climbing to Randsburg and Jo’burg
How do you communicate with your rider?  Well like Colin is doing here run next to him, feed him, motivate him and tell him you are there to help.  That’s the dedication that keeps the rider in the race. Note the view in the background as well.
I love the open roads of the 508.  Here I’m heading to Trona (mile 152)
Brandy relaying a mesage from a Facebook post. 
Thank you Rick for taking the time to post messages.  They were relayed to me and they kept me motivated.  DNF’ing is much more a remote possibility when you have a strong support group at home cheering you on!
                   More open roads.

A successful hand-up is done on a climb– thank you Julie!

Another successful hand-up.  Nice photography work Julie/Colin
I love this shot!

Heading to Towne Pass

Furnace Creek 508 Solo Finisher…again

The very first thing I would like to do is thank my crew; Brandy, Colin and Julie.  No Solo Finisher is ever …Solo! Thank you for sacrificing a long weekend of your personal lives to help me in pursuit of my FOURTH FURNACE CREEK 508 SOLO FINISH.  Thank you guys you kept my fed, hydrated, motivated and safe!

Next  I’d like to thank my friends who followed me on Facebook and my blog.  Your comments kept me motivated and laughing THANK YOU!  Brandy would like to post more but getting coverage is the only thing shutting her up 😉 JK…I love you babe!

Next I’d like to say except for my Fixed Gear run in 2007, this was my hardest earned finish out of four visits to the Furnace Creek 508.  The winds between Furnace Creek Time Station #3 (252.89) and Shoshone #4 (326.29) were brutal.  Keeping the bike upright was a significant challenge when I was going less than 4 mph because of the 35+ mph winds. I actually think the gusts were much higher than that my guess at least 50 mph.  Would I say that?  Well, I often stick my hand out of the window while driving around in town and the winds in Death Valley on Saturday night felt very similar to that.  Bet you were waiting for a much more technical answer huh? Huge props to Brandy, my crew chief who at 5:12 am (gotta look at the download what if it was 5:08 cool huh?) offered me a seat in the van to wait it out.
What’s the official word?  From the National Weather Service (it’s a site) they say…

04 Oct 6:00 am    71    25    18    S    28    
04 Oct 5:00 am    72    28    19    SSW    27  
04 Oct 4:00 am    73    30    20    SSW    18  
04 Oct 3:00 am    76    31    19    SSW    15  
04 Oct 2:00 am    78    28    16    S    25    
04 Oct 1:00 am    79    27    15    SSE    23    
04 Oct 12:00 am    81    27    14    S    20    
03 Oct 11:00 pm    82    27    13    S    24    
03 Oct 10:00 pm    84    26    12    S    23    
03 Oct 9:00 pm    86    28    12    S    23  
03 Oct 8:00 pm    88    27    11    SSE    22  
03 Oct 7:00 pm    89    28    11    S    20   


And last but certainly not least the racers and crews you DNF’d this year’s event I wish to say if you gave it your all and you left it all “out there” then don’t worry too much about it.  It was really a tough year with the headwinds.   This event isn’t easy but when you add a little weather (high heat, high winds etc.) it makes it that much tougher.  Remember it’s called “the toughest 48 hours in sport”. 

By my calculation there were 59 Solo Starters two of them Fixed Gear.
There were 7 Solo women including one Fixed Gear.  There was only one solo woman finisher–  14% Finishing rate
There were 52 Solo men including one Fixed Gear.  There were only 28 solo men finishers–  53.8% Finishing rate

For the Solo field there were 29 Finishers out of 59– 49% Finishing Rate

Also interesting is that of the DNF’s in the Solo Field 20 (out of 30) were veterans of the Furnace Creek 508.

Just goes to show not only was it a tough year but there are no guarantees you’ll finish just because you’ve finished before.  Far too often I get comments from friends and customers who don’t know enough about Ultra cycling say things like “Oh you’ve done it before you’ll finish no problem.”  No, just ask those veterans  that DNF’d if they thought it was in the bag at the start line at 7am Saturday morning and then again in Death Valley during the windstorm.

Race report and pictures as soon as I can get my life squared away from this race.

All for now.

Brandy checking in. The crew and I are in Baker. We left George about 34 miles back, stocked with nutrition and flat repair so we could come ahead to Baker to have the blown van tire replaced. We are at A1 Towing and Tires and Ramon is helping us out! Thanks Ramon!!!

It’s been rough going so far. George broke the cardinal ultracycling rule and changed his nutrition before the race. He was bogged down and nauseous for quite awhile until we were able to get him back on a familiar nutrition protocol.

He looked great climbing Towne Pass and kindly rode the brakes for us on the descent since the spare tire on the van had a max speed limit of 50mph.
The headwind coming into Furnace Creek was very strong and in Death Valley itself it was relentless. 35+mph winds and George rarely topped 4-5mph. As the hours dragged on I asked him to take a break and wait it out an hour. Renewed he was able to fight again!