Very quickly my wave was off. Hitting dirt for the first time I was immediately conscious of my skyrocketing heart rate. I hit 160 pretty quickly even though I didn’t feel like I was putting out a lot of effort. I chalked it up to the heat and kept an eye on it.
The first climb was a long one and I settled into a comfortable pace and kept at it. I passed a lot of people which I found a little odd. Hitting the single track there was a huge road block. Standing for a couple minutes wasn’t any fun.
Once we got moving it was slow going for a while. I got around a few people and was able to pick up the pace a bit, until the next roadblock.
Once we got going though it was a lot of fun. My bike does excel on the downhill bits and it was fun to open it up and rip down some of the trails.
I was trailing one guy and as we rounded a corner I saw a log ride so I went for it. Halfway down the other guy wiped out and he ended up catching himself on the log. I surprised him as I passed him up on the log.
I bypassed aid station 1, but stopped at the second. I had some of the most amazing watermelon and topped up with water.
The next grind was brutal. Full sun and no breeze at all. Getting back into the single track was awesome and the descent back to the finish line was great. At one point the trail opened up into this amazing meadow. Purple flowers all around, a small singletrack through the middle, and full mountain view in the background.
Nearing the end I saw Sue and Amy so I made a quick pit stop for some family time. It was a nice boost to see them.
Crossing the line I was pretty pumped on how the day went. I stuck to my hydration and nutrition plan, didn’t push too hard, hard no issues, had a lot of fun, and ended up with a time I was happy with. Clean up time. I handed off my bike to the wash station, got it loaded on the truck, the headed for the first bus off to Powell River.
Waiting for the ferry I chatted with a few people, then did the typical dip in the ocean to cool down the legs a bit.
The welcome in Powell River was pretty amazing. Tons of people lining the dock cheering and waving at us. Signs welcoming us to Powell River and a quartet of pipers off to the side.