November 04, 2019 - Great race until the thick of the muddy sections took all of the energy I needed for a stronger finish.
The race started off perfect, at 38 degrees it took me about 5 miles to get warm and get my pace steady, but I was on comfortable and at a good speed to finish faster than anticipated. Then at mile 9, I rode up on a line of people walking through some unridable sections of the trail, which happens in small sections when there are muddy conditions for this race. This turned out to be no 'small section', but instead was a 30 minute, 1-2 mile hike through mud, leaved, and snow in the middle of the race. The entire trail was one long line of racers walking their bikes until the end of one downhill section where we were able to get back on the bike and start riding again. Once we got back on the bikes however, the struggles continued for me. The thick mud took a lot of power just to keep moving in, let alone traing to keep a strong pace. This theme continued until somewhere after mile 19, and by that time I had spent so much energy battling the mud, I had to take it easy to have some energy left for the hills at the end of the race. While my final time was far longer than expected, my position overall was where I was hoping to be this year. I have been steadily climbing up in the overall standings at this race and I hope to enter Iceman more consistently and continue this upward trend. So while the race itself turned into a "ride to finish" type of race, I am happy to have finished and now look forward to tearing down and deep-cleaning my bike and preparing for winter workouts.