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Keith Bontrager diary: The first (and only!) six hours

By:
Greg Johnson
Published:
September 28, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 22:43 BST
Edition:
MTB news & racing round-up for September 28, 2007

I took two quarts of fluids with me on the first lap. Based on the pre-ride measurements, that would...

I took two quarts of fluids with me on the first lap. Based on the pre-ride measurements, that would keep me close to hydrated. I also stayed topped up well the night before (not with beer) and drank a quart of Gatorade 20 minutes before the race started. I felt slightly full, a feeling that I don't like, but have come to expect before a long race.

The 1st lap went to plan. My pace was a little too high on a few occasions when I was trying to stay out of other rider's way on singletrack. They started the teams 5 minutes behind us and they caught me on the first singletrack section. After the first lap things strung out and it was easier to work out traffic issues. I finished it at 1:30 - I was on schedule.

But the plan was wobbling a bit. I lost my water bottle in some bumps early on the course so I didn't have the proper quantity of fluids. My Camelback was still there though and supplementing from water and Gatorade that was being handed up at two stations along the route offset the lost bottle a little. I didn't make up the entire bottle's worth. I also didn't weigh myself at the end of the lap because I felt OK, hot but not bad.

I increased the fluids for the second lap to make up for the lost bottle and I drank most of an extra bottle on the short paved section around the pits that I tossed back to Ray before heading out on the course. Having that bottle temporarily along with a cool towel on the back of my neck was in the plan for the first 6 hours. I had to drink it on a schedule and I didn't have to carry it up the hills.

About a mile into the second lap I started cramping. I'd actually picked the spot I thought I would cramp the lap before accurately. It wasn't intentional; the thought just came to me as I rode through the section. I didn't think it would happen on the second lap though. I was drinking so much I was feeling very bloated and burping Gatorade back up.

To read the complete diary entry, click here.

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