Well, seems like Shari set the standard last weekend for what truly constitutes a “suffer-fest”. And since no one actually puked (and subsequently swallowed said puke) during the First (Annual?) Beachburg Mountain Bike Enduro, I guess we can’t actually call it a suffer fest. But given the driving rain, snow, near sub-zero temperature, constant wind, and repeated beaver-pond wadding, Suffer-Fest Light seems an apt description.
The race saw a good chunk of the Fiera Ottawa crew out last Saturday morning, with myself, Mike, and Simone lining up in the rain for our first ever mountain bike race.
On the plus side? The rain stopped briefly. There where no black flies. Every competitor got a free gear bag from Algonquin college that came in really handy at the end of the race so my filthy, wet gear didn’t ruin Mike and Simone’s car. And only around 25 people even started the race so I was headed to my best finish ever in a bike race, no matter what.
On the down side? When it stopped raining it started snowing instead. What seemed like too much of the race was exposed to the full force of the wind on soft gravel roads, which resulted in frozen thumbs and sand between my teeth that I still haven’t gotten rid of. The course was 49 km, not the 40 km advertised (and as it turned out, some of us where tuned like precision machines, set to go exactly 40 km, no more, no less).
In the end, Mike and Simone raced hard for a little over 40 km. I suffered the humiliation of losing to 3 guys all over 40 years old… but led my fellow < 40 whipper-snappers across the line in just over 3 hours.
Full results here (original timing sheet no less – we know how to put on professional races here in Ontario). You’ll have to take my word that I was #104.