Short and Sweet: Donna and me were 1st place women's duo with 8 laps total (and not by default! and the women's division was "open" with all ages); and Donna's hubby's team, Brett Weiser/Don Pagano/Zach Adams were the TEAM of the day, and in our eyes WERE First. They raced harder than anyone there, battling it out for 1st the entire duration of the 12-hour period. And if anyone knows about Relays, you know what its like when two teams are running minutes apart -- its hard, chaotic pushing each lap - to the point of blow-up, throw-up, and riding harder than you ever knew you could. The Troegenators were awesome - they raced an incredible 2nd in men's expert.
Donna and me each did 4 laps. While Donna wasn't keen on the very twisty, turny, loggy, rooty, off-camber, no-rocks course, I was happy there were no climbs to hold me back. It was an 8 mile course similar to the RICHMOND XTERRA course (this location was 1 hour north of Richmond), and for those racing MASS, it most resembled Sewell, with a lot more turns and switchbacks. I liked the course once I got in the groove of how-to-brake-on-turns and not lose too much momentum. Donna started for our Duo at race start time of Midnight, and we rotated each lap up to the ninth. The fun part of these races is letting your team mate know you are coming into transition so they are ready to roll when you turn over the baton (and at night, you have no idea who's coming - so you need something to let them know). Prior years we used a zingy power Puff girl thingy that kinda whistled; this year our battle cry was "VILLY FISHA!" At 6:00am, we realized another female duo was only 20 minutes behind us! (they weren't on the roster when we picked up our packets). So we both really started racing - up to that point we were merely riding (at least I was!) My 3rd lap rocked and rolled - I connected with the bike, the trail, and whole wheat fig newtons. Everything came together for that lap and I was thinking how my new training plan and coaching is paying off. My 4th lap started rusty, but got oiled about 20 minutes in and started rocking and rolling again. I was pushing to get back so Donna could get out for the 9th so were sure to nab the win. Donna felt ready to do her 5th lap if needed and I was a very happy camper she was ready for #5 'cause I didn't think I could do 5 at that point. But when I came to the finish, Donna and Rick said we didn't need the 9th, the other other team finished with 7 laps. So we were done with 4 laps each and a win. Once again, we both agreed this is another chapter closing in our racing books. Neither of us are planning to do any more 12-24 hours races anytime soon. Especially a midnight start. We tried to sleep from 7:00ish to 11:00ish, but they had a friggin' band playing during that time! Earplugs helped a little, but not too much. The 5 hour drive home was long and tiring.