IRONMAN GNCC 2021 - I FINALLY RIPPED THE BAND AID OFF
I FINALLY RIPPED THE BAND AID OFF!
I found out my van was going to be ready for its for trip so I felt like I HAD to go to Ironman GNCC and not to spectate. I’ve had the largest itch to race! The last time I raced was November 2020. MORE THAN READY FOR THIS.
This was my first GNCC ever racing/attending. It was for sure a different atmosphere and pretty chaotic but very RAD. I’ve never watched an ATV race before and that was neat. Looking at the trails after they had been on them was completely different than anything I have ever seen. Like it was wild.
It rained Sunday morning and never stopped. Lots of down pours. The 10AM race got delayed and I ended up sitting on the line for a hour. It rained basically the entire time leading up to the actual start. The field was turning into a pond.
10 secondssssssss!! FINALLY, IT WAS GO TIME! My bike didn’t want to start for some odd reason and by the time I finally got it to start, I was practically taking off with the row behind me. I brushed it off and rolled with it. Crap happens. By the end of the field, I passed two girls. I passed a few more in the first 100 feet of the woods. Shortly after, I came up to the first pile up. Someone pointed me into a line and I passed like 50 people! It was nuts! It seemed like every half mile there was some kind of “technical” area that was loaded with people wrecked, stopped, or laying there. I focused on choosing good lines and not waiting around. I felt like I excelled on the hill climbs and navigating most ruts. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of fall overs, wrecks, and getting stuck in ruts, face plants, rolling down a hill because I couldn’t stand without falling. One wreck left me stuck under my bike and another rider rode up and told me to grab on to his arm and so I did and as he rode off, he pulled me out from under my bike. That was pretty dang funny.
The most memorable moment of the day is what ended my race early. I was 7.5 – 8ish miles in and was in a field section. So far, the ruts in the fields weren’t super bad and the standing water wasn’t super deep. I was trying to get around a rider and got stopped dead in my tracks. The rut was so deep and full of water, it literally brought me to a dead stop and almost threw me off the bike. IT WAS DEEP! Like up to my gas tank deep. Bike sucked some water in and wouldn’t run. I didn’t think leaving it sit in a water hole was a great idea so I got off my bike and tried to get it out. I mentally prepared myself by saying “I can deadlift this out of here, no big deal!!” I shoved my arms down in the water and wrapped them around my front wheel. I was able to lift the front wheel up and almost out but couldn’t get it high enough. After talking to another rider, it is best to focus on the rear wheel and getting it out and then proceed on dragging the bike out after the rear is out. I realized; I was going to need help so I decided to just chill sitting Indian style on my bike. I was out there for at least 40 minutes. I got super cold because it was still raining and I was drenched. Finally, the neighbors found me. They rolled up and was like “Holy shit! We heard you were stuck but didn’t think it was THAT BAD!!” They helped me get my bike out and I tried to get it started again with no luck. I got off to push my bike into a position to where it could be hooked up to be towed and I ended up face planting into that deep rut. I guess it was my time to go for a swim lol. We finally got it to where we could tow it out. It was a super cold ride back. I got lots of cheers and laughs from fellow racer’s as we arrived back to the pits.
I really did not know what to expect with my physical capabilities coming back from a shoulder injury especially in the gnarly conditions but I am more than pleased with how it handled it. Everything felt easy. It was very odd to me. I have kept myself conditioned throughout the entire injury (since January) and have a very solid base following my own training programs. But now it is time to build and get to work for 2022 prep! I want to thank everyone in my corner throughout this injury and constantly pushing me to level up. I also want to thank my sponsors who are still helping and supporting after a full season off. I appreciate everything!
Lastly, I just want to say I had an absolute blast and cheesing the entire time! I AM STOKED TO BE BACK TO RACING!