Kevin’s LandRun Ride

“I think I’m done processing Saturday.  Land Run was intense on every level but I’m so glad I went this year.  This was my first race in 3 years, first on single speed, and first real race on a course we knew going in would have miles of thick mud.  At the time I thought at least 10% of the 107 miles was on foot in the soup but looking back at the numbers it was more like 4 miles.  The constant on/off can ride/can’t ride during the first leg made it feel like more 🙂

I have to say the camaraderie at gravel events was something I missed the last few years.  The only super-intense “don’t get in my way” types seemed to be recent roadie converts to the dirt.  I came away from this with at least 3 new friends and a dozen I haven’t connected with for a long time.  A few (mostly single speeders) I wound up riding with off & on for the day & that made the personal low points much easier to endure.

So the race itself.  I tried to stay towards the front to avoid the inevitable stack ups and brake-happy riders that tend to filter to the back.  The mud spray was flying as soon as we hit the dirt – my glasses were coated & came off within a few miles.25649328351_bc7b418831_o

  I stayed to the front for the first 26 miles or so, rowing up the hills & staying off the brakes on the way down.  Around that point I saw an obviously frustrated woman pulled to the side trying to sort out a flat in the thick mud.  I pulled over to try to help – wound up giving her a tube & using my pump to get her up & running.  Tried to offer some encouragement & was on my way again, much farther back in the pack.  I think that was good for me.  At the front I probably would have blown up in another 10 miles.  After that stop I backed off a little, saving something for the second half.
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Made it to the checkpoint in Perry at mile 52.  Superb checkpoint.  I had used a lot of water helping that lady clean off her wheel enough to get the flat fixed, so that was an immediate need, as was a hose to knock off at least a little of the mud from the bike and myself.  Grabbed a drink, the volunteers shoved some orange slices & a banana in my hand, got the bike washed, and got what I needed from my drop bag.  As I was about to roll out one of the single speeders I’d hung out with the previous day rolled in.  I stuck around, just bs’ing until he was ready to go.  We rolled out together (wound up being about a 30 minute stop).  We stayed together as much as possible to the finish.
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The second segment’s roads were MUCH better.  We were able to ride all but a quarter mile.  The rollers & hills were unrelenting all the way back to Stillwater but that was a welcome change from the walking earlier in the day.  Rolled across the line after 8 hours, 43 minutes, landing at 62nd overall & 9th single speeder.
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Couldn’t be happier with the finish.  Bobby Wintle, the race promoter, practically tackled me with a hug before I even got off my bike, as he did with every one of the 300+ finishers.” -Kevin C.
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Jim

Cup O'Dirt Admin

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