Saturday, November 15, 2008

la ruta '08 - day three

News from Travis about Day three's climb up and down the Irazu Volcano. I can only imagine how it must be without rain. Last year we were met with nothing but rain. However, it looks like heat was the name of the game. You never win..

Day 3 has come and gone. There are many different 'races' in this race. The winners were finishing as I was still just under 3 hrs from finishing. This puts me in the survival race just to keep the body working. Everything hurts and everyone has their own issues going into day 3. Then there is the race to drop ones bike at the mechanics, getting your race bag, into the typically cold communal shower, a meal and shuttle to hotel. It's about calories and rest.

Today was only about 8000 feet of climbing over 39 miles or so up the irazu volcano. The profile is deceiving as down is just as hard as up. Climb up above the clouds to almost 9000 feet went much better this year and there was no rain. Last year it was the coldest wettest most henoius decent and this year it was dry but what they call roads here we call a scree field. Granted in these descents there are always stinger of climbs some worse than strand hill climb. This descent is one that kills brain cells from the ratteling. Last year it was in torrential rain so this year was nice to be dry and only arm warmers.

Altitude, in some clouds and cool weather brought out Lisas best and she climbed and climbed to no other. Then it was my job to lead the way on the descents yet there were no lines just descending by brail through baby to adult size head rocks. It shakes the whole body all the while hanging on to near catastrophe. Words and pictures can't describe.

The views were killer in and out of clouds when last year I was following becky descend like a maniac as I approached hypothermia and could barely see in the fog.

In my own race for calories and fluids we made it to the hotel pool by 3:30 with a beer in one hand and water in the other. We scored the closest hotel as some are over an hour from the finish.

I had targeted 6hrs for today but turned 6:45 so I am consistantly 45min to 1 hour short of my daily goals but heck 1 hr or so faster than last year. What's it really matter when I get a great view from the back 1/2 of the back and easily making the time cuts.

Last year I got incredibly sick after day 3 and could not start day 4 so tomorrow is new territory for me with only 6000 vert, 78 miles and the infamous 20+ miles of train tracks.

This is not a mountain bike nor a road race it's la ruta and to quote 5 time la ruta vetran matt luhn "la ruta kills brain cells".


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