Monday, September 27, 2010

End of Dad's Earthly Journey

Today marks the end of my dad's earthly journey.  I can't even begin to express my love and admiration for him.  He taught me how to ski and ride a bike, but more importantly he showed me how to be a better son, father and husband.  After 3+ days of emotionless sleep with no food or water, he teared up at about 2:00 this afternoon, then opened his eyes for the first time in days as the tears continued to flow and then quietly took his last breath as mom and many of the family stood and knelt by his side.  A very powerful and spiritual experience.

There will be a viewing at Nelson Mortuary in Logan this Thursday, September 30,  from 6:00-8:00PM  164 East 400 North.  Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 1, at 11:00 AM with a viewing from 9:30-10:30 AM at the 10th Ward Chapel on 500 East and 800 North, Logan, UT.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


11 Sept 2010   LOTOJA VIII

As my son, John, has pointed out, LOTOJA isn’t fun, but talking about it afterward is.  This was my 8th LOTOJA.  Three weeks ago after completing the Ultimate Challenge – 100 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing, I was thinking my LOTOJA preparation was not too bad, certainly much better than last year when we were between homes and jobs and better than my first LOTOJA in 2003 when I broke my collar bone in April and didn’t get back on the bike until mid-June and didn’t decide to attempt LOTOJA until Allen Barbieri talked me into it in mid-July.  Things change.  Three weeks ago I came down with bronchitis and had a pretty nasty cold and sore throat.  Finally last Sunday, 5 and a half days before LOTOJA, I went to the emergency room and got a prescription for some antibiotics in the hope that my health would turn the corner before Saturday.  My health improved considerably and by Saturday most, but not all, of the junk in my sinuses and lungs was gone.

About this same time, dad’s health started to fail at an accelerated pace.  He’s been battling Melanoma for a few years but in the last two weeks the tumors in his brain have sapped all his strength on his left side and he’s needed help getting in and out of bed, the bathroom, etc.  Last week he just didn’t have the strength to use his walker, so he’s been wheelchair bound and in need of more help than mom can provide.  He’s getting hospice care daily and one of my brothers or I stay the night and are there to help dad each morning, meal time and bedtime.  Dad’s health, business travel and the bronchitis meant my taper started 3 weeks early – but at least I was fresh.  My brother, Jake, posted an essay, ‘Life isn’t Fair’, that sums up many of the feelings I’ve had for the past few weeks.

New Blue ink for the Tattoo this year. 

Most of the riding I did in the two week run up was to test out my new Specialized Shoes.  My feet got so hot in my old Sidi’s at the Ultimate Challenge; I decided it was time to try something else.  The new shoes are white so they meet the “Official Rules of the European Cyclist”, and they are cooler.  The fit was good, but I had a little pressure on the top of my foot and a slight rub against my outside ankle, so I decided not to tempt fate and spend next season breaking them in and use the Sidi’s again this year.

Race day had perfect temps in the forecast – well maybe the first hour or two with temps in the 30’s and low 40’s was going to be chilly, but that’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make to have the afternoon in the low 60’s and upper 50’s.  Even the wind forecast was positive.  With a warming forecast, there was a chance for warmer southerly tail winds in Star Valley which has almost always greeted us with cross or headwinds.   Such a forecast meant that the course record set last year would likely be challenged – and indeed it was.

We had almost 30 of us get together for the final pre-race carbo load at Callaway’s in Smithfield.  It was much more relaxed going to Callaway’s again rather than enduring the ever increasing crowds at the Olive Garden like we have done for the past 3 years.  After dinner, we gathered at mom and dad’s house for some homemade peach ice cream – just as tasty as ever.  Mom and I made the ice cream the week before while dad sat in his chair and provided instruction.

Some of the best support crews on the planet.  Angela, Julia, Kristin, Kim, Corte's daughter, Sheri, Mindy and Michael
After a restless night’s sleep, I was up at 4:45.  At 5:00, Paul Badger was in the garage to do his final prep.  Paul was going to start at 5:45 with the ‘Fun Ride’ – why it is called the 'Fun Ride' I’ll never know.  Fun and LOTOJA don’t really go together.  Paul had decided to ride with my brother, Tom, his wife, Shelly, her friend, Brandy, Tom’s Gynecologist, Dr. Barry Noorda, Tim Kofoed and the 14 year old son of a friend of Tom’s who was planning to ride before burning himself the week prior in an accident at Lake Powell.  Paul and Tom were the strong ones of the group and Paul was planning to ride with them for as long as possible, but knew he may eventually need to ride on ahead if he didn’t want to spend 14 hours on the road.

The official race starts at 6:25 with the Pro/CAT 1, 2, & 3 riders going off followed by the tandems.  Master’s 35+ was the third group at 6:31 and that included Tait Eyre, Shayne Kennedy, Corte Haggard, Peter Harker and Tyson Manning.  I arrived at the start just as they departed.  Next up was the Master’s 45’s followed by CAT 3 and 4 and then my pack, Masters 55+ at 6:40, 9 minutes behind.  Riding with me were my two long time riding buddies, Mark Facer and Dave Lange.  John was in the second Cat 5 group 12 minutes behind me. 

A few of the boys in need of some peach ice cream - John, Paul, Tait, Corte, Bob and Tyson

As with every LOTOJA, most of the day’s goals were individual.  I’ve done it as a group ride a couple of times in years back, but that has lead to more frustration.  In 2006 I waited with Brian in Afton for over and hour for some friends we had dropped on Geneva or Salt River.  The wait was annoying enough, but when we looked at the times later we could see that the wait cost Brian a podium spot.  Last year my prep was at an all-time low so a personal best time was not possible so I was happy to wait on top of Salt River for Corte.  Turns out we were so busy eating cold grapes that we didn’t see Corte ride by.   For me, waiting is an exception to the rule.  I’m glad that’s not the rule for everyone.

GOALS: Tait’s goal for this year was to get over the climbs and finish sub 10:30.  Peter’s goal was to help Tait achieve his goal – a pretty noble goal if you ask me.  I don’t think Tyson had a goal other than to hang on and do better than last year.  Shayne’s goal was to hang with Peter, Tait, Tyson and Corte and finish.  Corte’s wanted to hang with the group over the climbs – something that he has struggled with in previous LOTOJA’s .  My big goal is Sub 10 hour, but I knew my fitness wasn’t as good as 2008 when Peter and I gave it a good run finishing 8th and 9th in our Cat 5 group at 10:18.  So my new goal was to catch the boys from the OC before the top of Salt River so that we could work together the last half of the race.  John was a little unsure of his goal.  He’s been on the podium twice , (in 2008 and 2006) and if he was having a good day and stayed with the leaders over the first climb, he might just keep hammering.  Yet, he is training for Ironman AZ in November and he was more than willing to treat this as a training ride and help his dad and the boys from the OC get a good time.  Mark’s goal was to stay with his best friend Dave. This was Mark’s 3rd LOTOJA and Dave’s first.  Dave had big plans to lose some weight and get in shape, but life got in the way and by race day, he really wasn’t ready for the climbing.  Mark’s adjusted goal was to get Dave to Montpellier and then call it a day.  The night before Dave was a little more optimistic that he could do better than that.  No matter what, Mark was going to stay with Dave.  My little brother Tom, who’s riding much stronger than me this year, was planning to do the fun ride with his wife, Shelly.  His only goal was to help Shelly achieve her goal to finish her first attempt at the full LOTOJA – she’s participated in the relay a few times before.

Here’s how it unfolded.   At 5:45, Tom, Shelly, Paul and the gang rolled off in the cold darkness with the first group of the fun ride.  I watched the M35’s ride away at 6:31, made my 8th or 9th potty stop of the morning and then rolled up to the start line at 6:40 with the rest of the 600’s.  The temp was about 38 at the start – the chilliest LOTOJA ever for me.  I had on my old Sidi’s with toe warmers, knee warmers, undershirt, mismatched white and black Fat Cyclist arm warmers with a second thin Under Armour black arm warmers over the top, white Sho-Air vest and a beanie pulled over my ears  and heavy winter gloves.  No full booties, no full leg warmers, no jacket.   In my back pocket  I carried my light weight and well worn Pearl Izumi full fingered gloves and a light weight skull cap.  I planned to pull off my beanie, gloves and extra arm warmers in Preston and toss them to my brother Bill as I rolled through the feed zone.
It was still dark and cold when we rolled out.  Mark, Dave and I stayed near the front, but didn’t get out in the wind in the first few miles.  Early on the way to Preston, the first group of CAT 4’s (700’s) caught us.  The guys at the front seemed content to continue our slow pace and let them ride away so I ended up going to the front and pulled us up to the tail end of the 4’s.  Soon thereafter the second group of CAT 4’s (800’s) caught us and continued on past the first group of CAT 4’s.  Now we had 3 groups together.  I recognized a few of the local Porcs (Porcupine Racing) sitting near the back of the 700’s.  Brother’s Rick and Ryan Finlayson and Matt Robbins and a couple of others who I’d joined on a group ride a couple of months ago.  The temperature might have even dropped closer to freezing as we cruised through the west side of Cache Valley.  I was really happy with my clothing.  With warm fingers and warm ears, my cold toes would survive.  The easy pace continued as we followed the mass of CAT 4’s across the state line.

This was not working out for my goal.  I was 9 minutes behind the Sho-Air boys and was now probably 15-18 minutes behind them coming into Preston.  No chance of catching them on Emigration (or Strawberry in LOTOJA speak) so the catch, if at all would be much later.  Hopefully the catch would be before the top of Geneva - because I hate having to ride between Geneva and Salt River on my own.  If not Geneva, then Salt River.  I dropped my winter gloves and 2nd arm warmers at Bill’s feet in Preston and grabbed two fresh bottles of Perpetuem.  Bill is amazing.  He drives into Logan to watch Tom and Shelly depart at 5:45, stops by to pick up John and my musettes, then drives 30 miles to Preston to support all of us.  He does this every year.  This year he did all this, then turned around and headed back to mom and dad’s so that he could help dad get up and get his day started.  Props to Big Bro.  I’ll be back in Logan next week to watch him dominate his class in the Top of Utah marathon.

Dave and Mark rolled through the feed zone.  I missed Mark on the side of the road for a pee break at Riverton, but said hello and good-bye to Dave as the road turned slightly upward on the way to Mink Creek.  I found myself riding along with fellow Porc, Shannon Storrud from Park City.  This was my first time meeting Shannon but I recognized his name from the Race Team email.  We would cross paths several times during the day. In Mink Creek I was caught by Rick, Ryan and Matt who must have taken and extra minute or two at the feed zone.  Soon thereafter, John came by with the leaders of his CAT 5 group (5200’s) and the leaders of the 5100’s.  Bummer I thought.  If John’s with the leaders there is little chance he’ll sit up and help me and I was not having a good day so I could use the help.  A wave and a smile and he was off.   About this time I caught Tom and Shelly just as the climb starts to get difficult.  Tom looked like a serious racer with his rearview mirror attached to his helmet.  Normally my instinct is to steer clear of anyone with a rear view mirror, but Tom is an exception to that rule (and the mirror was for this day only as he has 3 women and one minor in his stead all day).  He helped pace me up the toughest part of the climb and keep the Porcs in sight.  Without John’s help, I really wanted to keep those guys in sight for help getting to Montpelier.  As Tom and I rolled into the false summit, there was John on the side of the road waiting.  Hallelujah!  He made a quick decision that he didn’t want to do a 9.5 hour sufferfest and try to get on the podium so he went with Plan B – Help Dad.  In 04 and 05 John was willing to stay with me since I paid his entry fee, but now that he pays his own way, he has no obligation to help me.

I pointed out the Porcs in their yellow kits up ahead and told John we should reel them in on the way across the saddle before the final part of the climb.  In just a few seconds John had pulled us up to their wheel.  I made a few introductions.  John knew one of the guys riding with them who works at SBR in Orem and was in a UVU kit.  I think his name was Joe.  Along the way I saw my neighbor, Hondo, by the side of the road.  I’ve ridden with Hondo once before and knew that he was super strong.  He said he was cramping and looked to be trying to stretch it out.  Cramping that early in the ride could lead to a long day.  By the time we reached the summit, Matt was the only Porc with us and said he was going to wait for the rest of the guys.  John and I saw Corte just starting the descent so we chased him down.  We’d reeled in our first teammate from the M35’s (300’s).  Corte hung on with us on the descent and as John and I powered toward Ovid, we picked up some pretty strong riders.  We had a nice double pace line holding the pace at close to 30mph.  We also picked up some riders, many were relay riders, who jumped on the train.  This was frustrating because they had no idea how a double pace line works and they slowed us down.  We just kept our head down and powered on and dropped a lot of these folks.  Corte got caught up in the melee and was too far back when the group split.  About that time I saw Paul in his familiar Norda’s kit (designed by me) up ahead and started yelling at him to ramp it up.  Paul, ever obedient did and was able to jump on.  He held on for a few miles into Ovid and part way to Montpelier before getting popped off the back.  It was the fastest pace I can remember.  I was really happy with the 7 or 8 guys that were with us. 

Kristin - The best of the best!  She's been watching over me for the past 8 LOTOJA's

About this time, Corte got caught back in the group and heard a few of them say that the pace was too fast for such a long race so they sat up and as a result Corte was popped of the back with them.  It was a strong pace and Corte said there was no way he was going to be able to chase back on after the gap had opened so he decided to hang with that group.

 As we approached the big rumbles cut in the road going into Ovid, the pace line split with the left side going out into the middle of the road to the left of the rumble and the right side hugging the right side shoulder.  It was nice to be riding with some guys who knew the road unlike some years where people just fly right into the rumble which is scary to watch.  I felt like we must have made up 4 or 5 of the 15-18 minutes I was behind in Preston.  Turns out we did better than that.  In Montpelier, Kristin told us that Tait, Peter and Tyson were 7 minutes up the road.  Liz Kennedy was very concerned.  No sign of Shayne yet.  I told her I had not seen him.  John mentioned that Corte had asked John at the top of Strawberry if we’d seen Shayne (I hadn’t heard this).  That was not good.  This was Shayne’s first LOTOJA and I was hoping to have his power in the group to help me.  I’m very selfish that way.  I want to ride with guys that are going to help me.  Now I don’t mind helping others, but LOTOJA day, I’m more interested in receiving help then I am in providing help.  The night before Riz Espinili and I had bantered on Facebook about Shayne’s first LOTOJA.  I joked with Riz that Shayne’s job was to either sit in the wind at the front of the group or spend time going back to the team car (wouldn’t that be nice?) and keeping me supplied with cold grapes and Dr. Pepper.  Shayne joined the discussion and confirmed that he was the rookie - there only to serve me.  More on Shayne later (read Shayne's report here).

Kristin and Michael took care of us in Montpelier then we were off.  We stopped just a mile or two out of town for my first pee break of the day.  A new record!  Outside of town, another neighbor and friend from work, Tyler Smith rolled by.  Tyler and I only got together for one ride this summer and it was all I could do to hang on up AF canyon to Tibble Fork Reservoir.   His time last year was sub 9:30 as he finished with the leaders of his CAT 5 Group well in the top ten.  I’m not sure he’s my friend any more.  He was taking it easy this year riding with a friend and former neighbor, Shane Morris.   Tyler finished at 9:59.36 – my dream time and didn’t even break a sweat.  On the climb up Geneva John rode his pace and I rode mine.  Once again he waited and the top and then we pushed the downhill.  As we passed people near the bottom John would yell at them to get on.  Two guys did.  They sat on, worked through once and then were spit off the back.  One was a teenager relay rider.   John said he felt a little guilty about that one.  Oh well, the kid got to see what it was like to sit on at 35MPH on a slight downhill, work to the front and then get dropped.  Happens to all of us…. Unfortunately it still happens to me.

We found a few people to work with, but once again that section between Geneva and Salt River proved to be very unfun.  We did get in a line with some Motor 6 guys as we approached the neutral feed zone.  There was a random relay guy in the group sporting the plumber look with shorts that didn’t go high enough and a jersey dad didn’t go low enough.  I have to give butt crack guy credit, he kept a good pace and he did it while riding in tennis shoes.  We grabbed a fresh water bottle and took another pee break just before the start of the KOM of Salt River.  John crossed over the timing strip for the start of the KOM and was off telling me he’d see me on top.  Michael and Kristin drove by with some cheering to help break the misery.  Even though I felt pretty lousy all day, this climb for me was better than usual.  The wind was a little favorable and the temperature was cool.  As I rolled over the KOM timing strip at the top, I could see the all black Sho-Air kits on the side of the road.  Peter had waited for Tait who had waited for Tyson and then Julia (Tyson’s wife) told them that John and I were on the final section of the climb so they decided to keep waiting.  John pulled in and then I did 4 minutes later.  I think it was more than worth it in time gained by waiting for John because he proved to be the most valuable engine for the rest of the race.  I only wish I could have provided more power to the train as thanks for their waiting for me.  The only mishap of the day happened on top of Salt River.  John crossed the KOM line next to butt crack guy who was on his left.  Suddenly this guy’s wife and kids yell out to him and he turns right – into John and knocks him over.  Low speed crash, no damage and the guy was very apologetic.

Traffic on the descent was a mess so for the first time I can remember, I had to touch my brakes often on the way down into Star Valley.  Now, like the ride into Montpellier, we were the power train on the way into Afton.  We picked up some good riders, held a good pace – often above a wind aided 30mph.  And we negotiated the rumble strips without serious incident.  Too bad you can’t run a proper double pace line where the rumble strips are.  Instead you flick your elbow, pull off to the right and hope you can drift to the back without incident.  When the groups grows to more than 10 or 12 this becomes very difficult.
At the feed zone in Afton, Tait found himself without support.  Ang was with Liz and with Shayne’s delay getting into Montpelier they hadn’t been able to get to Afton in time.  Normally Tait would pick up two extra large bottles with 4 scoops of Perpetum.  I had a couple of two scoop bottles ready so I gave one of mine to Tait and grabbed an extra water that Kristin had (have I said she is AWESOME yet? – She is standing there with two extra water bottles – with ICE – just in case).

On the way out of Afton we picked up a couple of the same folks that had been on our train coming into town.  I’m pretty sure they waited the extra 2-3 minutes we took while figuring out Tait’s support in hopes that they could hook up with us into Alpine.  The group size continued to swell on the road out of Afton as we picked up stragglers.  At one point one relay guy ended up in the middle of the line up and as people came off the front he would tell them to get in front of him, making the front half of the group do all the work and not letting those at the back do any work.  After a doing this a few times, I put on my boss of the peloton hat and rode up alongside him and told him to either pull through or get to the back or get out of the group all together.  He was a big guy, but he was obedient and pulled through.  Next I had to deal with a couple of annoying relay guys that jumped in the group, worked their way to the front and then revved the pace up another 5 mph causing gaps to appear in the line.  The second time the guy did it I was sitting 3rd wheel, when he came off I told him, “Just stay up there.  If you’re going to ramp the pace up and start popping guys off the back, you don’t deserve to sit in the lineup and recover.”  He sheepishly replied that he’d go to the back and then was either too tired to get on the back or he just didn’t want anything else to do with me.  Good Riddance.  I didn’t need any fresh leg relay guys sowing their oats at mile 150.  I then noticed that Tyson had been popped off as a result of that guy’s boneheaded move so we decided to pull up and wait.  While we waited for Tyson - Pee break #3, but not really needed.  I’m either not hydrating enough, or I’ve got the amount to drink down to close to the right amount.  Tyson on the other hand very much appreciated any pee break. 

Michael showing the stress of the long day as Kristin's wing-man.

In Alpine all was right in the world.  Ang was there to support Tait and we received word that Shayne had suffered 4 flats but was now rolling.  Four flats and I’m done for the day.  Props to Shayne for continuing on.  Tait started doing some hard math in his tiny little head and figured that if we could average 25mph the last 40 miles; he would finish at 10:30 and achieve his goal.  I don’t support goal setting by people like Tait.  Even with a little tail wind going through the canyon, 25MPH is not doable for us, but it didn’t stop us from trying.  Just out of Alpine we passed Hondo – at least I thought it was Hondo.  When he didn’t recognize me I figured out it was his twin brother Javier – or Javi.  (Now I can tell them apart – as long as they are on their bikes. Javi rides a Time and Hondo rides a Pinarello Dogma). I introduced myself and told him to jump in with the group.  He worked with us in a double pace line most of the way through the canyon and then fell off the pace somewhere before the neutral feed zone just before Hoback Junction.

The road construction coming into the Junction was a little tricky.  John reported that Peter looked like he might go over on one of the rough patches, but he held on.  We suffered through the painful miles into Jackson included the last little hill just before we turn of the main road.  That stupid hill kills me every year.  As we head up that little rise, John recalled all the riders over the years who have yelled, “back one” on that hill.  This year it was Peter and I who were begging for mercy.  After rolling through the neighborhood on the west side of Jackson we jumped on the bike path, through the tunnel under highway 22 and were finally on the home stretch.  Only the right hand turn onto 390 remained.  John thought that was 7 miles from the finish.  Tait said 11 miles.  We turned the corner and thankfully John’s memory is better than Tait’s.  Tait and John provided the most power to the train for the next few miles.  I tried to step up and do my share.  A couple of miles from the finish Tait pulled in a couple of relay guys who were hammering.  Tait told them he was too tired to pull through so they exchanged a couple of pulls then moved off to let us pull through.  They didn’t seem happy with our pace so the stronger one moved back to the front and the smaller guy followed.  Fine with me if they didn’t want us to work.

Side note:  For the last 10 years we’ve had a lively sprint at the finish of our weekday morning ride through Irvine and Newport Beach.  Some days I worked hard to get the sprint win and other days I was happy to rev up the pace at the front and let others fight it out behind me and come around for the win.

Side note 2: I decided last year that I would always try to sprint at the end of LOTOJA.   Last year I rolled through at an easy pace only have a couple of goofy relay guys sprint by me.  Two years ago Peter and I were finishing with our best time ever and were fighting about who should finish first.  Peter had done most of the work during the day, but when he faded in Snake River I had done more of the work.  I felt he should finish first and he was more than willing to allow me.  Peter thought I was going to finish ahead of him but I touched my brakes and he nipped me at the line to finish 8th leaving me 9th.  We had no idea at the time that we had a top 10 finish. 

Home stretch in Snake River Canyon.  Bob, Tait and John

Some where in Snake River Canyon I started wondering out loud what my sprint strategy would be.  You know something to liven up the conversation.  Now back to the race.  When we got to about 250 meters to go the relay guys started to go – but they weren’t as powerful as they thought they were.  I jumped past them on the right and John matched my move and moved around them on the left to get on my wheel.  Tait tried to respond by didn’t quite get on.  The relay guys were not happy as we blew by them with one of them yelling a sarcastic, “wow”.  I didn’t really care.  We hadn’t sat on them for very long and as you can tell by now, I was annoyed with the relay guys this year.  I knew we had friends and family standing near the finish so we might as well give them a show.  I was ‘shocked’ that John was able to come around me for the win.  Tait rolled in 3rd followed by Tyson and Peter.  Peter has never been one to engage in the sprints, unless they are up a hill like Live Oak Canyon and Tyson didn’t have the legs at mile 206.  I recommend the sprint finish.  It’s a better way to end the day than just rolling across the line in survival mode.

Hanging my head in shame. I was shocked, yes SHOCKED! that John was able to come around my sprint to take the win.

It was good to be done.  This should have been my year for a personal best, but given my own 3 week bronchitis inflicted taper, I was pretty happy with the day.  I killed myself on the flats between the bigs climbs because that’s what I do best.  I climbed at a pace that works for me and I limited my time at the front through Star Valley so I still had just enough to finish strong.  No cramping for the second year in a row helped make the day better.  I was too cold at the finish to want to stand in the creek for an ice bath so I headed to the Hotel for a hot shower.  The rest of the Sho-Air boys and their families hung out at the line to wait for Shayne.

The Final Sho-Air Podium.  Tait, Tyson, John, Peter and Bob
John, Kristin, Michael and I sat down for dinner at the Mangy Moose at 6:30.  No line at that time.  Michael recommends the prime rib.  We had just finished when we saw Tait and Shayne shivering as they walked back to the hotel.  Shayne gave a little bit of detail of his day as we walked along with them.  It started early on the first climb.  He had fallen a little off the back when he flatted near Mink Creek.  Corte saw him flat but kept going because on a normal day Shayne could change a flat and easily chase down Corte.  But today wasn’t a normal day.  I’m still not sure why I didn’t see him when I passed him.  Probably for the same reason I didn’t see Mark at the start of the climb, I was watching my front tire go round hoping it would go faster.

Shayne eventually got going but not fast enough to chase down Corte and got to Montpelier only to flat again outside of Montpelier.  This time he wasted a couple of tubes because the sidewall of his tire was blown out.  He finally did a McGyver and used a Gu wrapper to plug the sidewall, a tube from a fellow racer and a floor pump from a support vehicle to pump it up.  Later Liz stopped and hooked him up with a spare tire and extra tubes from the car.  Now all he had to do was the final 100 miles on his own.  No wonder his facebook update that night was, ‘Done with Lotoja… forever”.  See you next year Shayne.  And I’ll still expect you to keep me supplied with cold grapes and Dr. Pepper throughout the day.

I’m glad Michael was able to help Kristin with the support.  It is much more fun to have someone with you on a long and hard day.  Michael blew his ACL a few months ago playing soccer for UVU and has had successful surgery and is back on the bike training for next year.

Oh yeah, the course record.  It fell again this year.  Not to the Pro 1,2 but to a CAT 3 guy who was in the group 12 minutes behind the PRO/CAT 123’s.  I am not at all surprised that Nate Pack was a major player in setting the new course record.  John and I are big Nate Pack fans.  John traded a few pulls with Nate in 2006 when they were in the same Citizen Cat 5 Group and Nate had the best overall time!.  In fact the two of them were off the front together just outside of Riverdale when they passed me that year. John told how awesome this guy was after the race.  The next year he was in the group behind John and had the best time of the day – while riding a 206 mile individual time trial from a Citizen group.  A number of blog commenter’s and Licensed racers compared him to Rosie Ruiz – but John  and I knew he was the real deal.  In those days he was easily recognized in his short shorts powering up Emigration. This year he started in the CAT 3 group 3 minutes in front of me and ended up getting in a two man break and powering to what looked like would be the first sub 9 hour finish.  Nate flatted at Hoback Junction and his partner for the day, Al Thresher, soloed the last 30 miles to set a new record of 9:01.  Nate finished 4 minutes later.

The Pro/CAT 1 winner the last three years, Cameron Hoffman, abandoned outside of Alpine. Not sure why, but my guess is that he was not going to be able to catch the seven men who were off the front.  SkiBikeJunkie has all the details of that race.

Till Next Year.

All participants for MASTERS 55+ age division

PlBibName Representing
Final TimeTime Back

OvidKOM/QOM StartKOM/QOM Finish
























22635Howard ROOSEBOC