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Everest Challenge — Race Notes 2011 — Mistakes

This page captures my tactical and strategic mistakes and related items.

Failure to take electrolyte replacements = SERIOUS ERROR

I wrote about it, but screwed up for Stage 1— I failed to take electrolytes, figuring that Hammer HEED and energy gels would do the trick. I was wrong.

For Stage 1, I started strong, but encountered stomach cramping and later hamstring cramping. The stomach cramping started as early as the Paradise aid station, which left me unable to fuel and hydrate properly, not to mention having to stop 3 or 4 times to stretch my hamstring on upper Rock Creek, which was threatening to lock up in a nasty way.

I estimate that I lost 20-30 minutes on Stage one due to the stomach and muscle cramps, which really hindered my power output on Rock Creek.

I took Hammer Endurolytes for Stage 2, and encountered no cramping whatsoever, with consistent power the whole day.

Knowing the aid station locations precisely

Not once was I able to obtain Perpetuem pre-mixed.

I was very surprised to find no aid on the Schulman Grove climb at the intersection of Hwy 168 and White Mountain Rd. This was my mistake, and left me “dry” a bit too long until the aid station at the 8000' mark. It’s hard to say what the impact was, but I was getting slightly thirsty by the aid station: carry some extra water, even if it’s 1/3 bottle.

Filling a bottle while the clock runs and competitors go by

I lost a minute or more filling my 1L bottle at the top of Glacier Lodge (I passed up the water as I wanted HEED— big mistake to waste time this way). Riders that I had beaten to the top by a minute or so took me half way up Death Valley Road to catch.

Lesson: do not stop; take a handoff to save time, whatever it is, and get calories in via gels, if it’s plain water.

Stopping to drop clothing, losing the draft

I stopped to stash a vest and empty gel dispenser at Millpond. Although the stop cost me only 30 seconds or so, it meant I lost the draft, and had to solo across the gap from Millpond to Pine Creek. This likely cost me 2-3 minutes, as well as increased energy losses. From what I could see, most riders ahead of me had a small group to draft in.

Assuming that preferred fuel will be ready for a handoff

Not once was I able to obtain Perpetuem pre-mixed, so I actually never (not once) ever had any during either stage.

If you prefer a certain energy source, carry some of your own to fill in the gaps.

Following the rules

I have no interest in placing higher by cheating: why work that hard and then possibly win a place higher by a small margin acquired by cheating?

I observed riders cheating by failing to stop at stop signs. I unclipped and put my foot down at stop signs, because I took the rules seriously. Riders rolling through stop signs do save a few seconds.

A few riders cheated by getting private handoffs. If one can carry a pound or two less water uphill, that translates to a minute or two on the longer climbs (power to weight calculations come into play).

I did not draft riders in other categories; for the few short periods where I was lucky enough to get a draft (very little), I would do so only with my own Masters 45+ category (7xx). I observed some riders cheating by drafting riders in other categories— something that I understand to be forbidden by the USAC rulebook, but apparently the EC organizers look the other way .In my view, the EC organizers should be explicit one way or another, because drafting can be a major advantage.

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