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2012 Everest Challenge Results

See Race Prep for the Everest Challenge as well as 9500' Is Not Sea Level, So Say My Lungs and Heart at Tioga Pass, Aerobic Energy at High Elevation.

Results for the 2012 Everest Challenge are in. I was bib #443.

No problems with recovery. Slight leg soreness. Almost fully recovered in 3 days.


  • Massive improvement Stage 1— dropped ~39 minutes off my 2011 time, for a podium finish (3rd place). Stage 1 was an act of intense willpower, supported by 2 years of training.
  • Slightly slower on Stage 2, but Death Valley Road climb was substantially longer/higher, so my 2012 time was really faster than 2011 when this is accounted for.
  • Stage 2 was impacted by poorly understood power loss of 20-40 watts for 90 minutes right in the middle (more on that below).
  • 5th place overall, lost out to 4th place by only 27 seconds!!!

Timing analysis

My analysis of my times in 2012 vs 2011—

"-" means faster than 2011
"+" means slower than 2011
Bishop Creek/SL:    -2.3%
Pine Creek:         -3.3%
Rock Creek (full):  -9.5%
Glacier Lodge:   -3.8%
Death Valley Rd: +0.4%  (BUT 3.3 miles longer!!!)
Schulman:        +3.6%     

Overall comments

I am delighted with my gains over 2011. And bummed to have barely missed 4th place in the highly competitive Masters 45+ group:

  • 27 seconds is about 1/4 pound of bike weight (by calculation). My bike this year was 4/10 pound heavier than last year, thus in theory the bike cost me a place. Or the 1-pound saddle pack repair kit cost me a place. Or whatever.
  • In a race like EC, you can’t necessarily know how far behind (overall) you might be— had I known, I am certain I could have pulled my time down another minute or two with some modestly greater suffering (and without my competitor knowing it, all I had to do was advance on him a minute or two the 2nd stage). But I didn’t know. I should have sucked it up and suffered more, assuming that I was only seconds behind. This I did not do, and it cost me a place.
  • I lost 20-40 watts of power for about 90 minutes for unknown reasons starting about 8/10 of the way up Death Valley Road— heat, dehydration, too much fuel, I just don’t know and not knowing is troubling. Even the descent down Death Valley Road I felt out of sorts, and had to give up time descending (brain-fade/concentration demanded prudence). I recovered half-way up the 3rd and final climb on Stage 2 and resumed passing numerous riders. Perhaps it was the heat— temperatures dropped and a nice cool breeze kicked in at about the 7500' mark.

Analysis to follow over the next week or so, but I write this at 12:52 AM after a 5-hour drive home after an 11-hour hike.

Bib 443 from 2012 Everest Challenge
Results for Men’s Masters 45-54 — 2012 Everest Challenge

Power, heart rate, elevation profile

See the power / heart rate / elevation profile data for my 2012 Everest Challenge efforts.

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