Race Report: El Tour de Tucson

We had 3 girls in a hotel room overnight, since we had to pick up our race packets the evening before.  There was a king sized bed which was shared by B and K and then I slept on the floor.  It really wasn’t that bad.  We were able to sleep in in the morning until about 8 and that was really nice.  K and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and had some really yummy cinnamon french toast with eggs and bacon.  B chose to eat at the hotel.  After breakfast we just lounged around the hotel room for a while and I got a little bit of stitching done before we headed to the 40 mile start point.

I was amazed at the number of people there.  It really wasn’t any different than the start of a running race, but when you add in all the bicycles, there’s a whole different level of scary.  K and I were both nervous since it was our first bike race.  Eventually the race started and we were off.  For a little bit anyway.  My back tire decided to go flat at .85 miles in.  I was so thankful for the Bike Patrol guys.  Two of them stopped and checked out my tire.  They found the hole in my tube and got it patched for me and I was back on my way.  K waited for me although I had told her she didn’t need to.  I stopped my Garmin during the repairs.  Soon we were back on the road again.  We stopped at the first fuel point so I could fill up my water bottles.  I had figured there would be water at the start, but there wasn’t, so I started the race with an empty bottle on my bike with gatorade powder in it and 4 empty bottles on my fuel belt.  

We got a really good pace going, and since we had both fluids and fuel with us, we didn’t need to stop at fuel points. It was quite windy at times, and it was mostly crosswinds and/or headwinds, but we still managed to make pretty good time.  But around mile 17 troubles struck again.  K went to unclip from her pedal, but her pedal decided to come off the bike and remain on her shoe.  Again the Bike Patrol was awesome and helped her get the pedal back on, and again I stopped my Garmin.  It kept coming off during the rest of the ride, but K figured out how to get it back on while she was riding.  We stopped at the next fuel station after we hit 20 miles and refilled all our water bottles – K’s 2 on her bike and my bike one and 3 on my fuel belt.  Yes, 3.  I lost one during the ride, but it’s ok.  I can buy replacement bottles.  After that water stop, we didn’t stop again, but we did stop a few times.  Most of the intersections were just cop controlled and the cyclists had the right of way, but at the more major intersections we were stopped to allow the cross traffic through.  

The closer we got to the end, the more my legs didn’t want to cooperate with standing while waiting at the intersections.  With 2 miles left, K left me.  I’m ok with her doing that – that’s how it usually is in races.  Like with 5Ks, she’ll leave me about the last 1/2 mile.  Ryan and Robert were waiting just before the finish line and it’s always great to see them.  I crossed the finish line and I was DONE.  I got off my bike so they could take off my timing chip and mark my race number and I almost fell over.  I did manage to hobble through the finish shoot and find Ryan and Robert.  We went and got my medal and met up with K there.  B and her other friend D found us there as well.  The three of them went and checked their bikes and then we all went in our van back to the start point so B and K could get their vehicles.  We said our goodbyes and they headed back to get their bikes and my guys and I headed to Red Robin for dinner.

My official time (chip time) was 4:12:39 and I finished 888 out of 1154 finishers for the 40 mile event.  My Garmin time was 3:44:13 with an average pace of 10.9 mph.  Total repair time for our 2 issues was about 28 minutes.  During the ride, I burned 1845 calories.  I had a total ascent of 2041 feet and total descent of 2442 feet.  Overall it was an awesome experience.  It was an absolutely beautiful day – sunny and a few puffy clouds.  It was interesting watching how the mountains changed throughout the afternoon as the sun and shadows moved.  The high temp for the day was 76.

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