So a couple weekends ago on August 21st I raced my 2nd 50 miler endurance race, I thought I would have learned my lesson the first time around but I guess not. Before I even raced I volunteered to help set up and break down and with registration, etc, which is something I think all racers should do at some point so that you can appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into an event. But anyway because I volunteered I ended up sleeping at the venue the night before the race, and I am using the term sleep loosely because I forgot to bring my sleeping mat and so the roots and rocks were not too conducive to sleeping well. Also Saturday night there was a hippy music festival down the road which I thought was going to keep me up all night but in reality the relaxing hippy music helped me fall asleep for a little while. Sunday morning I was up at the crack of dawn to help get registration up and help get all the racers set up, then 30 minutes before the race started was my turn to scramble to get ready, not warm up at all, and start racing at 10am…ish. So 10am-ish we started our race and the group went off pretty hard right into about 2 miles of climbing which I got a little caught up in the race start excitement but not to terribly. The race started off pretty well, didn’t take long to realize that I didn’t have enough tire pressure in the rear and too much up front which I eventually took care of at the first aide station. The first bit of the race was good, good trails, good technical work and good flowing trails; it was going to be a good day. The big rock sections were really well built and I enjoyed them but I did realize that the big rock obstacles were taking a lot of energy to get over and through. So I was feeling pretty good until about mile 20ish when my rear derailleur got hungry and decided to eat a random stick which resulted in a un-ride-able bike. The hanger was all bent and the derailleur was twisted up on the hanger itself, but luckily I had thrown in an extra hanger into my bag so I figured not problem, quick fix. Yeah right, 20 minutes later and some trial and error I was finally able to get the switch and back on the bike, which was about 10 minutes too late because my legs had tightened up. So back on the saddle, back on my way, let’s hope that’s all the commotion I will get out of the day. So rode for a while and thought I was closer to the mid point aide station than I was so I held off a feed, mistake, by the time I got to the station I felt like crap and ate everything in front of me that I could grab with my greedy little hands. I made it into the next section for I was hating life, I had 20ish some miles to go and I felt like sh*t. Got through that section back through to the aide station, 15 miles to go, lets push through and get through this. One of the few things that were lifting my spirits as crushed as they had become was the fact that there were others around me hurting just as much and I was riding past them or at least with them. So with just a short section of the race to go the heavens decided to open up and it started to rain, which for some odd reason I welcomed because it got my mind off everything else. Then the rain turned into a down pour and the thunder got closer, then the trail ended up on a ridge line fire road, not where I wanted to be in a lighting storm….lets get the hell off this mountain!!! So me and a few others around me put the pedal down and suddenly my legs didn’t hurt and even though I couldn’t see 10 feet in front of my I was doing my hardest to get off that mountain top. So 6 hours and 5 mins later I finished my second 50 miler, wet, tired, and whooped, but I felt good about myself and effort that I put in. I would always like to do better but that’s for next time!!