Sunday, October 14, 2007

Spirit Mountain Duluth race report

After work on Friday Sascha and I headed up north to a cabin in the Chequamegon forest. She was doing the Whistlestop half marathon along with Annie, Heather and James, while Nate and I were going to Duluth for the race. We all got a good night's sleep, dropped the runners off at the marathon, and Nate and I headed for Duluth.

The course this years was very different from last year. No run up the ski hill, shorter distance out on the gravel road and back on the single track and deleting the nasty drop between the two, and the addition of another out and back with a cruel wet tire sucking grassy section ending with a cruel uphill double barrier before coming back. Just before the start finish was another bumpy wooded section that the BMXers would have fun with, followed by a sharp right turn on very loose gravel. I crashed there during the warm up, which ensured that I never crashed there again.

During the race I settled into a battle with Emily Mokelke and Greg 'Stick' LaVick, the guy who had helped me out with a spoke wrench earlier. In the end I lost this battle. But no matter, it was a fun course, and the rest of the day would prove to be awesome. Thanks to Ray-Ray for the bottle handups! After handing around and chatting, we headed back to Shwammy. Although there was the South Shore Brewery Blues and Brews Festival, the runners weren't up for going back to Ashland, so we ended up making a big fire in the fire pit, firing up the grill and grilling some steaks and chicken, drinking beer and staying warm by the fire. Although the wood was wet we eventually got it going so impressively that we were the envy of the neighboring cabins. We really had a great time barbequeing, drinking and hanging out in front of the fire. Unfortunately I was the only one who had to race the next day, so I had to get to bed earlier than I would have liked for the drive back at the crack of dawn and the Boom Island race on Sunday.