The Storm Endurance January Marathon this past weekend was a great low key training race in Sanford, NC.
This was my first year at the event but I look forward to doing it again next year. It’s an unusual format with a 42 mile course that starts with six miles of twisty single track followed by 28 miles that mix paved and gravel roads for an endurance loop. For the final six miles the race goes back back on the single track.
Thomas Boylan and I were able to tie for the win in the single speed category and finished 3rd/4th overall. We both race on my Farnsworth Bicycles team with additional sponsorship from Industry Nine, Endless Bike Company, Paragon Machine Works, Torrenti Cycles, Reynolds, Crank Arm Brewing, Rouler Sportswear.
I got a reasonably good start and entered the trail within the top ten. Tom was ahead of me but got stuck behind some trail traffic that allowed me to catch up. Once Tom got around he took off and was the second rider overall for the first single track segment. I managed to stay close enough to get on the road in around 6th and form up with a group of four riders.
On the road, Tom was ahead with one other rider working hard but my group of four had the strength of numbers as we rotated to save effort in the wind. Eventually we caught Tom and the other rider to form a strong pack of six riders with a smooth rotation.
My right cleat got very loose. This was not a problem on the road but I knew that I would have to stop before we got on the single track to tighten the bolts or risk loosing the cleat and/or crashing. I felt VERY good so I decided to keep going and make my pit stop after the road section and before the single track.
My legs were good so I decided to lift the pace. With three miles to go, I went out solo to gain time. Eventually two riders came across the gap and we put over a minute on the others from our little group.
When we reached the single track I was leading the race but decided that stopping to tighten the cleat was still the smart move. The cleat was in bad shape and I simply would not be able to ride without fixing it. The repair took around a minute and when I got going again I was 6th overall.
With an effort, I caught up to Tom. We passed two riders and pushed each other to finished as a tie for the single speed win and 3rd/4th overall. It was a great race, I always enjoy riding with Tom.
Also, thanks goes out to James Stranix for helping with the post race photos.