This past weekend we traveled up to do the 22nd running of the Decorah TT, which I would consider being one of the hardest races on the calendar for the year. What makes it so tough you ask? Well to start off it is a race against the clock, so while on course you have no real clue as to how you are doing unless you are passing the people that started at least one minute in front of you, or people that started behind you passing you, also the fact that you start at the base of the hill and make your way to the top which is almost 300 feet higher in elevation at the peak. But unlike what most would think you don't just get to go straight up, that would be too easy, no you have to switchback up part of the hill, then for fun lets go back down part of the way then climb again, rinse and repeat.
So onto my race I started out towards the front as we were on a tighter schedule this year having to be back by 5, so I was 5th into the woods, following up guys like Trevor Rockwell and Brian Furhman and Ben Shockey, so the likelyness of me catching/seeing them at any point was slim. Headed up the road towards the woods, started climbing and could tell right away I would be deep in the pain cave the entire way, go to the top of the frontside of the bluff about 1.5 miles into the race and was feeling like crap, at the 3 mile mark I was ready to quit, then I got caught by a guy on a singlespeed from behind me somewhere and he was moving, so I tried matching his speed but he was just too strong for that to happen, watched him ride away from me. Got to the backside and started up the long service road climb, 1/2 mile in length and has quite a good elevation change. At this point I know I just had to top this climb then for the most it is downhill and flat to the finish. Get back to the frontside and down to the trail that runs next to the river and other then the one rocky climb it is all out flat and fast, get to the last corner onto the finishing straight and just hammer it, come across the line with no clue how I did and head back to get warm.
Get to T Bocks for awards and they post results, ended up 20th overall and 2nd Male 34-35 which netted me another plaque to hang on my wall. Didn't expect to do anywhere near the top 20 with the competition that was there, had guys like Brian Eppen, Kevin McConnell, and of course all the locals and Minnesota/Wisconsin guys.
It is a great trail system and a great race, so if you have ever thought about racing and want to have a good time on some technical trails give this one a try some year.