The Assenmacher 100 was yesterday – a personal best for every distance Endomondo tracks above ten miles:
One hour 38.05 km
10 miles 24m:28s
20 km 30m:58s
50 km 1h:20m:37s
50 miles 2h:10m:03s
100 km 2h:44m:25s
100 miles 4h:36m:30s
The weather was absolutely perfect. Cool to start, arm warmers were a must for the first hour but we had brilliant sunshine and low 70’s by 9 am. It was perfect by 10. The wind provided the only rough patch, which was minimal… It was non-existent for the first few hours but it kicked up and was in our face for the last thirty. Even so, it was still quite mild for most of the day.
If you’d told me yesterday morning that at the fifty mile mark I’d have almost a 23 mph average going, I’d have said you were nuts – but there we were at 22.7 after 57 (our second stop). Now to be fair, I didn’t have much to do with keeping that pace. I ended up in what had to have been all of a sixty man train and it was awesome. I was 2/3’s of the way back and about three guys up from me, when the horses (mostly strong guys, several racers and a racer chick) pulled, there was a guy who would open a hole and let them in… In short, I was cut off from doing any work (and my heart was broken, believe me). Eventually the two dropped back and then off so I took up the mantel of opening the hole to protect the other folks.
After about twenty-two miles they decided to turn it into a race – and I was paying attention when it happened. The pace, near 24 already, was cranked up to 26-28 and I thought about falling off the back right there but my buddy Phil looked like he was going to try to hang with them so I went too. Sure enough we survived the jump, at least 20 others weren’t so lucky.
At the 57 mile rest stop, we had a problem. We filter two-wide onto a sidewalk, dismount and stash our bikes against anything we can find… The guy to the left of me came in a little too hot and got his wheel stuck in a crack which tilted him into his clipped-in foot – which caused him to fall into my bike and tilt me into my clipped-in foot, which meant that I fell ass over apple cart into a ditch. I wasn’t hurt, I rolled out of it, but my rear wheel wasn’t so lucky. Thankfully the ’99 Rolf Vector Comp is a really tough wheel so all I had to do was open the brake 3/4’s of the way – it was rideable. After refueling Matt looked at it and confirmed that I should be okay so we rolled out.
I started taking turns up front at that point as I can only suck so much wheel before I start feeling guilty. We also started hitting some of the more serious hills and that took a toll on our average. At 83 miles we hit a fork in the road. Many of us were running low on fluids and needed a break. The racers in the group wanted to continue on so we split up – and thankfully so. I heard they ramped the speed up to 25-27 mph after we split off. The rest of us (mostly guys I ride with on Tuesday night) stopped, topped off and grabbed a bite. With the hills our average had dropped to 22.1, still unbelievable at the 83 mile mark.
For the last 17 we had a group of about 20 and kept it at a tame 21 mph. We had a blast on that last chunk too. My new friend Winston and I attacked the group (he went first, I followed and sprinted by him for a laugh). The breeze had become wind by that point and dead into our faces so pulls were short and sweet.
With a mile to go I quietly slipped off the back and chilled out to savor that last little bit. Inside I was grinning from ear to ear.
100 miles: 4:36:30 – A personal best by 19 minutes.
Average speed: 21.7 mph
Max speed: 33.4 mph
Fastest mile: 2m:16s
Fastest ten mile pace: 24m:28s (about 25.5 mph give or take)
The Assenmacher 100, at a mere $20 (It’s only $15 if you pre-register but I always register late so they get the extra $5 out of me) is, to the best of my knowledge, the cheapest fully supported ride in the State of Michigan. Not only did we have the normal goodies at each of the five rest stops (I think there were five, we only stopped at three), afterwards we had a fully stocked coney-dog lunch and all of the camaraderie that a fella could hope for… And I shook the hand and thanked each of the racer guy’s hands who stuck around, for pulling my ass around the course. There’s no way I’d have had that average if I was doing my fair share on that first 57 miles.
UPDATE: Elisariva asked about the profile of the ride… There wasn’t a whole lot of climbing, especially at first, the first 40 were relatively flat. After that it got a little hairy though: