Wednesday, May 30, 2012

two days later, lots of water, electrolytes, sleep, real food, and air conditioning, i finally feel like a human being again. well, closer to human, anyway.
the NACCCs were awesome, so much work and sweat and so little sleep, but it was really fun and everyone that came seemed like they had a great time. i know i posted about thursday night already, so no need to post pictures from then.
Friday I worked all day, then ran straight to Carytown bikes to pick up a shipment from South Boston Bikes and a tent for Saturday. Headed direct to Lamplighter, where Julie had been set up since 3pm registering people that were still arriving to town. There was also a little goods market going on, so the patio was no less than totally chaotic.
The excel spreadsheet for registrants was acting a fool, tripling or doubling entries, so Julie tried to move to an area of solitude so she could focus and not make mistakes.
this basically meant hiding in the back corner of the enclosed patio room beside the main building. Crystal had been helping and was passing out the schwag packets that all racers were getting. So much to tell people upon resgistering! Met a super sweet lady named Beth who needed someone to tag along with while her boyfriend raced the alleycat. Since I was working a checkpoint, as soon as racers started to pile their bikes in the designated lock up area to race, we jumped into my subaru and hit it to geometry park.
Some of the cutthroats had beat us there, which was good because as I pulled up and parked, a hoarde of riders rolled up for signatures. Those guys had it on lock, and we sat at the checkpoint for the remainder of the time shooting the shit and catching up, passing out manifest signatures as racers rolled through.
Left geometry park and hit up Strawberry Street Market, Julie was running solely on sugar and needed treats to keep her going and alive at the warehouse party. Picked up some mexican coke and chocolate for her, snacks for myself, and Beth and I were off to the warehouse in Scotts Addition. There was an office in the back of the building where Julie and Crystal set registration back up, it was due to close at midnight so Julie could get some hangout time.
Racers continued to trickle in, with the final tally of participants closing in upward of 130. The warehouse party was pretty fun...TrashHawk played a good set.
There were races on adult sized bigwheel bikes, and Brad D and Conrad (DJ Dirtyfinger) bumped dancin jams.
And this guy, the local favorite, made his rounds and won the favor of pretty much anyone with any responsibility for the race. I believe Fred walked away with a pretty nice prize for "best all around rad dude"
He didn't change his clothes the entire time, even when he stayed at Stu and Julies on Monday night to fly back to Seattle on Tuesday. He was a solid dude and seriously, everyone here loved him. Shawn tallied manifests and announced the winners, and everyone continuted to party way into the night. Since I really hadn't gotten sleep since Tuesday night, I left around 2am and headed home. I knew Saturday was going to be intense and I was gonna need my rest. Tried to down lots of water, Saturday at Chimborazo was all outdoors, the forecast was for wide open sun and 90 degrees, and my checkpoint was going to be in the middle of a field, no trees, full on sun. Being there all day would possibly kill me...
Woke up at 730 am to tend to the dogs before I was gone all day. Julie called and needed help getting doughnuts, so I ran out to Country Style on my way to Chimbo and picked up four dozen. I'd been thinking all night about the best way to make a tent for the field checkpoint, and I ended up grabbing a long pvc pole and a tarp and a bunch of twine from the garage. It would allow airflow on the sides while still providing shade.
Made it to Chimbo and jumped right into setup.
Racers started to trickle in as the race time of 9:30 drew closer.
I think everyone definitely needed the coffee and doughnuts, and as the morning gave way pretty quickly to 90 degrees and humid, the water was a hot commodity too.
Stu marked out checkpoints on a map and taped it to the table, drew up a list of organized heats lettered A thru I. Dudes were put on "stand by" until their heat, and mostly ended up watching from a series of vantage points at Chimborazo. Its really a great spectator park in so many ways. I hustled down to the field shortly thereafter, I needed to get my tent set up so I wouldn't die all day. This was the view from my spot:

When the heats of racers would come at us, we'd be bombarded by sweaty running dudes (and ladies) for about thirty minutes off and on. Basically, at the top of the first hill where you can see a slight line or break in the vegetation(between the gazebo way up top and us way down low) there was a bike rack, a trash can, a road and a parking lot. You had to lock your bike up and run down the stairs or hill to get to my checkpoint then Chads, which was literally through a poison ivy path in the woods. Terrible!
It was so brutal and hot that a lot of folks ended up walking it. There were definitely some folks straight up GOING FOR IT, running full throttle the whole time, and those guys definitely qualified high for Sundays finals.
I didn't get any photos of folks on the hill, simply because I was hustling manifests, stamps, and handing out packages. The whole race was organized so that people would drop off a package to you that they would later pick up, so the packages recycled themselves and we never really ran out. That makes my brain explode, but it worked.

here is a great video i found of it. the race was truly intense, the sun and heat definitely added a tough factor to the course.
after the initial heats, it was time for the rush hour championships. The top couple guys from each heat had the option to race Rush Hour, which was basically just a prize payout race. 25 Races in this heat, the guys picked up a mailbin at my stop that was filled with eight packages. after hitting one or two checkpoints, they came to me, got the big saran-wrapped mailbin, and had to make a fast mental plan of the best way to deliver all eight packages as fast as possible. the race was very smartly done, with lots of room for fast time if someone was quick to think on their feet. most of the manifests were labeled "pick up in order, drop off in any order" so the work could really be mapped and done quickly.
After the rush hour championship, we shut it down. it was 630pm, I was sweaty and sunburned and tired and hungry. we were all totally fried. I helped cleanup the park as best I could, but was so sunburned and dehydrated (even though i drank 2 two liters of water) that my hands were cramping up as I drove home. I got a solid meal, a cold shower, and went to bed, thankful that Sundays finals were a little later in the day.
A full report on Sunday is in the works...

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