This would be my second time at Tsali and the second time racing the 12hr of Tsali. As the title reads 7:29:05 was my Timex stopwatch reading as I completed my 7th and final lap. I was done, the conditions were dry as a bone and very dusty. With ideal temps and course conditions were stupid fast, and many of the southeast's up and coming endurance freaks were out to show off there fitness. Something that I seem to be lacking.
The race started in typical Lemans fashion with the dreaded uphill run. This brisk 2 minute jog seems like 10; but is needed to spread the mass of riders out. Managed to jump many spots on the county line road to the the first single track section. All was well and I seemed to be riding within my range. My lack of fitness would soon show. Around lap three I was flat, no energy, burning quads and fighting the dust. Pulled into my pit spot and sat down pondering what to eat. About a 5 minute pit and I was back out on the trail at a more training ride pace. For me the racing part of the race was over. This needed to become a training ride. With my longest ride of 4 hours and 70mi on the road (last weekend). There had to be something good come from this - "I'm here and I need to make the best of this situation".
So now the training ride side of things, could I complete 9 laps for the century? Do I want to ride 6 more laps? That lake sure looks pretty! I kept finding myself drifting off looking at Lake Fontana. Quickly focusing back onto the trail before I hurt myself. Swimming and beer kept popping to mind.
No more boring training ride story, I did manage 7 laps some 84 miles of off-road goodness. I was even coherent enough to drive the 4 hours back to Cola town. I had another night paid in full at the Freeman motel, but I just didn't want to stay there another night. I took a quick shower and hopped on 74 heading to I40. On the road about 10 minutes, I was popped by the NCHP just outside of Bryson City. Well finally this weekend I was going to fast, to bad the bikes were in the car.