Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Llano Estacado Challenge - 2012 - Autumn

Endurance101andbeyond.com - Full Story

June 16th & 17th 2012

June 15, 2012: Kenlyn Pristine, Deals Midas Moon and I headed northwest to Lake Meredith north of Amarillo for two days of riding some of my favorite trails. I had not been to Llano Estacado since... I’d have to look it up; it’s been at least two years, probably more like three years. This ride site has some history and memories for me with one particular year being “stuck” there for four days due to flooding rain that kept us all in the valley-like camp ground, unable to get out. This ride used to be held toward the end of September and in the last three years has been moved to June. And there have been many improvements made over the last decade with not only road work, but now the addition of covered picnic tables and a permanent bathroom. The trails are absolutely gorgeous. If you have ever been in the Amarillo/Dumas, Texas area, you know the terrain is, well, flat. Not at Lake Meredith though. As you enter the park, you drop down into a valley with canyon-like formations. Very pretty.

After getting a semi late start on Friday morning, we arrived in camp around 3:30 p.m. It had rained quite a bit in the days prior including Thursday night so the ground was boggy and it was humid. I set up camp rather quickly and was able to get Kenlyn Pristine vetted just prior to the ride meeting. The forecast called for near 100-degree temps but not more rain. The plan was to ride Kenlyn Pristine Saturday in the 50-miler and then Deals Midas Moon Sunday in the 50-miler. The loop order was to do 20 miles, 10 miles and then 20 miles. They put the 10-mile loop in the middle because it did not have any water available on it other than one trough about a mile out of camp and they didn’t want the last loop of 50 miles to be “dry” in the heat of the day.

June 16th; 6:00 a.m.: There were 26 starters in the 50 with 24 finishers. Kenlyn Pristine and I started out toward the front with four other riders. It was a bit of a yo-yo for me as we would move out on the flat and then drop back to slow down on the hills, only to catch back up with the other four on the flat… she didn’t care much for the “easy girl” on the hills part, but she listened fairly well, or at least my hands weren’t too blistered! All five of us came in off the first 20 miles about the same time in approximately two and a half hours. I was a bit trepid about the pulse criteria of 60 beats/minute with the temps, but I was pleasantly surprised that she pulsed down quickly...

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