Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ElliptiGo Ride to the Castle

There are very few opportunities to race on the ElliptiGo, so when I saw the “Race to the Castle”, I signed up immediately.  The 5k race would be a sprint on the Go, but my only other race experience was a long climb, so it’d be cool to try something a little different.  I scouted the course a couple of weeks in advance and it would be nothing if not scenic.

This was a first year event that featured a point to point course from Russell Orchards to the top of Castle hill in Ipswich.  I got in a 5 mile run early in the morning then headed over to Ipswich.  I was among the first to arrive.  I wanted plenty of time to go for a warm-up run then a ride.  I hit the road and got in 3 miles including the small Hamlin Reservation (worth the diversion).  After that I hopped on the Go and headed out to see what the turn at Crane Beach would be like.  The turn was around a cone, which isn’t bad running but on a Go (which has a wide turning radius) it’d be interesting.  My goal was to not wipe out on that turn.

I got back from my warm-up ride and was happy to see about 20 Go’s parked near the start.  Surprisingly the Go field was almost as big as the field of runners.  Jim Hansen and Jeff Caron looked to be the guys who would bury the field.  They are both very strong riders.  I hoped to keep them in sight.

They shot out of the start like the rest of us were standing still.  I found myself in 6th place in the early going and it felt like I was in an all-out sprint.  At the first little uphill (30’ of climb in a quarter mile) I caught two guys in front of me and kept pushing.  Jim and Jeff were way ahead.  I hoped that I could get a bit closer on the last two climbs, both were short the final climb would be a bit of a grind.  The second climb was 50’ in a quarter mile and it hurt, but I couldn’t hear the swoosh of anyone Go-ing behind me.  I also could no longer see the guys in front of me as they were extending their lead (and battling like crazy for the win).

I continued to work as hard as possible and hit the long flat stretch toward Crane’s beach where I could see the dual in progress.  With the out/back around the cone it was easy to see exactly how far behind I was, and more importantly how close the next guy was.  We passed each other 15 seconds from the turn, so he was only about 30 seconds behind with ¾ of a mile to go.

At 2.5 miles we turned into the Castle Estates and the 150’ climb was there to greet us.  There was one very steep pitch about half-way into the climb and the remainder was a much gentler climb.  I got into low gear and pushed for all I was worth.  I was pretty sure they guys in front were way out of reach but I was worried that I was getting caught.  That kept me motivated to the top.  The final .2 was a fast downhill into the finish. 

I held on to 3rd place rolling across the line in 11:32, a good 50 seconds behind the top 2 who finished within a second of each other.  It certainly was a different experience, it was very different from a running race.  I’m not sure if I’d do much more on the Go, although doing some of the classic New England Mountain climbs might be “fun”.  I finished the day with a warm-down on the Go back to the Orchard and then another 3 mile run back to Hamlin (including the highest point on Eagle Island).  A pretty full morning.

Half-mile Splits from my Garmin:

1:36      1:34      1:52 (40’ hill)     1:32      1:53 (50’ hill)     2:28 (150’ hill)   :33

Overall results

No comments: