My First Solo Endurance Race- Brunswick Brawl, Leland, NC


I am excited to tackle my first solo mountain bike endurance race this Saturday, October 12, at Brunswick Nature Park-Leland, NC, called The Brunswick Brawl.  This year’s Brawl has a 1/3/6 Hr options and I will be racing the 3 Hr option.  Not only am I racing, but I have been privileged now for the second year in a row, to be part of the event planning team for this race.

2013-Brunswick-Brawl-Logo-(tp-Bg) (2)Cape Fear SORBA, my local bike club, is responsible for making this race a huge success on the North Carolina coast.  Last year was our first year transitioning this to a very successful and high quality endurance race.  Currently, we are on track for having the best year yet, as we are hoping for record registration numbers.

Our Title Sponsor, Visit Leland, NC, returns to support our efforts, as well as, Bike Cycles- Wilmington, Two-Wheeler Dealer-Wilmington, Bicycle Gallery-Jacksonsville, TD Bank, St. James Plantation, Diesel Parts of the Carolinas, LLC, and Realtor Sean Skutnik of Coldwell Banker.

Personally, my goal is simply to complete three 9-mile laps before the the 2.5 hour cut-off for the 3 hour race.  This means 3 laps of at least 50 minutes a piece which will allow me a 4th final victory lap!

Currently, I feel like my conditioning and training puts me right on the bubble for this to be achieved.  At 100% output, I can ride a 43 minute lap, but pacing three laps is going to be the secret. Last year I raced in the 6 hour Duo class and my lap times were:

  • Lap 1: 46.12
  • Lap 2: 45:03
  • Lap 3: 48:52

I seem to still have a solid riding base as last year, but I have not gotten much faster, therefore, I am thinking I will target 48 minute laps.  this will leave me a little time to fix unexpected mechanicals and address any hydration refills.

This year’s race course is better than ever.  With the rain moving in already this week, Brunswick Nature Park will be tightly packed and faster than ever.  In tandem with the long volunteer trails hours of Cape Fear SORBA, there are 4 new berms that keep the rider moving fast through transition sections.

As a race promoter, I am very excited to see the geographical reach of our race.  So far, it looks like I will be joined by racers from Raleigh, Cary, Salisbury, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Charleston, Winston Salem, Southern Pines, Greensboro, Ayden, Apex, Myrtle Beach, Midway Park, Wake Forest, Southport, Carolina Shores, Camp Lejuene, Winnabow, Wilmington, Laland, Carolina Beach, Rocky Point, Castle Hayne, Jacksonville, and Morehead City,  For our club, this already makes the race a huge success!!

If you are interested in racing, registration is still open until this coming Friday, 6 pm.  Sign up now!  And do not forget the great rates for local accommodations if you are traveling in from afar.


Brunswick Brawl 2013 Endurance Mountain Bike Race in Leland, NC

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The Brunswick Brawl 2013 endurance mountain bike race at Brunswick Nature Park in Leland, NC is officially live for registration.  This race is sponsored by Visit Leland, NC and put on by volunteers from my local Cape Fear SORBA club.  Race date is Saturday, October 12th, 2013 with 6hr/3hr/1hr options.  Can’t wait to race it!  Race registration link.

Brunswick Brawl 2013 preflyer 1 up 8-5X111 non-cropped

October is for Endurance Racing!

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IMG_3780From the looks of recent mountain bike cyber chatter, October is going to be an awesome month of endurance racing options!  If you are looking for a reason to get out in the heat and start your training now, you should have no lack of motivation when you see all the great races available in just 3 months.  Here are just a few that I have on my radar that I would like to share:

I am sure there are many more, but this will at least get your endurance juices flowing!!!!!

Bike To Work Week -Cape Fear Region

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BikeToWorkWeekCapeFear1 (663x1024)

Coastal Carolina Off Road Series Race #6-Brunswick Nature Park

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It has been a joy to be part of the planning team for the Coastal Carolina Off Road Series 2013.  This 6-race series concludes this coming Sunday, May 5th at the Brunswick Nature Park in Leland, NC.

The Coastal Carolina Off Road Series (CCORS) is a volunteer run series where all money raised is used to enhance and maintain the mountain bike trails used by the participating clubs. The clubs involved are ECVelo of Greenville, CFSorba of Wilmington, DEC of Jacksonville,and the Waccamaw Trail Builders of Myrtle Beach. The goals of the series are to make quality mountain bike racing available to riders in Eastern North/South Carolina and to raise money to improve trail systems in our region.

CF SORBA Logo [black & yellow] [tp bg] [med] [PNG]WaccamawTrailBlazerLogo (2)DEC_New 2009_logo_web__banner

This year’s series has experienced record race numbers at ALL races (148 max races at Race #2).  Team competition is tight and the last race this Sunday should be a blast.  I am pulling for Cape Fear SORBA to pull out a 3rd consecutive year of victory. (race results here)

Kid’s races are free and start at 1 pm.  We will be offering free food for all the racers at this race and have sponsors providing free raffles for racers and non-racers totaling $300 worth of gift cards to a local bike shop.

Personally, I will be riding Sport 40+ at the final race which will be 18 miles.  I came in last at Sport several weeks ago, but since I had a birthday this week, I need to move up.  I will see if I can move up the ranks on Sunday, as I have been training hard the last two week.

Cyclo-Cross Race- High School Project

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Over the past months, I have had the privilege of supervising a local high school student with his senior project.  His focus is “commuting” and his end-project is a benefit race for our local mountain bike club on Sunday, March 24th.  I am fairly new to the race scene but I have enjoyed passing down the lessons I have learned in helping plan several race/race series.

Robert is planning to put on a cyclo-cross race at Brunswick Nature Park in Leland, NC and although the cross season is officially over, I am excited that he is keeping this sport on the front of everyone’s mind.  Inwardly, I am hoping he can teach me how to ride a cross bike as I have really been itching to learn.

By the way, I found out quickly that Robert breaks the mold when it comes to high school transportation.  After scheduling our first meeting at my office on the other side of town from his school, I was surprised to get a text from him that he had arrived outside my office and looking where to lock up his cross bike.  While most kids his age are begging their parents for a car or keys to their car,  I quickly learned that Robert lives what he preaches as biking is his preferred primary mode of transportation.

I am looking forward to helping Robert succeed in his upcoming senior project.  Come out and support his race on Sunday, March 24th.

cxracebenefit, 3-24-131

CCORS Race #2 @ Brunswick Nature Park

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IMG_8425 (1024x683)I decided to race Sport for the first time at this past Sunday’s Coastal Carolina Off Road Race Series #2 at Brunswick Nature Park in Wilmington, NC.  Being my home trail, the mileage is very comfortable for me and I wanted to stretch myself.

Also, I figured I would be good “chase bait” for all my riding buddies starting in the classes behind me.  The only way I figure I can honestly say I was ahead of them during this race was to be in a class that starts before them!

Unfortunately, I left my iPhone at the house and wasn’t able to monitor my 18 miles like I do EVERY time I ride, so I was riding blind somewhat. #StravaJunkie #StravaWithdrawals

A few surprises and lessons learned on Sunday…

1) I was pretty amazed that I just about matched my 2nd and 3rd lap (only 1 second off).  I did feel like the 3rd lap was my fastest but I guess it was an illusion.  I did feel like I was in a good groove at the third lap and could have kept going.  Maybe this means I could have pushed it more, not sure.

2) It can really slow down a lap and momentum when you have to spend most of your lap pulling over to the right to let people pass.  I knew this was part of the game starting up but didn’t realized how many people in the classes behind me were actually going to pass me.  Maybe there is still a magic starting place for me.

3) I learned you cannot just change racing divisions in the middle of a race:-)  I realized half way through the race that if I would have raced Single Speed, I would have placed 3rd since there were only 2 riders!!  I yelled out to the officials after my 2nd lap that I haven’t changed gears the entire race and please switch me to single speed, but they didn’t fall for it.  Then, after the race, I realized I should have been convincing them to change me to Expert while I did a 4th lap and then I wouldn’t have ended up at the bottom since 2 expert rider DNFed!  I guess I will have to throw money the next time in between laps…kind of the reverse act you see at Cyclocross races where fans are holding out $$$ for riders at the top of the hills!

All in all, I was pleased I finished 3 laps at somewhat of a race-pace for me and did not cramp up in the legs.  I felt the potential right at the end of the last lap when climbing a final incline but was able to adjust and prevent it.  This is great news as I really don’t want to end another race with locked legs and IV fluid in the local Urgent Care (Thanks Tree Shaker in Charlotte!!)

One of the best memories of the day is my son racing his first kids race!  He was so excited to get a medal and reminded me several times that day it is his first medal EVER for bike racing!  I hope he continues as it will be a special treat for me if he enjoys father and son rides as he grows up!

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