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.
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!!