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American Zofingen-An American Treasure
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TOPIC: American Zofingen-An American Treasure
#2397
American Zofingen-An American Treasure 4 Years, 4 Months ago  
On Sunday, I ventured up to New Paltz to attempt the daunting Long Course of the American Zofingen Race.&nbsp; 5 mile trail run, 84 mile bike, 15 mile run.&nbsp; This is easily the hardest race I&#039;ve ever done.&nbsp; However, it was my favorite and I would not trade one of those painful steps in the last 2 plus hours for anything.&nbsp; The RD and race organizers were phenominal.&nbsp; THis race still has that grass roots feel that I am always searching for.&nbsp; Venue was perfect-how can you go wrong in the beautiful Shawangunks, weather was perfect-, and post race food and Keegan&#039;s beer was off the hook.<br /><br />First, let me say that I underestimated the ferocity of this course and it came back to bite me over and over again.&nbsp; In a word---BRUTAL.<br /><br />Things started off bad Sunday morning,&nbsp; I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with a blasting headache, slight fever and sinus infection. In the car by 3:45 and off to New Paltz. Arrived at about 6:00a.m. and started setting up. Then realized that I lost my cell phone.&nbsp; A bit of panic and self loathing due to my carelessness but tried to put it out of my mind.&nbsp; Weather was incredible, blue skys and about 55 degrees at the start. as I wrote, this race has a real good feel to it--grass rootsy, great enthusiatic people, and incredible venue. The run featured four- five mile loops with two 3/4 mile technical ascents on very rocky rooty single track. Indeed each loop featured 3,000 feet of climbing. So steep that by the second loop almost everyone in the race was forced to walk them. The 3 loop 84 mile bike was not much better as far as cllimbing. Approx 8,100 feet of climbing on each loop. Two very steep prolonged climbs with 23% to 25% inclines. Not for the faint hearted.<br /><br />I must admit that this course was in my head so I decided to go out easy. First 3/4 mile of the run was fairly benign. Across some open fields and up some minor hills. Then bang straight up single track. Ran/shuffled the best I could up this section-got to the top and turned onto a nice, if not a bit rocky, cinder path. Slight downhill so I turned it up a bit. Then the next technical ascent. Tried to run bun was moving slow. Back on cinder path, put mostly downhill and a lot of breaking. 46 minutes for the first 5 mile run.<br /><br />Onto the bike. First loop was tough both mentally and physically. Mentally because I kept thinking, during those long climbs, that I had to do it two more times. Bike was long ups and screaming descents with a few shorter flats were I spent my time in the aero bars. Seemed like you were always climbing. Got through first loop in what seemed like forever. Second loop was much better. Felt real good and did not mind the climbs. Third loop was grueling. The second long climb lasted forever. For all of you that are familiar with New Paltz, it is the climb up to Lake Minniwaska.&nbsp; Finally off the bike in 6:00. I was a bit disappointed but knew I was a touch slow with all the climbing.<br /><br />Into transition, sneakers on, chirped at some spectators, then tried to run. Legs were lead. I was stumbling around like some drunk bum being kicked out of his/her favorite gin mill.&nbsp; Sort of shuffled out of transition and off to the Bataan Death march. Ran to the first technical ascent, walked up as fast as I could, ran hard on the cinder road and tried to run up the next ascent. When I slowed, I felt absolutely horrendous. Light headed, mentally in a real dark place, legs, feet, back, shoulders, a$$---everything hurt at once. For the first time racing, quitting slipped into my mind. Told myself to get it straightened out. Man the F up.&nbsp; Looking deep down inside me at that moment I saw some real scary creepy crawlers trying to mug me out of this race.&nbsp; Ate a gu and trudged slowly up. Told myself that I was going to finish even if it got dark and they closed the course. Was in this bad place for the entire first loop--1:02.<br /><br />On the second loop things started to change and I started feeling better and really trying to run up the ascents. Felt woozy a few times but just kept pushing forward. My feet were on fire from all the roots and rocks. Second loop 1:03.<br /><br />Starting the third loop I looked at my watch and saw 8:57. I told myself that I had to finish under 10. Ran as hard and as much as I could. Unfortunately, I was just physically unable to run up the rocky steep ascents. Got to the 3.5 mark and had 12 minutes to go to stay under 10. I ran as fast as I could, falling twice on my face. Passed two guys that I had been sparing with all day. Did it 9:57.<br /><br />At the beginning of the day, my goal was to go under 9. This beast of a course crushed me.&nbsp; It ate me up and spit me right out. Loved this race. Did a lot of introspection out in those hills. Saw some ugliness inside me and some strength. Out there alone, you really get to know a bit about yourself.<br /><br />This is a phenomenal race. Incredible day. RD and race folks were very friendly and attended to the racers every need. Great volunteers. After the race they had kegs of Keegans Ale lined up. Legit! Now I am licking my wounds and wondering how I am going to get around that Harryman HIM track next Saturday. I am hurtin right now but hope things feel better tomorrow. Oh just to really bust my chops it took my 5.5 hours to get home with New York traffic. I was ready to scream in that car. WIll return to do this race again. The only fear I have is that it gets &quot;discovered&quot; by the bucket list crowd and loses its innocence and charm.<br />
sevenride
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#2398
Re: American Zofingen-An American Treasure 4 Years, 4 Months ago  
I&#039;m totally jealous. That race sounds freekin&#039; amazing!!! You are so ready for placid - it will feel easy after that! Way to dial up the man-up-o&#039;meter!<br /><br />Good stuff - worth waiting for! Congrats!!!
Spunkie
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#2399
Re: American Zofingen-An American Treasure 4 Years, 4 Months ago  
&nbsp; &nbsp; In a moment of pure insanity a few months ago, I also signed up for the Harryman HIM this Saturday.&nbsp; I can&#039;t even walk yet, I&#039;m in for a beatin Saturday.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;
sevenride
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