Fremont Peak Hill Climb 9/20/09
Steve Heaton 35+ 123
Feeling good just off a win in Mammoth I made it to the race in time for a good warm-up. Since the race is only 45mins or less I would need at least 1hr to warm-up so off I went up San Juan rd like many others. 20mins out I flatted my new tubular @$#!&*)(^@!/?. Now I’m stuck on the side of the road. Finally a rancher with a truck rolls up and I get a ride back. I didn’t bring my spare wheels (running behind and wanted to get a good warm-up) I was standing by my car when a buddy of mine stopped and gave me his wheel. He told me he had a wheel in his car only to find out later it had a flat and he didn’t have time to fix and missed his race. I rolled to the line with literally 20sec to start time. Bamm we go………..pace is tolerable but not smooth. I was 20 back so I decided it would be best to position toward the front about 5 back (less yo yo effect). This was better until 15mins into it with some punchy climbs I got dropped and had a Pescadero flashback. I stayed calm and realized I’m only 35mins into warm-up and have to stay within my limit. Next thing I know Niles rolls up to me and says “how you doing” or something? I’m thinking “I can’t get my motor to go” nothing I can do accept hang on until I warm-up. Once we hit the serious section of climbing I started to feel good to go. I had two San Jose guys in front of me so I used them as carrots. I reeled them in and out the back then moved on to another group up the road. I kept thinking the top of the climb was just around the next corner to the flat section and wanted to be sure and catch or drop them by that point. I kept on attacking until I had just one guy with me over the top and since I was feeling good, warm and ready to go I knew all I had to do was keep increasing the speed all the way to the line with last 100m sprint. The road was fast, twisty and a bit narrow making it hard to pass when the speed keeps increasing. 3rd place. Overall I’m satisfied with the result. I stayed focused on the goal to race the Mtn and did the best I could under the circumstances.
This was the last race of the season for me and have to say it ended as good as it started. I took my challenges (shoulder dislocation, diet issues, lack of climbing ability) head on and worked through them. Next season is going to be good if all goes well this winter. It’s my last year in the 35+ category and would like to end it strong with a few podiums.