For 2012 I decided to make the trip to Michigan for the Lumberjack 100. I have only done this race one other time it was a rough one, so I needed some redemption. The course is 90 percent single track with some fire road sections to mix it up and lots of sand. There is a good amount of climbing and it is always punchy up and down with no rest, you are working hard the entire race!
Coming into this race I knew that it was a super stacked field and would be a tough day! Along with the competition, the weather report was calling for temps near 90°, for me this is the hardest part of racing on the east coast, the heat and humidity really take a toll on me.
The start of the race was a bit dicey with a two-mile pavement sprint for hole-shot onto the trail. It seemed to be going smoothly and I was near the front of the pack in about 6th position, when two guys ahead of me collided and hit the ground hard, luckily I slammed on the brakes and my XTR discs did their job and I was able to avoid the carnage! The lead group formed early with Barry Wicks, Kevin Carter, Christan Tanguy, Michael Simonson, and myself. The two guys who crashed; Drew Edsall and Robert Spreng were able to catch back up about halfway through the first lap.
The second lap continues in the same manner with the fast lead group, the pace is high but I was feeling great and try to push the pace at the front as much as possible. Near the end of the second lap I caught a stick in my spokes and had to pull over to get it out. This costs me a good amount of time and I have to sprint back! Unfortunately at this point in the race that effort is too much, I was able to get back to the group but I quickly fall of the pace and go backwards for about an hour.
Into the third lap I start to get my legs back but the heat is really noticeable now and I’m just pushing to get done and not lose any spots, then near the end of the race I see Simonson and push by him to finish in 5th place.
The Lumberjack is the polar opposite off the riding I do at home but It’s a great test, you have to get out of your comfort zone to really find what your made of! I had a lot of fun at the Lumberjack and it’s a great trail riding 100-mile race, I will definitely come back again!