This was my 12th time racing the Breckenridge 100. I have raced every year but one, looking back on all that racing makes me feel a little old. It seems like yesterday I was just getting into this sport and now it’s become such a large part of my life. Sometimes I have a hard time motivating to write about a race I have done so many times and know inside and out. You go over this mountain and its really hard then you ride this sweet trail and another then like 10 more really hard climbs and more sick riding and you feel like dying and congrats you just finished the Breck 100!
Well this was actually much different than that, all the riding was there but with a world of freezing cold rain thrown in for another level of suffering.
It had been raining daily leading up to the race but it was more of the set your watch for the 2pm thunder shower type thing. The day before the race it was an almost all day light rain event and I was hoping it would get out of the way for the next day but the weather report was not looking good.
The alarm goes off at 4am for the Breck 100 and it was raining pretty good at that point, it continued to rain pretty much until noon. Luckily we are blessed with very porous dirt and it’s not clay based so we really don’t get much mud but when your riding your bike over 12,000 foot passes it can get really cold.
I was anticipating a cold rainy first lap so I went with knee warmers, arm warmers a vest and warm gloves to start with. I’m glad I had enough sense to go with some extra clothing because a lot of people didn’t and most of the ill prepared dropped after the first lap. For the first lap over the Ten mile range it had slowed to a cold mist but by the time we started down the other side to Copper Mountain it had picked up and was getting cold. By the time we got onto the peaks trail back to Breck it had really started raining and the roots and rocks were making the going difficult but its a good amount of climbing so this was nice for trying to stay warm. The trail was a river by this point and clothing and body were soaked to the bone.
Starting out for lap 2 it had slowed a bit and seeing how I was already soaked I decided to not grab a jacket the next three hours it continued to rain and it was a vicious cycle of shivering uncontrollably on the decent and try to warm back up on the climbs.
Finally near the end of the lap it started to clear out and warm up a bit. I’m not sure if I would have made the last lap if it had continued to rain like it had been, I guess we’ll never know…
On the last lap I was starting to unravel and the climb up Indiana creek sealed the deal I felt like I was crawling up the thing. Riding down gold dust trail gave me a bit of energy because it’s such a fun rip! When I got to Como and began the hour long road climb back up the pass my motivation was really low, the last thing I wanted to do was push up this thing. About half way up I could see a couple riders a few minutes behind an figured it was all or nothing at this point and put my head down and gave it all I had. When I pulled into the finish I had held onto 3rd by pure determination alone, The Breck 100 had crushed me this year.
Usually I am crushed by this race but this year the race teamed up with mother nature for the ultimate double team. Every person who crossed the finish line on that day is a hard ass in my book, and this edition of the race will go down as the hardest thus far.