2007: Bum knee = quit at mile 50
2008: Free beer + a fellow teammate dropout = quit at mile 100
2009: Most horriblest feeling on a bike EVER = quit at mile 60
Suffice it to say that the conditions were NOT ideal for a 200 mile gravel adventure. The winds were as wicked as can be by 7:30 in the morning and besides a short 3 mile tailwind section, the closest the hills were gonna give us to "nice" was a slow break from the wind with 90 degree heat baring down on the racers with nothing even resembling shade. Coupled with whatever was going on in my stomach and just overall not feeling healthy I knew I needed to call it quits by the time I hit mile 50.
I learned a valuable lesson on Saturday though: I can't wish myself to a race finish in a Dirty Kanza situation, which was my entire training strategy. Now most things in my life I have been pretty good at just saying "I am..." or "I would like..." and eventually if I believe it or say it long enough things just sort of fall into place (try it sometime, it's quite mind blowing how this tactic works). But this sort of thing doesn't really work when the conditions conspire so hard against you that even if my body was capable of handling 200 miles of bowel rattling gravel my mind was just in too hard of a place to want to continue on after calculating average speed to determine my finish time (which would have been 20 hrs at my pace).
However... I had my three most awesome Bad Goat teammates quit too this year. All of whom have finished this race in the past and all of whom quit within 30 miles of myself... so maybe there is something to be said about wishing yourself into race form.
Regardless, there are now 4 Bad Goats fully kitted-out in some swank black and red threadz and we looked danged stylin' before we all threw in the towel and said "To Hell with the Kanz."
So here's to the Kanz and hoping that I won't be living in this state long enough to ever race her again.