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Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, October 4, 2010

2010 Pinnacle Challenge

For the second year in a row I joined my fellow acidotic teammates for a little 4-person relay action in Newport, NH. The Pinnacle Challenge is a double duathlon consisting of a 5m road run, a 5.4m mountain bike, a 13.75m road bike and finishes up with a 3.65m trail run. I was taking part in the team event but they also have solo and duo categories for those that are interested in a real challenge.
My team had a last minute scratch so I was scrambling in the days before the race looking for a replacement. I managed to find a runner but he was a complete unknown so I wasn't sure what to expect. I guess we'll find out on race day.
Transition area
The Pinnacle Challenge is a well organized but low key event. There's a good mix of uber-athletes and regular joes and most are very supportive of each other. Nothing like watching guys with $10k bikes racing against guys with $100 bikes. When I say racing, I mean they're in the same race. Plus with so many acidotic teams racing, there tends to be a lot of inter-team racing going on, not to mention my usual I gotta beat Chris' team no matter what attitude that I take into every race against Chris. However, since Chris is the master team builder in these events, chances are good that he's stacked the teams in his favor.
Jim Johnson decided to dump his teddy bear CMS singlet for the day and slip on the acidotic colors. Jim would run the 5m leg, followed by Austin Stonebraker on the mountain bike, Ted Hall on the road bike and finally me on the trail run. I liked our chances. Turns out a team of CMS/BAA guys liked their chances too!
Jim aR Johson
At 9:30 the 5m runners were off and the rest of us waited. We didn't have to wait very long. 24:36 later Justin Fyffe came into the transition area. Wow. That was fast. Not long after Jim entered the transition area in 24:59. Seriously, he barely broke 25 minutes for 5 miles. Who can't do that?? (apparently, everybody at the race except Justin). We had a problem though. I mean, we invite him into our cult, set him up with a styling sleeveless man-shirt with the acidotic logo on the front and then he slips on some arm cozies??? Sorry Jim, this relationship is NOT going to work out. Please turn in your singlet.
Back to the race. Jim did manage to give us a 1:21 lead over Team Chris and the race was on! Austin headed out for the mountain bike loop with Chris following shortly after. Less than 40 minutes later they'd both return, with Chris holding a 10 second lead. Ah, ya gotta love a good race! Christian and Ted would essentially head out for the road bike loop together. As I chatted with Chris I told him what needed to happen: my rider (Ted) needed to put 2+ minutes on Christian for me to even have a chance. That's because I was up against a crazy fast acidotic runner with dual citizenship (apparently he runs with CMS when he doesn't want to have fun) - Tim Cox.
As the riders approached the transition area I could see what was happening. Christian and Ted were actually riding together. Crap. Game, set, match. Ted came into the transition area with a 2 second lead over Christian. 2 SECONDS?? I needed 2 minutes!!  Oh, well. At least I didn't have to run scared waiting for Tim to catch me. There was a good chance I wouldn't make it out of the transition area before he passed me.
Stairs on the run
As I ran as fast as I could around the track and headed to the woods, Tim pulled up beside me. I could hear Jim yelling "hang with him!" and almost cramped up from laughing. 1/4 mile into the run and I was at max heart rate. Finally, we turned into the woods and out of sight from the spectators and I commented to Tim that I could finally let up and off he went. I stayed with him on the stair climb but not much after that. It was fun while it lasted. I had a decent run. The first 2+ miles were all climbing as we headed to the summit before heading back down on some fantastic single track. Oh, and on the climb to the summit they threw in a 20' rope climb just to mix it up. Nice! Back to the downhill (since the uphill part basically sucked). I recovered pretty quickly and opened it up on the way back down. The footing was great, the trail flowed nicely and the corners weren't sharp. It was FAST. About half way down I passed a solo guy and came close to passing another one just before the finish.
In the end I ran 25:10 and our team finished in 2:07:54 (complete results). Last year this time would have been more than enough for the overall win. This year it was good for 4th team overall and 2:04 behind Tim (and Chris' team). See, I told him I needed 2 minutes!!!!
The team of Justin Fyffe, Mark Miller, Josh Ferenc and Greg Hammet scored the win and came within 18 seconds of breaking 2hrs (a feat that has never happened in this race). Not bad for a bunch of Pinnacle rookies.
Last year I ran the 5m road leg and had the 4th fastest split of the day. My team last year finished 4th overall.
This year I ran the 3.65m trail leg and had the 4th fastest split of the day. My team finished 4th overall.
If you want to finish 4th, I'm your guy.
I'm #4!!

Videos courtesy of Jim Johnson.

Part I

Part II


middle.professor said...

Looks fun. Who was the first runner on Team Chris?

Steve Wolfe said...

Derrick Hamel (26:20). I pretty sure he ran a PR (figures...)