|This year, the AZT sign marked the finish line for the 65 & Gila100. Antelope Peak on the horizon.|
Steve dropped back and mentioned that in our haste to get going he forgot to load the track onto his GPS! I convinced him to hang back with me until we cleared the Painter Boy section as there are a few vague areas before getting dumped back onto Willow Springs Rd. We reached the Willow Springs Arch & staging area and there were quite a few vehicles present as riders were out pre-riding the 24hr Old Pueblo course. We gave the AES riders the choice to go either way at this point up to Painter Boy, similar distance, but most people pre-ride the course in a CCW race direction.
|Near the end of our neutral rollout.|
|Our start on the Old Pueblo course.|
|Photo from last year heading into the bramble area, see that trail straight ahead?|
|Last year Scott marked the way with police tape, very helpful.|
|Thankfully the sand wasn't too deep.|
|Antelope Peak getting very close.|
|AZT @Freeman Rd water cache & new trailhead.|
|Passing by Antelope Peak.|
|Snack & rest time in Bloodsucker Wash.|
|Still on the initial 2 mile grade, Antelope Peak starting to disappear high above the wash.|
|82 miles into the Gila100 and Kurt is rockin'.|
|Top of the Bloodsucker Wash climb.|
|A fast section of trail awaits, Mt. Lemmon looms large.|
|Antelope Peak now a speck on the horizon as the golden hour approaches.|
|Aaron reluctantly had to use his light.|
|The image of a whooped rider. Photo by Caroline.|
That final light I saw? Max rolled into a 3rd place finish in the Gila, followed by Chad, Tom, Ray, Mark and Jeff. Perhaps next year I'll keep my January miles up and attempt the Gila, who knows.
That was a tough two days on the bike. No mechanicals or flats either, hard to believe. One final stat I found amusing:
January 2013: 80 miles & 8,100 feet of elevation gain
February 1st & 2nd: 124 miles & 13,500 feet of elevation gain. No wonder I was whooped.
Congrats to all the finishers for both the 65 & especially the Gila100.