Lots of people like to mark time based on an event. You know, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation dates, first day of school, first date, Monday etc… Some days are more memorable than others, such as your first Pearl Jam concert or when your dog did not pee in the house etc… Even Facebook realizes that people want to remember things, so it will show you the stupid things you did 3 years ago on this date as well as the great things you did. (Of course some people take that too far and have to share that silliness, but that is another rant.)
I tend to mark time with the Ironman GNCC calendar date. It is a significant event in my life. It is kinda the race that really got me into this in the first place, It is the race that made me say I wanted to do all the GNCC series, it is the only GNCC race that Liz has ever been to, (we one time went from the GNCC race there directly to Charlottesville Virginia to a Pearl Jam concert, but that also is another story.) The Ironman GNCC has been such an amazing thing for me, it tends to be the one thing that I always start my calendar with.
It has everything going for it.
Location. It is in Indiana, and as you have heard from me in the past, all good things with dirt biking tend to happen in Indiana. National Enduro’s, an Enduro through a nudist colony, GNCC races, Full Gas Enduro’s, Chris Bach is from there, the IXCR race series, Brown County Mountain Bike trails, Burrito (I just added that, because there is Burrito.)
Dirt. The dirt at the Ironman is just incredible. It has a consistency that is like peanut butter or even better like Nutella. I think you could actually think of it as Nutella, you might as well as you are going to eat plenty of it and smash plenty of it into everything.
Hills. I know you think Indiana is completely flat, but you would be wrong. The hills are incredibly steep and huge. They are hard to get up, and when there is a crowd just waiting for you to fail, it is damn intimidating. This year, I just said I was not going to be intimidated and rode the difficult fast lines up every time. Unfortunately, it was a hill that I was not expecting that was so difficult. The rocky gully after Ironman hill, was slick and really difficult to get up. I ended up upside down in that ravine twice. It completely killed my lap times on 2 laps. I have gone up that ravine many other years and it is never that hard – this year, it was really really tough.
Long. I mean it is obviously long, it is a 3 hours as hard as you can race. The loop is long as well, at approximately 13 miles. Somewhere along the way, even though it is the most amazing event, everyone is just ready for it to be done. You can only experience that awesomestest for so long.
Epic. If ever there was an event that was going to give you epic face, it is the Ironman GNCC. It is just really hard to explain the grandeur of the race. I mean holy, crap it is enormous. You will think about it all year, and all the way home afterward. You finish the race just knowing it was the most epic thing you have done all year, and slowly on the drive home or the next days you will start to wonder why you just could not hold your shit together long enough to have a better result. That is the definition of epicness.
Awesome. Aweseomeness, awesomenester, awesomenestest, awesomely, awesomelier, awesomenicity, epic awseomnicity, awesomer, awesomenable, awesomeur, awesometier.
My race this year wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I feel like I have so much more speed than I show at this race. I had a horrible start, dead last in the first turn, and then made my way all the way up to 3rd at one point in the race. I showed the kind of speed that I know I have for the first hour of the race, but then showed the same tourist mentality for the last hour of the race that I always seem to have. Ugh. The podium still eludes me at the Ironman.
I mark my year in terms of building to Ironman, and after Ironman. I often wish there was more than 1 Ironman. I always wish that every other race I am at, I was at the Ironman. I sometimes have a hard time sleeping, as I am thinking about the Ironman. I sometimes think that maybe I should broaden my horizons, but then I realize – nah.
It is only 363 days till the 2016 Ironman GNCC. (There is really only 1)