The start of this year’s Blackfly Challenge was in Inlet, NY with the finish 40 miles away in Indian Lake, NY. The point to point race alternates each year between Inlet and Indian Lake. This is an event that has been going on for the last 15 year and is already scheduled for 2011.
This is the first year that I have done this race. Anyone that I know that has raced it says it is a must do race. Yeah, they were right. This was an excellent race. 40 miles through the Moose River Plains of the Adirondack Mountains, 1600 vertical feet of elevation and about 330 racers. Racers of all types…from pro right down to the bike path rider. Race categories include cyclocross, expert, sport and beginner with various age groups within each class.
With the Blackfly not being a USAC sanctioned race, I decided to register and race Expert Masters class. No, I never expected to be in contention to podium, but with the race not associated with USAC, I did expect a lot of sandbaggers. So, I set two goals for myself: finish and finish under three hours. Well, I finished with a time of 3:04:22. I’ll take that as meeting my goals. Especially after the morning I had getting there. On the way, we got lost. Our directions were a bit confusing and we mistook Route 9 N as Route 9N instead of 9 North. We ended up driving about an hour out of our way and arrived15 minutes prior to the start. I ran to check-in, ran back to the car to change and ran to the restroom to make it to the start line a few minutes before the start. With a Camelbak full of orange Motor Tabs, I made it!
With no warm-up at all, the first few miles were way to fast, but I did get into a rhythm and worked my way through the fist 20 miles, a rolling steady climb of 1600 verticle. 20 miles down, 20 miles to go. The second 20 miles was a rolling 1600 vertical descent…going down the other side of the mountain, but that was the most climbing I think I have ever done on a descent. I don’t use a GPS, so I have no idea how much total climbing there really was, but it was a lot.
I’m happy with my race. I finished 7th (expert 40+) and 181/328 overall.