Wow…that just might have been the hardest race that I have ever done. The Wildcat 50k was a new race course for this year, and I think they are on to something. The race was based at Lippman Park in Warwarsing, NY with the help and support of the Renegade MTB Club. Lippman Park is very well known in the region for the mountain bike trails that have been developed over the last several years. Lippman Park is also surrounded by the Lundy Estate, which is now State DEC land and also holds a network of trails consisting of dirt road, double-track and single-track trail.
Gunter Spilhaus, the Wildcat race director, did an awesome job with this year’s edition of the Wildcat. There was a 100 mile, a 100k and a 50k. With 80 or so racers for all three races, I thought it was a good turnout for the revamped format and location.
The 50k started with a one mile roll-out to the first climb of the day, a ~3 mile dirt road climb up Lundy Rd. This led us to the first single-track that snaked through the area and eventually bringing us back to a dirt road and the start of the next single-track, the Lippman Park trails. After several mile of Lippman park riding, we came through the start/finish area to head back into the Lippman Park trails for several more miles of single-track, double-track, technical climbing and descending. Another section of the Lundy Estate trails again brought us back to Lippman park for the last several miles of single-track that eventually brought us in for the finish.
This was a very demanding race course. I do have to say that at one point I was suffering, but I never considered bailing out. The worst for me was my arms, shoulders and back. I didn’t plan this race the best either. I planned on ~4 hours to complete the 50k. I had enough drink for 4+ hours and finished in 5:15. However, I did ride well and mostly strong. Sometimes when you have never rode in an area, you have a different expectation of the race course. That’s what happened with me, but now I know what to expect for the next edition of the Wildcat.
When it comes down to it, overall I did have a good race. I finish in 2nd place in the 50k Masters race and I was only 2 minutes back from the winner. So, I must have done something right.
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition for keeping me fueled, to Duro Tire for the awesome tires that were flawless on this course, and to both Rudy Project and AXO Cycling for keeping my head, my feet and my hands protected.