I finished the Ultimate Challenge today. It’s an amazing 102 mile bike ride that follows the Stage 5 course of the Tour of Utah. This ride is no joke, I now understand completely why the Pros call it the queen of all stages, with almost 10,000 feet of climbing. The crazy thing about this ride is that we started about 4 hours before the Pros, and so once they started I felt like we were the rabbit being chased by the pack of wolves. This really got intense for me when we were riding up Little Cottonwood Canyon toward the finish at Snowbird. In fact, I only beat them by about 15 minutes – CRAZY! So what took us about 7 hours to finish, the Pros did it in around 4 1/2 hours – they were flying on today’s stage. The weather conditions were phenomenal, cool in the morning, no major winds, and although it got hot, it was overall an great.
I want to give a HUGE shout out first to my wife and kids, they were there cheering me on at about 1k to go – they are amazing! My wife is the best! Next to my good friend Chris and a cool guy I met on the ride named Jake. They were awesome companions – and I feel a bit guilty for dropping them on the steep climbs – sorry guys. My fantastic Mother-in-law was so cute…She met me at the last aid station at the base of LCC and she was just cheering her heart out. My good buddy Brad Stec was awesome to drive us up to Park City so we didn’t have truck back up there for our car, I owe ya a shake Brad.
I have to thank the race organizers of the challenge, they put on an incredible event, one of the most memorable I will have forever. A big thanks to Dave Harward for giving me some good advice to train more in the heat and I truly feel the last month of suffering in afternoon wind and heat paid of big time today.
Super big thanks to my buddy Bruce Deppe for lending me his book “The Paleo Diet for Athletes” – I truly believe this helped me survive today’s event. I followed the suggestion to stick primarily with a liquid diet which consisted of Perpetuem, Powerbar gels (the best ones ever!), First Endurance EFS electrolyte mix, a few bananas, and 2 Honey Stinger waffles. I never felt depleted nor any form of bonk. The legs were sore, but I felt strong all the way to the end.
Here’s the Strava results, it wasn’t super duper fast, but hey – I finished!