This might be one of my longest blogs ever because so much happened tonight. At about 6:30pm I went over to Spokes Etc. Bike Shop in Alexandria, VA. and saw a big crowd of people around the computrainers. Then I spotted my Pro Trainer, Kirk Otterson. I asked him what was going on and he just said, "Darion! Hey, go get your bike, we got one spot open." So, even though I wasn't planning on doing any riding today, I went home, and brought my bike back to the store. I'll explain exactly what the Santa Smackdown is...
There are 4 teams, 4 riders on each team. There are 3 rounds of riding. The riding consists of a 3.1 mile course (5k) with one big hill and a couple other small climbs, as well as a descent near the end. The first round is 4 heats (4 separate different races) with 4 riders in each heat. The 2 fastest riders from each heat move on to round 2 which consists of 8 riders from the 16 total that started. Round 2 is split up into 2 heats, again 4 riders in each heat and the 2 fastest riders in each heat move onto the final round, which is one heat with 4 riders competing for 1st place. So to recap, everyone rides at least once, and the top 4 riders compete 3 times on the same course (9.3 miles or 15k.)
Here's a video of last year's race because there is no video that I could find covering this year's. Its the same set up, same location, and same look though, so this should give you a pretty good idea of what the environment of the event was like.
So, the result of the night. For the first round I competed in heat 4 and I won out of the 4 riders racing me. I pulled out a time of 7:55.23 with an average Watts of 377 which was the fastest time that night by 26 seconds. In Round 2 I competed in the 2nd Heat and finished 2nd to my teammate, Tim K. by .26 seconds with a time of 8:02.64. After the 2nd Round I was extremely tired and was coughing uncontrollably. I was debating wether I would even do the Final Round or not. I decided to go for it and hopped on the bike to warm-up for the Championship Round. I really was dead. As it turns out I had a bit more energy then I had thought and I ended up tying for first in a full out sprint. When I say tie, I really mean that we rode the same time down to the hundredths of a second, 8:08.40... I was amazed by my performance as was Kirk. I think he now realizes what my body is actually capable of doing.
When we finished I fell off the bike in exhaustion, literally. I was dizzy, my feet and calves were numb, and the burning in my thighs hurt more than any injury I have ever had. I know that it was the hardest I have ever pushed my body past the mental and physical barrier. I've never hurt that much before, and it felt amazing!
I'd like to thank Spokes Etc. Bike Shop for hosting the event. If you haven't checked them out yet then I really recommend it. Great service, great products, great store! I'd also like to thank Kirk and his Velo Works team for setting up the Computrainers and running the event. It was a lot of fun and I'm extremely glad I decided to go home and get my bike.