Here's a quick video of today's Test of Metal 40-mile mountain bike race in Squamish, British Columbia. Beautiful setting for what is a hellatiously tough race. Quick impression is that what makes it so hard is that the course gets tougher the farther you go and the more and more tired you're becoming. I'll write more later but here're a few things that happened to me, all in the last 10 miles: I suffered some of the worst leg cramps I've ever had (and I've done two Ironmans and run the Chuckanut 50K five times), I rode off a 5-foot high bridge into a puddle of goo, I bashed and bloodied my shin on one of the course's six million frickin' rocks but ... I finished. In about 4:13. Pretty pleased with that time actually. The aforementioned cramps caused me to take about 10 minutes to sit on a log and ingest a salty as hell chicken sandwich (which helped immeasurably) and had me considering calling wife Jen to pick me up with the car. So I was happy to finish.
The video shows the Powerhouse Plunge, a crazy-steep rocky section, and my cramping episode which is hilarious. I topple over like I've been shot with a blowdart. Oh, the pain! First my left hamstring, then my right quad. Eventually, it subsided but there was always something there to remind me.