June 28, 2021 - Endurance MTB racing on the hottest recorded day ever
After a long winter of training with no specific event in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to see the 6 Hours of Mt. Hood race was going on. For the last few years, I have done this race because it falls around the same time as my birthday. What a better way to celebrate your birthday than some Type 2 fun?
This year, it happened on the hottest day on record in Oregon. Even after moving the start time up by an hour, the temperature at the start was 88 degF. The solo course was changed to account for the heat as well, so instead of having to climb up a sun-baked climb the whole time, it was only for the first lap. After that, we were mostly covered by trees. I had planned ahead with a cooler for my bottles and a backup thermos full of ice water. The long winter training had given me a chance to finally get my nutrition plan dialed in. This race has been an acid-test for my previous nutrition strategies. However, after nearly 3 hours in the heat, I started to show signs of heat stress. The highest temperature recorded on my Dash was 100.4 degF, and we still weren't at the peak for the day. It was at that point I decided to call the race and resigned.
Admittedly, I am disappointed with my result. However, if it is a record heat wave that causes me to miss the mark, I'll have to take solace in that.