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Bailey Hundo Report and Results

Posted by: Matt Williams |July 29, 2014 12:33 AM
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Kenda NUE Race Series #4

2014 Bailey Hundo Race Report

By Ryan O’Dell

The sold out Bailey Hundo made its NUE Race Series debut on Saturday with 400 racers divided between the full Hundo and the Hundito, a shorter 50 mile race option. Both races began with mass start in downtown Bailey at 6am under sunny skies and frigid temperatures in the forty’s.

The race was born just five years ago by former Colorado State Senator, Chris Romer, who commented that the race initially began as a sketched drawing on a napkin at the state house. The race was organized as a charity race that includes a minimum fundraising goal of $250 for each entrant. The race this year was directed by Mike McCormick, who also directs the popular Breck Epic stage race. Romer was there on Saturday as a racer, completing the Hundito 50. The winner of the award for the largest single fundraiser went to Keith Principie, who raised $6200.

The Bailey Hundo supports two youth biking initiatives in Colorado, Trips For Kids Denver/Boulder, which offers mountain biking opportunities to underserved youth and changes lives "two wheels at a time”. The race also supports theColorado High School Cycling League, a new resource for high school students around the state to be exposed to the world of mountain bike racing, and continues to support the advocacy and trail building work of the Colorado Mountain Biking Association, as they plan to build new trails in the Platte Canyon area that both serve the local community's recreation needs and develop Bailey into a mountain biking destination. 

Women’s Open

Throdahl edges the NUE Women’s leader for the W

Molly Throdahl, Avout Racing, of Denver placed first in the Pro Women’s division in 8:22:47. "The 2014 Bailey Hundo was my third ultra mountain bike race so, before the race, I had to replay my strategy for long distance in my head, ”do not go out too hard, do not go out too hard”.

At the lead out I really did not know who was in my category since it was a mass start event with both the 100 and 50 distances beginning at the same time. Heading out along the dirt road, I rode up to the top two thirds of the field and hung onto a random wheel. The pack broke up a lot once we hit the Colorado Trail at mile seven. I found myself following a couple male age-groupers down the incredibly fun single track at Buffalo Creek but, by the second aid station at mile 20, I was solo.

Being alone on such a long course becomes a real head game in pacing. I kept my effort at a steady tempo of power. I didn’t punch the climbs too much and kept checking in with my nutrition/hydration and picking my head up to appreciate the amazing scenery of Pike National Forest. A volunteer at aid station 5 told me I was in first and that gave me a jolt of energy. I hammered down the last twisty descent of single-track to Aid 6 and South Platte River Road.

On the long 14 mile road stretch to Deckers, I caught up to a couple guys and we worked together to deal with a brutal head wind. I refueled at Deckers then began the toughest part of the course up Stony Pass. It was a hot, dry, and windy push up the dirt road to Stony Pass and I kept looking over my shoulder but no other ladies were in sight. I was getting a bit anxious because I was really starting to feel the effects of eighty miles on my legs. Once I descended into the trees, the temperature cooled and I felt life return to my legs so I dug in for the last twelve miles from Wellington Lake to finish strong. It turned out that Brenda Simril was only a minute behind me!

It was a thrilling experience to win my first ultra-endurance race and I know I will be pursuing long course events in the future. I am drawn to the magnitude of challenge ultra endurance racing provides both physically and mentally. Since I am a Denver local and sponsored by Avout Racing, a local team out of Highlands Ranch, CO, for the remainder of this season, I plan on finishing the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series with Indian Creek next weekend and the Breckenridge 100 on July 12, as well as the Winter Park Series.”

NUE Race Series point leader, Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, finished just over a minute back at 8:23:56. "I was really excited when the Bailey Hundo was added to the NUE series because I'd never been to that part of Colorado before and I've heard such great things about the race. True to its reputation, the course was beautiful and grueling, and the organization was top notch.

I did not expect to be able to compete for a win because of the altitude and the huge field of many super strong Colorado locals. I was honestly just looking for an epic adventure and a good tune up for Lumberjack next weekend. To come so close to winning this race is a big confidence boost for me that will help for the upcoming races, especially the other ones that are at similar altitude. Hats off to Molly for being so strong. I had a few people tell me, with about five miles to go, that she was just up ahead so I completely buried myself to try to bridge up but couldn't quite get there. This is a fantastic event that I'll definitely look forward to returning for next year.”

Thirty minutes behind Simril, Tina Martinez of Durango, CO took third in 8:53:16 as one of just three women to go sub eight on the day. "I was so excited about the Bailey Hundo and on Friday night, prior to the race, the pervasive butterflies in my stomach re-surfaced once again as they always do before the gun goes off and it is time to roll.  

Bike racing has become more than a weekend adventure for me, and now it is a way of life.  The bike's ubiquitous influence is found in every inch of my body when I am riding trails and even more so when racing. I have not completed a 100 miler in a few years thus I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ride beautiful trails in a place I have not been before and to be completely separated from my phone, responsibilities, and life other than that one moment in front of me for 100 miles.  

The race started off well.  I tried to get up front, despite the fact I was delayed in arriving. I had a fairly good position when I hit the single track but then I lost a bottle down a ravine and had to pull over, climb down, and retrieve the bottle.  At this point in time my heart was sinking as it tried to recover from the lactic threshold levels I was riding at and the thoughts of watching 25 racers pass me as I tried to get my hydration back in order. The good news is that I settled into a rhythm. This race offers so many wonderful components of a trail that, just when one has perhaps grown tired of the terrain, mother-nature switches to something different. Whether it be a kitty litter off camber descent, or a large rocky technical chunk section, I loved it. 

I came into aid station 6 after a sketchy descent pleased to have survived the dry nature of the trail and was prepared to hit the road.  I am somewhat of a new racer and am still working on my descents so, when I have the opportunity to hit fire roads or paved roads, I get stoked to push hard and see just how fast I can make my way home. The pavement sections with the false flat took some toll on me with a head wind and the heat bearing down. Notwithstanding, once I hit the climb on the fire road I was elated.  

Most racers, as I came upon them, asked if I was ready for the "big climb"? I said yes, I believe so, but I really had no idea what to expect. The good news was that I had saved enough in the tank to continue to accelerate on the climb and I was even more elated as the cloud cover set in which, perhaps, did not couple well with the song stuck in my head of "here comes the sun....", but I could not have been more pleased to be out in the middle of nowhere and cool at that point in the race.  I was able to pass quite a few people as they struggled through their own thoughts of suffering and had a good time saying hello and giving them encouraging words to keep moving forward.  Often times, I was completely alone and then began to wonder if I had gotten off of the trail somehow. I don't know if this was a result of fatigue or just a normal production of being on one's bike for over 8 hours.  

I came into the last aid station glad to be heading home. The final descent into the finish line left more than enough smiles on me to fuel me to the finish.  I subconsciously thanked Mike McCormick for bringing us home on a tacky downhill descent. The finish line greeted me with smiling friends, family, and the song "Happy" by Farrell Williams. The entire experience at the Bailey Hundo was magnificent. I would feel very fortunate to be able to return and ride once again next year. Thank you mother-nature, the people who put on the race, the volunteers, my family, the new friends that I met and the old ones that I hope to see once again. Last but not least, thank you to the bike, thank you for taking me away from reality for a day of mind-full serenity." 

Kristin Riley-Lazo, Old School Racing/RacerX, from Denver and teammate Carla Hammer from Evergreen finished third and fourth respectively at 9:09:33 and 9:10:16. Four minutes later, Jennifer Barbour, Naked Women’s Racing, of Denver, drew the attention of the crowd finishing fifth at 9:14:46.

Men’s Open

23 Year old Wilson gets his first NUE Win

In what would become one of the closest finishes of the day, 23 year old Nate Wilson, Honey Stinger/Bontrager Off-Road, from Boulder, CO claimed victory in 6:50:18. "After the typical start of race chaos, it pretty much sorted out with me, Greg Krause, and Jake Wells at the front. 

Jake was out descending us for sure, but it was close enough and there was enough climbing that we kept rolling back on the climbs.  After about 50 miles though, I made a mistake on one techy section and went over the bars and lost those guys.  Eventually, we popped out on the road at about mile 60. I was solo from there for a while until I caught those guys on the long climb up Stony Pass. I caught up to them midway up the climb and was able to put a gap on them. 

After that, I nearly lost it, though, because I thought it was all downhill from the top of the climb so I didn't eat anything more because I was pretty cracked on eating. It was still another hour with a lot of hard rollers so I had a two minute gap for a while, but started to come apart the last few miles. It was down to just twenty seconds in the end but I held on for the win. It was a super tough race that suited me because, overall, the singletrack was tame enough that I was able to stay close then nail it back on the road sections. I haven't done any other 100 milers, but it was a cool/brutal experience, and I definitely enjoyed it.” 

Twenty-two seconds later, Greg Krause, Groove Subaru, of Littleton, CO rolled through the Kenda arch at 6:50:40. "The Bailey Hundo was my early season focus and I was happy with the second place finish, I typically train for the Leadville 100 and keep it local. The bailey hundo is a great add to the NUE Race Series.

The race required 4.5 hours of very sharp focus due to the twisty single track over the first 60 miles. It is not technical as far as rocks and roots, but the crushed granite "kitty litter” sized pebbles on the trail can turn your bike sideways in a flash when cornering.  The race was down to Jake Wells, Nate Wilson and I pretty quickly. Jake was the best descender and neither Nate nor I could hold his wheel. Nate and I would close the gap on the 10-15 minute climbs, and then Jake would open up again on the descent. 

Unfortunately, our different skill sets resulted in all three of us riding solo up the river into the wind.  I caught Jake in the wind and we rode together until midway up Stoney pass. I slowly pulled away around mile 75 and thought I was headed for the win until Nate Wilson fought back and passed me within a few miles of the summit.  Nate surged pass and I did not react. I was sure he opened a pretty large gap but I continued to grind to the finish. When I came down into the final Meadow, I saw him for the first time about thirty seconds ahead. It was amazing to finish a 7 hour race just 22 seconds down, but I enjoyed it.” 

Five minutes later, after leading the race as far as Aid 4, Jake Wells, Twenty2/Stans NoTubes, from Avon, CO hung on for third finishing 6:55:33, one of just three to go sub seven on the day.

Thirteen minutes behind Wells, Carter Shaver, Cycleton, from nearby Golden, CO, took fourth in 7:08:34. Five minutes later, David Krimstock, Basalt Bike & Ski, claimed fifth in 7:13:11.


Linnell crushes the field

NUE Race Series contender, AJ Linnell, Fitzgeralds Bicycles, from Victor, Idaho, crushed the field winning the SS division in 7:09:52 and placing fourth overall on the day.

"Damn, it was COLD at the start of the Hundo. Standing in the pack at the start, shivering uncontrollably, my spirits were dampened a bit and I started questioning how I would perform. As it turned out, it took about twenty miles for my body to rev up and feel like I was racing.

I hung in the pack for the opening road stretch, making a pass here and there but not really pushing it, and then started going a bit harder once we turned onto the two-track. I rode a mile or two with two other singlespeeders (who turned out to be Jason and Carlos) but ended up passing them on a short climb and sliding in with a trio of geared riders who were holding a slightly faster pace.

Romping through the opening miles of the Colorado Trail with those three was super fun, embracing the two-wheel drift on kitty litter-laden corners and powering through short, punchy climbs. It was bittersweet to get onto a longer stretch of climbing and having to make the pass. Riding with them was fun but my legs felt like pushing harder. As it turned out, they were the last riders I saw until around the 90-mile mark when the course rejoined the 50-mile course and I started catching Hundito 50 racers.

With this being my first year racing at Bailey and not knowing most of the singlespeed crew, I really had no idea where I stood, who might still be ahead, and how far back Jason and Carlos were, so all I could do was stay on the gas and try to reel in whoever was in front of me. My 34x17 gearing felt spot-on for this course, brutal on the short, steeper grunts but just right for spinning out the long "flat" road stretch after Aid 6, and for cranking up the endless climb to Stoney Pass.

Finally, somewhere around mile 80, a photographer fed me the info that I was about three minutes back from the fourth place Open rider and comfortably in the lead of the Singlespeed division. Phew! I stayed hard on the gas for the last few miles of climbing to see if I could move up a place against the Pros ('cause why not?) but it wasn't to be.

I have to put in a note of appreciation to the Hundo Aid Station volunteers, they rocked! When I rolled in to Aid 6 looking for my drop cooler, a volunteer was standing there holding it out for me and asking how he could help. Stellar!”

Twenty-two minutes later, Jason Hilgers, The Adrenalin Project, from Englewood, CO, captured second in 7:31:53.

Carlos Vulgamott, Gates Carbon Drive, from Lakewood, Co finished third at 7:38:11. "The 2014 Bailey Hundo started like it does every year very fast and a sprint to the singletrack.  Since this was the first year that the Hundo was part of the NUE series I wasn’t sure how many fast singlespeeders planned on attending the race.  And it just so happens that two major NUE series players came out to Colorado to kick up some dust,  AJ Linnell and Trevor Rockwell. 

This year I chose to run a 1.77 gear ratio with a 46 Gates centertrack front ring, 26 tooth Gates centertrack rear cog and a 118 tooth Gates Carbon Belt Drive on my new Cream (Titanium) made by Spot Brand.  About six miles into the race just as everyone started to get into a rhythm, AJ Linnell rode by me like he was running to put out a forest fire.  I thought to myself, I am not sure if that was a sustainable pace for me, therefore I decided not to burn my matches just yet, especially after being a week and a half outside a mild concussion.  I held a steady pace and was eventually caught by Dan Durland and Jason Hilgers. That was like a Hundo reunion because we were the top three finishers last year.  We rode the next forty miles together in hopes of catching AJ on the road section but no chance. 

At that moment in the race a battle began for second place between Jason Hilgers, Dan Durland, and I.  On Stoney Pass, Jason made his move on the steeper part of the climb and I was not able to match his pace as he put a gap on me towards the top of the climb. For the next twenty miles, I worked hard to close the gap but was unable catch him. I was lucky enough to still make the podium in third place.” 

Dan Durland, ProCycling, from Colorado Springs finished fourth in 7:55:51, one of just four to go sub 8 on the day.

Eleven minutes behind Durland, NUE Race Series contender, Trevor Rockwell, Team Noah Foundation, finished 5thin 8:06:36. "The Bailey Hundo has been on my radar for quite some time now. I’ve been told by some very well-known Topeak-Ergon riders that it was a must do race for some time now. This year was the year to finally make it happen with its inaugural year in the NUE series.

I took off on Thursday after teaching Driver’s Ed and decided to cut the trip in half by driving to Lincoln on the first day and the rest on Friday. The drive out was fairly uneventful, sleeping in the parking lot of a hotel in the back of my truck (Plan to do the same on the way back!). Got out to Bailey,CO on Friday at around 2 p.m, and set up camp next to the amazing finishing venue and Platte river that ran right behind my camp.

After set up it was off for a pre-ride with A.J. I haven’t ridden with A.J. since True Grit so it was great to catch up with a now good friend. My pre-ride made me question everything from my gearing selection to whether I would have anything the next day after climbing out on what seemed like a forever road climb getting to the single track to check things out. I ended up sticking with my 36x20 that I came with as I decided that the more I worried about it, the more it really wasn’t going to matter. My body would only let me do so much at altitude. After our pre-ride we headed back to camp for packet pick up, dinner, and a night of preparation and sitting in the Elevated Legs!

Race morning was more of the same. My routine is pretty well set other than different wake up times. The race was set to go off at 6 a.m. so a little earlier wake up for me at 4 a.m. (5 a.m. CST) and it was into the routine I went. Made breakfast on the bitterly cold morning (low 40, upper 30’s) and got everything together in order to ride the three miles to the start in downtown Bailey. With everything ready, I hooked up with A.J. and we headed off. The ride there easy on an old railroad bed as well as beautiful, a preamble to what I would see the whole day.

We got lined up in the second row, right behind Dave Weins and Jeff Kerkove from Topeak-Ergon. I felt good with this position so was set to go. SHOTGUN BLAST and we were off! The roll out was pretty normal with a high speed cadence trying to stay in the slipstream of the main pack. After rolling for around a mile or so, it was time to climb some mountains. Here is where my day went backwards! Right away, on the first climb, I had nothing in my legs. I had a plan to play it conservatively at the start, knowing the altitude would affect me, but this was worse than I expected. My heart rate pegged at 175-180. With nothing to give, I settled in and shot out of the main pack backwards. The opening climbs were nice and steep and did a pretty good job of stringing everyone out enough so that, after doing the new private land start to the race and crossing a tree bridge along the way, I was pretty well set in the position I would be in for the next thirty miles of terrible legs!

For the first sixty miles or so, the course would be following the well-known Colorado Trail. This was absolutely great trail and lived up to its name. I was able to get with a pretty good group, eventually passing all of them as I was bombing the down-hills faster on wide open trail. The only thing that sucked, especially this year from what I heard, was the kitty litter trails that would become very thick at points and want to pull your wheel into the abyss that was often at the edge of the trail.

Through this opening section of the race, I pretty much had the same thing going on as I would suffer my way through the unrelenting climbs before having a blast ripping the down-hills and repeat. One thing that was different for this race was that every time that I felt down in the dumps, I would look up and see the beautiful scenery and instantly have a smile on my face. The whole race was filled with snowcapped peaks, massive burn areas that were great to see, and endless rock formations that kept me on the up and up!

After railing the Colorado Trail for the first sixty miles and finally feeling stronger by the minute, it was to the drop bag aid. Normally, I wouldn’t discuss much about aid stations as they seem to be the same everywhere I go but this race had better Aid Stations that I have seen anywhere! Besides having aid every 10 miles or so, the volunteers at these stations were top notch. I stopped numerous times throughout the race to grab water as I was constantly overheating. Every time I would pull up to an Aid, I was instantly surrounded by about five volunteers who were there to take care of my every need. Rarely did I have to ask for something as it was already out in front of me. One particular moment that really stands out was the volunteer (wish I knew her name) who took my glasses off my face cleaned them and stuck them back on while I stuffed my face and was sprayed from head to toe with a fine cold mist! Nothing beats them!

Back on the course after Aid 6, it was time to switch gears and determine how I would be riding the remainder of the course. The last half of the course is all paved/dirt roads with no single track, which is ok with me after the way I felt earlier. This also meant the views were even more spectacular than before with wide open spaces in front of me! On the 10-15 mile paved section, I was lucky enough to get with a local master’s rider, Andy Leifer, and we ticked off the miles taking turns very well together. We were able to pull in another Master’s rider, who Andy wanted to catch up with and, once were together, it was another Aid and, of course, I stopped for water. After Aid 7, we went up a nice long road climb where, to my surprise, I had the perfect gear ratio for climbing!

Following the road climb was the big climb of the day, Stoney Pass Climb! I didn’t know that it was going to be as extreme as it was but again, to my surprise, I was able to hold the same cadence over the next twenty or so miles of climbing and descending, picking off geared pros and age group riders the whole way. I only got passed once in this section by Curt Wilhelm who was riding really strong! The only thing that hurt in this section was the heat. I was not prepared for the sun to be so hot! I was continuously dumping water on myself, both at the Aid’s and on the bike to keep cool. It must have worked because I was able to take these climbs with no issues of cramping or anything else going wrong. The only issue throughout the day was a sour stomach which I blame on the altitude and heat combination. The Clif Shot Blocks still tasted fine so at least I had some energy.

Following the Stoney Pass Climb, I was ready for this race to be done, ticking down the miles and Aid stations till the finish. Finally, after what seems like a lot longer than it actually was, I came to a section I recognized from the pre-ride the day before and I switched to another gear. After finishing the last of the climbs, it was downhill till the finish. When I say "downhill”, this may be the fastest finishing downhill I have ever experienced and even beats BT Epics! I was easily in the 40-50 mph range as I was pulling away from cars left and right! After blasting down the last downhill, and climbing the last little grunt, it was into one of the most picturesque finish lines I think I have ever ridden through. A raging river on one side, a band on a hill in front, and the smell of beer and BBQ made the day complete.

The day didn’t go as planned but I am happy with the experience of racing in the mountains and enjoyed the unbelievable surroundings all day. I was satisfied getting fifth SS on the day in a wicked strong field and 26th overall within a stacked pro field and plan to be back next year for sure!”

Masters 50+

Davis wins with just eight minutes to spare

Fifty-Five year old Eric Davis, Feedback Sports, of Denver, took top honors in the Masters at 8:07:52.25.

Eight minutes behind Davis, 50 year old David Johnson, Club Cafe Velo, of Colorado Springs, narrowly snatched second place at 8:15:52 in a photo finish with the third place finisher. "Bailey is one of my favorite races. Having done it twice before, I was pretty excited to see it as part of the NUE Race Series. In my opinion, this is one of the best all-around mountain bike events. It has some of the best singletrack in the area, a great venue, and it benefits the biking community.

The first 55 miles is mostly single-track so it's easy to want to rip through this section leaving nothing left in the tank for the ride home. I know this because I've made that mistake before. Stoney pass is no fun on an empty tank. That was not the case for me today. I was finally starting to feel good by the time I made it out of the singletrack. 

The next 10 to 15 miles is mostly road but it's not that bad. It's pretty scenic and flies by pretty fast. Next was Stoney pass. It's a grind on any day let-alone after 75 miles of racing.  I was surprised how good I felt and was motivated by the other racers that I was catching. After reaching the summit and with a quick sip of Coke, it was a race to the finish. I ended up catching five guys in my age group in the last nine miles. We all ended up finishing within about a minute of each other. All in all, a good day.”

51 year old Mark Wallace, Pedal Pushers Racing, finished third in 8:15:52.41.

Less than a minute later, Bailey Hundo Webmaster, 57 year old Bob Campbell, Old School Racing/RacerX, from Evergreen, took fourth at 8:16:27. "My race went well, no falls, no mechanicals, and good nutrition.  

I was cursing towards the finish with five miles to go when I caught and passed a real fast guy that had a rib injury from a fall, so I was just trying to make it to the finish. Just then we both caught the third place racer with a mile to go, then another master caught us. Now there was four of us in a pace line flying down the dirt road a mile from the finish!

At a 1/4 mile to go I felt pretty good, so I started a big ring sprint and quickly had 100 feet on the other three. Then, at the last hill before the turn to the finish, my legs just ran out of power and all three passed me. I just cruised to the finish and all four of us came in about the same time. It was a special treat for me that Harry Johnson, the guy who went to La Ruta with me last year, joined me at the HUNDO this year. Johnson had the fastest Masters time at La Ruta and finished 7th in the HUNDO.” 

Campbell’s team mate, 51 year old Andy Leifer, rolled in eight minutes back at 8:24:09 to claim fifth place.

NEXT UP: Kenda NUE Race Series #5

On June 21, the, now sold out, Lumberjack 100, celebrating its 10 year anniversary, is planning to run the course backwards this year. The Michigan style single track is composed mostly of hard pack trail, occasional sandy sections, and fast rolling terrain that offers twists and turns that demand constant power and total concentration as the trails quickly turn to nothing more than green blurs of forest. Ninety percent of the 33-mile, 3-lap race is comprised of single track that will push racers over 9,000 feet of total elevation gain.

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