A2A

I know Bob Ryan will post a little different view point of this years A2A, but I thought I’d get a jump on him and post first.

First of all, to anyone that has completed or attempted to complete A2A…well done. This is a daunting distance on skates and coupling that with the hills and elements makes this race tough. It is the only skate race that you line up at the start, just hoping you’ll finish.

Tom G surpassed 1000 miles on the course, another awesome feat that he should be commended on.

Bob and Tom both warned me of the crazy downhills, I did’nt take them seriously enough thinking that I’ve bombed some pretty good hills….I was wrong.

The second larger hill is only maybe 10 miles into the race but it is 2-1/2 miles long (and steep, with curves!) and you can’t see where it ends. At that point I was in a pack of about 20 strong. Appearantly everyone in this pack new what was coming and it was kind of like strapping into a rollercoaster with a bunch of friends.

As the speed starts to pick up everyone starts to “rattle” off speed readings from their GPS’s….30, 35, 40….At this point I have some speed wobbles, and I can see the guy I’m holding (everone is kind of holding each other up) onto also does…42, 43, 44….I look up to see a curve is coming, but still no end to this hill, 45 miles per hour!….My brain is really freaking out…falling at this speed would be very very bad for the body, oddly enough, as a skater, I’m more concerned about what me falling would mean to the other skaters in this group. That thought kind of calmed me down, because we were all relying on each other not to do anything dumb and just hang on….finally I see the end of the hill…I’ve never been so glad to start climbing in my life.

I can't beleive I'm going to be racing a Tai Barn, and the Barn is going to beat me.

After that hill, I thought to myself that if there are aymore downhills like that, I won’t finish the race…I wasted a lot of energy on the downhills throughout the day being tense. Luckily, from that point on, the rest of the downhills you could see where they ended, that made them more doable.

The climbs (up), in my opinion, were’nt that bad, more challenging was the road surfaces. Think about the first few miles of Northshore and make it 25% worse, no roll. The last 7 or 8 miles are on this terribly rough road (Dekalb Ave), you’re tired and it just kind of grinds away at you.

Oddly enough, the first 60 miles went realatively fast. I decided to go with the fast “womens group” wich consisted of two Asphalt Beach Men (Lenny who is a monster) two other men, Marcy, myself and Jessica Wright. It appeared to me that Asphalt Beach assigned each of these guys to Marcy and Jessica to “pace” them through the race. At mile 70, Marcy, Lenny, and another skater just kind of went away from us. Unlike attacks during meager 26 mile races, the attackl just kind of happened in slow motion at this distance.

Do it again? Not sure. I honestly feel I could go under 5 hours if I trained specifically for this race and was 100% healthy (I was getting over a cold for this one). Should every skater try this once, yes. Being able to say you completed the longest skate race on the planet is cool.

Again, thanks to Tom and Bob for “prepping” me.

Larry
P.S. get ready for 24 hours of Montreal 2012 (the Kaufman’s are on the roster!)

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