WOW!  Had an incredible long weekend in the Eastern Sierra with a bunch of racers.  Perfect weather, relentless climbs, good food, and more at the Mt. Whitney Stage Race.  And a bunch of racing, of course.

You have heard about the climbs already.  The weather was 80s-90s in the valley, but not that warm in the morning, so we got a nice cool start.  Sometimes it can be quite chilly in the summits, but it was mid-60s both days, calm and clear.

The course has been revised each year, and we are done fiddling with it.  The course you saw this year was the permanent course.  Hope you like the Alabama Hills loops.  The loops are intended to to three things:  Break up the groups a little before the big climbs; Give a proper warmup before the climbs (I need that, even if you don’t!); Get the distance up for upgrades.   Let me know how you like it!

In the race promotion business, there is always *something*.  Particularly true for road racing.  A washed out road, a locked gate, another event at the park, super hot or super cold weather, or something.  We have had all of those at the MWSR course.  Only thing like that this year was a little breeze blowing through the Ranch Saturday afternoon.  The DelaCour Ranch is pretty stunning, and we really like staying there.  The surroundings are majestic, and the place is large enough to allow us to invite everybody up for dinner.

Plan A was kaput two weeks before the race, but Plan B was in place in plenty of time.  Except that we could not get the propane cookers to light.  Finally figures them out, but then the burners kept blowing out.  They would only stay lit if the lids were at least half closed.  Sheesh.  Thought about moving the things, but there was no time.  So we cooked inside the main cabin on the little propane stove.  I guess that would be Plan C.  And yes, the Coleman stoves were Plan D, and ready to go if needed.  Those of you who made it up to the Death Valley Road SR in May 2011 remember the Coleman stoves.  And the snowstorm at the Finish.

I am still fighting with the USA Cycling online results program.  They insist that it is possible to post up multiple stages and the GC.  But I still have not been able to do so successfully.  I will have results up this weekend either way.


Next up…Everest Challenge!  Lots of things already finished or in the works, and a few things still to work on.