|VQ/CC start from the Blackstar Gate|
The annual Counting Coup & Vision Quest put on by the Warrior's Society was held this past Saturday. My alarm went off at 3:40am and I was quickly up scrambling to get some food down and be ready by the time my ride picked me up at 4:30am. My friend Brandon and I drove out to the start area in Blackstar Canyon and were able to grab our wristband, drop off my aid station 2 drop bag (of which I never ended up using), and get a quick stretch in before lining up at the gate for the countdown to the start. Both events start at 5:30am with a fast-paced sprint out the dirt fire road in Blackstar Canyon.
|Above the clouds heading to Motorway|
|Quick stop at aid station 1|
|Pedaling away from aid station 1|
I quickly grabbed a few oranges from the aid station and then began the short climb and traverse up to the top of Trabuco Trail. Trabuco Trail is a 4-mile downhill that in my opinion is one of the most fun descents in all of Orange County. However, there are loose rocky sections of the trail along with some real sharp rocks that can (and have) slashed many of my tires. I safely made it back to the aid station at the VQ/CC turnoff and began pedaling hard out the 5-mile fire road to the finish.
I finished 16th overall with a total time of 6:09, some 20 minutes faster than last year! 120 riders finished, with 25 or so DNFs and about 40 riders that didn't show. I was really happy with my time and somewhat surprised considering the amount of travelling I've been doing for work over the last 9 months.
A month or so ago I was talking with local pro, Dana Weber, about the upcoming VQ and he mentioned how when he first did the race a few years back his time was just over the 6 hour mark and he finished in the top 5 that year. It's amazing how all of the riders are getting faster and faster....in order to break the top five this year I would have needed to finish in under 5:15...the top ten was 5:46 (see below).
A really big thanks to my family for the support they provided for not only the race but over the course of the last year with putting in big rides on the weekends and even more so after travelling so much. Another big thanks to Josh Jacquot who provided some of the best sag support I've ever had! And finally a big thanks to Moots for the support they've provided over the past few years.
|The Leaderboard...VQ.CC top ten finishers...maybe next year!|