Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Whiteface 5K (Lake Placid, NY)
The seventh stop of the Gravity East Series took us to upstate New York. This time we had six people on the bus along for the trip.
The drive to Lake Placid began on Thursday night at 7:30pm and lasted 13 hours until we finally arrived at the Whiteface parking lot at 8:30am the next day. We set up camp and decided to lounge in the bus to catch up on lost sleep when we received our first surprise - no camping at the park! We got in a few hours of rest and then decided to explore the area while inquiring about possible camping locations. Luckily we found a relatively cheap spot only a minute away from Whiteface. Upon exploring the area, we discovered an amazing view just behind our campsite too.
Saturday's practice was warm and sunny. The course was extremely fun with tons of technicality in the upper sections leading to fast, rooty chutes near the bottom of the mountain. Overall, it was about a ten minute lap which left your hands begging for relief. Four runs were all that my forearms could handle.
That night we headed to the town of Lake Placid to grab some drinks at the Great Adirondack Brewing Company. We also drove around to check out Mirror Lake and Lake Placid. Back at the campsite we started a fire and shared stories before heading off to sleep.
On Sunday we packed up the campsite and headed to Whiteface for the race. Rain began as I rode the Gondola to the top, but made a departure a few minutes before my start time. The course was largely unchanged except for on fireroad section that seemed to have been raked out before the race, I went down once there as my tires lost traction on the high-speed corner and again in the rooty chutes of the lower section. Even with those two bobbles, I snuck away with 2nd place in CAT2. We quickly packed up the bus and got on the road as soon as possible, skipping the podium in order to get home before Monday morning. The drive back was almost straight through, cutting the 13 hour drive by 2 hours. All totaled, we put in over 1,300 miles in the 3-day trip.