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The course ended up being super fast though some rain would have been nice as it was dusty. Just enough technical to keep you on your toes but not really anything that you couldn't ride. Adam Craig and Carl Decker ended up screaming around the course in 3 hours and 10 minutes. I didn't look at my elevation gain loss but heard about 3700 to 4K with the last 20 miles or so generally being downhill. It is already on the radar for next year so long as it works into the schedule.
 

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Agreed, the course was also very dusty, sandy and loose in sections, oh and let's not forget the lava rock formations that added enough of a technical element to keep it interesting.

Personally, I didn't like the beginning: 5 mi on the pavement that was supposed to thin the field out actually ended up being a field sprint into the parking lot before the trail started. They had basically funneled it down to single file at that point were a lot of people got bunched/squeezed out the back.

I recorded 54 mi and 4200' of climbing in 4hr 12min...not a very good time with the caliber of athletes that were there.

The single track was fun and definitely kept you on your toes and I could feel my upper body fatiguing near the end.

Tire pressure was also key and I opted for harder rather than softer and paid the price with no traction through the sandy sections.

My plan for next year: pre ride and dial in tire pressure on course. Know the beginning and end of the course in case of abrupt course changes (which there were) and do lots of push ups 2 months prior! Other wise it's a fun and challenging course.
 

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I'll add that these trails are not the best this time of year - things are really dusty this late in the season. Dina Moe Humm is still a pretty new trail (~1yr), Larsen Trail just opened and is very loose/sandy.

Dust was a big issue for me and I'm used to it living in Bend. My vision actually got cloudy ~2/3 through and kept me from hitting the descent fast. (couldn't see small bumps and solid/soft lines, and I know the trails)

The 5mi start on pavement seemed like a non-issue, everyone in my field (40-49) was neutral in a bunch til the dirt. I also ran higher than optimal tire pressures because of all the road sections and didn't have the best performance on the soft stuff. Personally, I would have liked a course that resulted in longer times. Seemed like it was more of a full-gas than endurance-pace event.
 

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I heard talk on Fbook that the rider numbers were wayyy down due to the late date. I would have been on the line but sept17 is late in the year for me to be in peak form and i didn't want to travel all that way to get shelled. Anyone else think Marathon Nationals shouldn't be during the start of 'cross season?
 

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I heard talk on Fbook that the rider numbers were wayyy down due to the late date. I would have been on the line but sept17 is late in the year for me to be in peak form and i didn't want to travel all that way to get shelled. Anyone else think Marathon Nationals shouldn't be during the start of 'cross season?
Way down compared to the Firecracker but the Firecracker was a stand alone event that had been attracting 700+ riders for years before it became marathon Nationals.

I did talk to a few people over the summer about whether they were going to go to Bend or not and a lot of people did think it was too late in the season.
 

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I heard talk on Fbook that the rider numbers were wayyy down due to the late date. I would have been on the line but sept17 is late in the year for me to be in peak form and i didn't want to travel all that way to get shelled. Anyone else think Marathon Nationals shouldn't be during the start of 'cross season?
'Cross season starts WAY too early. Should be no sooner than 15 Oct. Nationals are in January.
 

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It will be interesting to see if USA Cycling keeps this as a stand alone event or tries to tie it into an existing event like they did before with Firecracker and the 24 hour championships. I could have done without the road section at the beginning as I hate to say it there were several near misses in that neutral 40-49 group. I would definetely go and pre-ride if possible next year just to try and get the tire pressure right especially if it stays late in the season since there is so much loose especially on the climbs. Hopefully another year on the newer trails will help harden them up some. I do have to say a huge thank you as well to the volunteers at all the crossings as everyone had a smile and looked happy to see us out there. It was also pretty cool to see Chris Horner with the Radioshack Team at aid 2 and the finish cheering people on.
 

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Here is my 2 cents. I didn't care too much for the paved part of the course, I understand why it was laid out that way but, it is a Mountain Bike race after all. I did like all the dirt portions of the course. Sure it was dusty and loose sand which slowed me down, but, Bend in September it is going to be that way. Next time a little wider tire and lower pressure might help out. I ran small block 8's 2.1 with pressure at about 40 psi. I narrowly avoided putting the bike down several times when the tires washed out in the loose stuff. As for the support along the course it was nothing short of spectacular! I can't say how much I appreciated that there were people out on the course giving directions. The folks at the aid stations were wonderful. Great job to everyone who helped out. Here is a picture I took of the Pro men just before the start.
 

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I didn't mind the road start personally, it seemed like it was over with pretty quick. Our field had one guy shoot off the front and stay away for the rest of the race as soon as we got past the roundabouts. It would be cool if the course was say 10 miles longer. COTA is expanding the Wanoga network all the time, maybe next year.
Unlike everyone else I was not impressed with the aid stations. Big fail by event sponsor Gatorade to supply the event with gatorate bottles filled with only water and nothing else. Call me naive for expecting the same level of support at a national event that I normally get at a grass roots 50 miler. I couldn't find my gear bag among all the commotion and hoards of people at the aid stops. Ended up doing the 50 miles on one sports drink bottle, one water bottle, and one cereal bar. I guess the expectation is you are to have family/friends who are willing to stand in a parking lot for 4+ hrs to watch for you to stop by twice and hand you your stuff.
Course marshals directing us along that crazy route on the return did a great job.
Timing was perfect, screw cyclocross! :D This is getting into the best time of the year to ride a mtb. It's funny how many Portland CX geeks passed on doing a 4 hr mountain bike race so they can peak for the USGP B race in December and finish 35th. "But my coach told me not to do it!" Right, last time i checked, Decker and AC race full CX seasons.
 

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I didn't mind the road start personally, it seemed like it was over with pretty quick. Our field had one guy shoot off the front and stay away for the rest of the race as soon as we got past the roundabouts. It would be cool if the course was say 10 miles longer. COTA is expanding the Wanoga network all the time, maybe next year.
Unlike everyone else I was not impressed with the aid stations. Big fail by event sponsor Gatorade to supply the event with gatorate bottles filled with only water and nothing else. Call me naive for expecting the same level of support at a national event that I normally get at a grass roots 50 miler. I couldn't find my gear bag among all the commotion and hoards of people at the aid stops. Ended up doing the 50 miles on one sports drink bottle, one water bottle, and one cereal bar. I guess the expectation is you are to have family/friends who are willing to stand in a parking lot for 4+ hrs to watch for you to stop by twice and hand you your stuff.
Course marshals directing us along that crazy route on the return did a great job.
Timing was perfect, screw cyclocross. This is getting into the best time of the year to ride a mtb. It's funny how many Portland CX geeks passed on doing a 4 hr mountain bike race so they can peak for the USGP B race in December and finish 35th. "But my coach told me not to do it!" Right, last time i checked, Decker and AC race full CX seasons.
Well, they might have passed on spending a bunch of $ with USAC, when they could do an OBRA event instead. Otherwise, good points.
 
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