I heard that the 100’s have started to resemble XC races in intensity, but I figured that just meant there would be tougher competition. But the mile long sprint into the first section of trail proved that in order to remain competitive the same lung burning effort given in a XC race would need to be given throughout all 100 miles. Confusion struck about 15 minutes into the race as about 30 of the top riders (excluding Jeff Schalk, Chris Eatough, and Sam Koerber) came to a stand still wondering which direction the course followed. After a brief moment we were back on track and sprinting towards the next bit of singletrack which was a sweet 25 mile section of trail that wound through the Mohican Wilderness. Finding myself somewhere around 20th at this point, I figured that I could make up some ground in the twisty stuff, but only managed to escape one or two riders. The heat and humidity began to sink in just in time for some steep fire road climbs and mind numbing flat, open sections. The only things you can do on these sections are pedal and suffer. Luckily I wasn’t alone and spent some of this time riding with Dejay Birtch (winner of the singlespeed race), Gerry Pflug, Andy Gorski, Peter Joski, and Michael Simonson. Throughout the middle part of the race I would sometimes find myself riding alone or with some of those just mentioned. I also had a second detour of the day, which set me back around 5 minutes. Somehow I rode into in a development without an exit, so I turned around and got right back on course no problem. Later I found out that others had made the same error as well. By the 6 hour mark the pain was really setting in and I couldn’t wait to finish. Some more mindless pealing brought me through to aid station 4. It was around here that the race began between myself and Gerry. Gerry laid down some hard attacks on the climbs and I did the best I could to keep him in sight, which would allow me to reel him back in once we got back into the singletrack. Then another hard effort would leave me chasing once again. This would repeat a few times throughout the end of the race, but left me finishing behind Gerry for 10th place. Even though there were no slackers out there today, the ten spot wasn’t exactly what I had expected. Looks like I’ll be pounding the pedals a bit harder for the next couple of weeks.