Yesterday I rode, did not race, in the SANDWICH 50 Enduro Mountain Bike Race. Only 50 were allowed in, and the course was 50 miles long. A prologue of about 1 mile, then 7 laps of approximately 6.5 to 7 miles each. From the website: "The course is about 70% tight and twisty singletrack. 30% open field singletrack. 10 % ski trail/double track. Before anyone mentions it I know that's 110%. That's because the sandwich will demand more than 100% of your best.
A few us started near the back of the group and just jogged to our bikes--the race had a Le Mans style start.
After about 2 laps I was feeling pretty good and thinking I could do this all day--which is actually how long it would have taken. During lap 3, I passed about 6 people that were moving pretty good, but probably working together, talking, having fun with it. It took quite a bit of energy to pass them, but after that I settled down into a steady, easy pace. Laps were taking 41-46 minutes. During lap 4, I lapped several riders, but was still about 15th overall. I didn't care as I was not out there to place, race, or anything--just ride. During lap 5, I was running low on energy and desire to even finish. I pulled off after 5 laps to get something to eat, reviewed my time, watched the leader come thru to start his last (7th) lap. I decided to call it a day. Lap 5 took 52 minutes and some change and I had already put in over 3.5 hours of riding--that is longer than any road ride I have done in the passed 4 years (aside from a crazy point to point 130 mile ride once each summer in 07 & 08). I was feeling it. Other than a 1.5 hour ride on gravel last Sunday on the mtn bike, I had not been on my mtn bike since 2006 so I was happy that I survived that long. I think multisport has made me soft in certain ways, but it is a different type of racing.
I believe the winner finished all 7 laps in about 4.5 hours. 2nd and 3rd were probably within 30 minutes of that.