This weekend of the 13th and 14th January 2018 was the Frosty Bottom, a race I've previously ridden 3 times. The first time I rode it didn't go so well, the second time I rode it went pretty well but I wasn't really racing it as I used it as a training ride. 2016 I had been doing a lot of training rides with friends targeting the Frosty, it snowed a bunch before the race and I suffered mostly due to thinking I was stronger than I actually was, note everyone else suffered too.
This year I have pretty much not done any focused training for the race however I have been riding a reasonable amount and having a lot of fun whilst doing it. I have also started going to a gym to work on my core strength, of which I had none, I now have some. All of this took me into the race with zero expectations. The lack of snow in Anchorage again, meant that the conditions were going to be really fast.
As we set off down the hill and along the coastal trail the pace was manageable for me, following a couple of people I was able to draft a little. As we turned by the sewage works there was a gap between the guy I was following and the front group. I passed the person and bridged back onto the lead peloton. We are around 20min and 4.5 miles into the race by this point. At roughly 5 miles there was is a short climb, I knew what was going to happen, the pace was going to go up.... as the pace went up, I got spit out of the back of the group and that was the last I saw of pretty much everyone for the rest of the ride. Once again I was going to suffer through the race on a solo effort.
Around 14miles into the race I was caught by two guys Daniel and John. I chatted briefly but they were riding at a faster pace than I was able to maintain. I followed them all the way to where the climbing starts after antenna hill. I reeled them in during the climb and then as we hit the abbott road trail I took the lead, expecting them to draft me, that was the last I saw of them until the finish.
At the 1/2 ish way point my friend Greg was cheering people on and taking photos, and a little further on another friend Andrew was cheering people on too. It was great to have some support out on the trail.
The halfway point is the high point of the course, I arrived there at 1:31:23 this put me in for a tough return to try and make a sub 3 hour time. As I was riding back to the chalet I was doing the maths in my head and pushing as hard as I could to make sub 3 hours, I needed to average around 15mph.
I know I have gotten stronger over the last few years and comparing times on different segments in strava post race has confirmed this.
The last 1 mile of the frosty course is a climb up to the chalet. This year the trail was solid but my legs were destroyed after trying to maintain a 15mph average. It took me 6:10 to do, the leaders this year did it in 4:10ish. However it was the fastest I have ever climbed it in the Frosty.
I crossed the line in 3:03:25 which is a PR by over 25min, and managed 17th place over all. Clearly my not frosty focussed training paid off.
As ever post race there are always some what if's however I can honestly say I rode the smartest and hardest I could once I was dropped off the front group, not getting dropped again is the key to me getting a faster time.
I definitely had the most fun I have had during that race, I fuelled well and I set a PR all in all its a win win win situation for me.
|Me just after the 1/2 way point.|
Photo credit Greg Martin
|Post race with some great friends.|
Full results can be found here