Sebring RAAM Qualifier Recap

I signed up for the Sebring 24 hour race this year as a way to stay motivated over the winter. Last year, with my primary cycling goal not scheduled until the end of the summer, I felt like I was a bit stagnant over the winter.

This winter I’ve been in a good rhythm with my workouts. Many and regular hours on the Computrainer and twice a week doing functional strength training. Throw in a few indoor time trials to avoid boredom and a trip to Vegas to get some outdoor miles and I went into the race feeling great. I was optimistic, but cautious as I had only 3 rides 100 miles or longer this year, 1 indoors and 2 outdoors.

The usual rush to get everything ready the night before went well and for once I was asleep early before the race.

The first day loop went well. I tried to rein in my usual habit of going out too hard. The only difficulty was that my pace was nearly identical to the lead pack of drafting racers. It seemed i was always trying to get myself out of drafting positions, either trying to jump ahead, move to the side or fall behind. This was wasted energy. A support vehicle nearly hit me as I  followed an out of date road marking, sometimes colors are a challenge. This misstep dropped me far enough behind the pack that i was able to than ride my own pace.

I finished the first 100 miles in 4:30 approximately.  A good start. The afternoon loops began, it warmed up and a bit of wind arrived to make it a little more interesting. I always bonk a bit during the mid-loop at Sebring. This year was no different. All I could do is keep the pedals moving and drink as much as possible. Eventually, my energy returned and by the time I moved on to the race track for the night loops i was plugging along at good pace.

I like the night loops. Only 3.7 miles long, the race track is not an oval, but a winding Le Mans style track. It has enough variation to keep you alert and enough rough patches to wake you up. The night loops went well. I did encounter one more bonk, which required me to stop and shovel in some real food. A turkey wrap, pretzels, and a coke never tasted so good as they did at 1 am in Sebring.

As the night loops progressed I was hoping to pull out 460 miles, but my pace slowed toward the end. 449.1 miles, a good ride for this early in the year. Im looking forward to the upcoming races this year.

Power and Ride Stats on Training Peaks

Ultracycling Summary

Sebring Results

Sebring Split Times

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