Even fat will bruise if you bang it hard enough against Canadian shield. Had no idea that I may have hurt myself a bit until Sunday night/Monday morning, because the swollen bruises showed up bit late.
And that was pretty brutal experience on the trails of Falcon Ridge. It was +28 when we rolled out of the city at 9 AM and got to +30 when we got to Falcon Lake. I managed to miss the start by 5-7 minutes and did Top of the World trail as a fun rocky extra on my first lap because I can't really handle myself when there's actually options where to ride. I hammered the first lap pretty hard trying to catch up a little. On the second lap I started to feel the heat, humidity and too fast first lap. After the third lap, I had to visit the lake because I wasn't dealing that well with the heat. I did three more laps with lake pit stops every lap and decided to call it quits after seventh lap and couple of endos.
I went for a good long swim, had a beer, went to Northland Appliance Service dog fest and had a hotdog and some Half Pints...and another swim. This pit stop pulled me out of the hole and I decided to hit the trails again. Dave was kind enough to trash talk me into actually riding bit faster and I gave it a good effort. 24:39 later, and almost one hotdog lighter, I finished the lap and decided not to head out for that one last lap. The last laps, few more km's etc. seem to be asking for an accident. Instead I went for a swim and had couple of beers. Eight laps was less than I planned pre-race, but good enough considering how crappy I felt in the heat. I bet that it must have been +32 in the afternoon and in that heat I start to feel it even on the road let alone slow singletracks. I did finish DFL in 8h solo so there's only one way from here.
The fast guys were fast again, obviously. Dave was hammering consistent 25 min laps for 12 laps quitting early and finishing second to Trevor Allen. Trevor rides with Ergon24 Team and looked like a real rider (Dave looks like a real rider too but insists on riding fully rigid single or double speed that may slow him down a bit). Trevor took the 8h solo men win with 15 laps.
But c'mon...a dogfest with free Half Pints three hours before by time was up! There's only one thing that can happen to me, and that's a miserable failure in biking part of the event.
Tough guys and gals kept on riding after I switched to Kokanee mode. The trails are kind of difficult Keskuspuisto level in daylight and frickin' impossible at night, even if you throw ridiculous amounts of lumens at them. Don of course was out there, because he only does everything that involves suffering like a dog on a bicycle. JP and Alex Man were the two top dogs. Those guys did some 35 minute laps in the dark hours after 14 hours of riding!
I don't know how this would compare to some Finnish event because I've never done Tahko 120 or Finlandia MTB or other events. The singletrack is clearly more technical than what most XC races have but the longest "climb" is just 2 minutes long or so. I think one lap has some 100 meters of elevation gain with maybe three hills and some small bumbs.
Late night activities involved Big Lebowski screening, some bonfire, some beer drinking and harassing people who probably didn't want my company at least at that time. My team was fast asleep once I got to the tent after a hard day of swimming and torturing small animals found from the lake.
It was a good 24h or so at Falcon Lake. I may do this again next year, but can't let this become a habit. Moderation is the key here, but we all know how that works for me.