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Racers and Chasers XC/Marathon - Balboa Park, CA

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |January 30, 2011 8:35 PM
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Dana Weber Takes XC While Doug Andrews Wins The Marathon

written by: Jens Raz

San Diego is blessed with year round riding and great trails. None of that is more evident than when one can race January through December enjoying 70 degree temps at the same time the rest of the country is shoveling snow off their roof tops. Between this week’s Racer’s and Chaser’s in Balboa Park and last week’s 12 Hours of Temecula…someone is paying off Mother Nature and we certainly appreciate it. Robert Herber, the promoter of the "Racer’s and Chasers” off road series in San Diego County, has a knack for finding unique and interesting trails in what he calls "Urban Mountain Biking”. Not to be confused with riding paved roads, over concrete obstacles or anything of that sorts, but using parks and settings in urban areas with a creative mind.

The third edition of the 2011 winter series went ahead in downtown San Diego, 5 minutes from the sky scrapers, harbor port of America’s finest, Zoo, Velodrome, amazing Mexican food and great local pubs. The course consisted of roughly 4 miles of trails with fast flowy singletrack, steep and technical drops, 2 demanding climbs and lung bursting double track. 

Doug Andrews of Geoladders (currently working to support the Garmin 500 and 800) described his battle with Guy Sutton (so coined the fastest Dentist in Socal):

" Guy Sutton and I got off the front pretty quick, but 3rd
lap Guy flatted.  Another lap and I flatted.  Lost my lead to Guy and fell
back to 5th on that one.  From lap 5 to 12 there was a lot of strong
riding from the group, Alex (Ter-Vrught), Stu (Gonzales), and not sure, Eric?  I got back to 2nd but never really saw Guy till lap 12 and I was pretty sure I couldn’t
catch him.  They told us we had one more lap and I saw Guy again the next
lap.  I had gained a bit on him, but not enough.  Then we got a surprise
lap and the finish line was yelling 'go go go, you have time for one
more!'  A couple miles from the 'real' finish this time, 3 leaders from
the XC race that had just started began to pass and I latched onto them
and passed Guy in the last mile.  Lucky break for me.”

Lucky break or not, speed in the end is what decided the tight race. The endeavor ended after 3.5 hrs and 53.5 miles of racing with 1 minute separating the leaders at the finish, including an early crash from Guy.

While the marathon race started at 8 am, the cross country race started later in the day. Five and half laps for the pros were done in about an hour and fifteen minutes!  Here is how the XC race went down from San Diego’s Pro Brent Prenzlow’s (Celo Pacific/B&L) perspective: 

"After the first 1/2 lap, we jostled for position into the singletrack and Chuck Jenkins (KHS) riding a 650B hard tail took the lead. I was able to grab 2nd position and follow closely. Coming up the first singletrack climb, I looked back and we had a gap. After another 5 mins, I saw Dana Weber (Trek) working his way up solo. He made contact into the flat windy half of the course and the 3-man break for the rest of the race was established. No one else would catch up.
We traded turns pulling (nothing significant happened) and coming into the last lap we are still together. 4 miles to go and leaving the finish line, Weber is leading, me 2nd, and Jenkins 3rd. I hear Jenkins say "Oh Shit! You just ran over a cactus!" I did not even see it, so now I'm looking down at my tires trying to see if they are holding air. Going down the singletrack decent, I feel the rear rim hit and bottom out, and I was thinking my race was over. I had decided to risk it, and had no repair supplies or air with me. Luckily, I had added some fresh sealant since the tires were dry when I checked after sitting mostly dormant during the cyclocross season. Coming out of the canyon, it still had air but it was feeling squishy so I just starting going as hard as I could. Jenkins fell back at this point, and I was leading Weber who was glued to my wheel. I was thinking that I needed to push the pace to reach the finish before the tire went completely flat.
So for the rest of the singletrack I pushed the pace, and tried to drop Dana but he kept my wheel. Chuck was now about a half minute back so it was going to come down to a two-up sprint. We traded pulls on the flat section, and coming into the water/mud puddle Dana had the lead. I hesitated to "go" as we had to turn back into the wind. Weber started his sprint early after coming out of the mud puddle and almost crashed on the next left hand corner. He saved it. I tried to sprint past him, but we both went full gas and I could only keep even and the last tight corners with the squishy rear tire I knew I was beat. We came into the finish chicane one-two together with Jenkins alone for 3rd.
Thankfully, my tire did hold air and after the race I checked and it was down only 5 psi. But I run them low enough to start with that, it felt sketchy especially cornering. I'm lucky I finished 2nd! Congrats to Dana Weber as he played it well, rode strongly, and earned the win.
Ben Jones (Celo Pacific/B&L) attacked away from the chase group of three (John Nobil and Tom  Koerner I believe) to finish fourth.”

The "Black Mountains” will be the next destination to test legs, lungs and your will in North County of San Diego.  Bring your granny gear and sun block!


Pro Men XC

1, Dana Weber          1.14.18
2, Brent Prenzlow     1.14.22
3, Chuck Jenkins      1.15.20
4, Benjamin Jones    1.17.48
5, John Nobil            1.17.50
6, Tom Koerner        1.18.53
7, Chris Crosby         1.22.47
8, Matt Hayes            1.24.43  

Expert Women 40-49

1, Angela Wimberly   1.34.28
2, Ruth Skerleez         1.40.51
3, Rhonda Geizler      DNF

Marathon Open Men

1, Doug Andrews      14 laps 
2, Guy Sutton              14 laps
3, Alex Ter-Vrugt      13 laps
4, Chad Walton          13 laps
5, Stuart Gonzalez      12 laps
6, Brian Zink              12 laps
7, Jens Raz                 12 laps
8, Johnny Harrington 12 laps
9, Andy Nelson          11 laps
10, Alex Hall              11 laps
11, Dickson Lopez     11 laps
12, Rick Ramirez        1.5 laps
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