Shenandoah Mountain 100|Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle|Mark Smith
Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic’s employee, Mark Smith, had a strong showing at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 mountain bike race this past Sunday (watch). This was Mark’s first attempt at a 100 mile mountain bike race. Racing for the Charlottesville Racing club/Blue Ridge Cyclery p/b Reynolds GM Subaru, he completed the course in 8 hours and 39 minutes, placing him 35th out of over 500 competitors.
“I’ve been wanting to compete in this race for a couple years now, but injuries kept me from participating”, says Mark. Finally injury free, Mark was able to get a last minute entry to the race. Mark admits, “I have not been this nervous about an event in a very long time. All my friends and fellow competitors were giving me advice and it was making me more and more nervous.” Once on the starting line, the familiarity of racing calmed his nerves and the race was on. “100 miles of fun!” Yeah um, maybe for you Mark.
“All joking aside, this was a very hard race that tested every aspect of my biking skills. I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic, so I went out fast, too fast. 45 miles in, I had a hard time communicating with the volunteers at aid station 3. Luckily the volunteers were on the top of their game and just took care of me: food, drink, and a shove off in the right direction.”
Mark ran into hard times before reaching aid station 4 around 60 miles. A bad headache caused him to slow and have a hard time keeping his bike on the trail. Disappointment set in as he sat at aid station 4 with a cold wet cloth dripping water over his head and watching other racers ride by. “I was dizzy and in a lot of pain. I even contemplated dropping out.” After 10-15 minutes, Mark decided to just get on his bike and pedal slowly to the finish, well at least try to.
Approximately, 10 miles later Mark’s headache started to dissipate and he started to feel much better. “I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t explain it. It was like my body did a complete 180.” For the last 30 miles, Mark, “put the hammer down”. Fellow riders warned him about the difficult climbs still remaining, but why slow down when you feel this good. “I felt great and was climbing stronger than I had all day. Maybe it’s the strength I developed on my back to back 100 miles to Georgia or with my teammate Barry Pugh.”
First 100 mile mountain bike race completed. When asked if he will do it again next year, Mark had this to say. “YES! I not only learned a lesson about staying in the race and finishing, I also had a blast. The whole weekend was fantastic. Chris Scott of Shenandoah Mountain Touring and all of the really helpful volunteers made this event one of my all time favorites. The trails were so much fun and at times extremely challenging. The climbs were long and hard. The competition was crazy good. Yes, these are the things I enjoy about racing. I love pushing myself and can’t wait till next year. Oh, tell Dr. Chang the custom carbon orthotics he made for my cycling shoes did great. I had no foot pain whatsoever.”
Great job Mark. See race results here, SM100.Follow up note: Mark’s calves became very sore and tight a couple days after this race. Dr. Stewart Chang treated his calves with Extracorporeal pulse activation treatment (EPAT) Wednesday. We are happy to report, Mark’s calves were immediately better and he is back on the bike. Athletes who need to stay consistent with their training should consider EPAT. Read about EPAT on this site or call us today.
Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic 887 A Rio East Court Charlottesville, VA 22901 434-979-8116 417 South Magnolia AveWaynesboro, VA 22980 540-949-5150 Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic has been a part of the Waynesboro and Charlottesville communities for over 20 years. Podiatrists Dr. Kevin Murray and Dr. Stewart Chang offer services in sports podiatry, foot and ankle problems and diabetic foot care. Our friendly, accommodating team of Certified Podiatric Medical Assistants look forward to welcoming you to our practice. Read the rest of this entry.