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The Black Forest Ultra Bike Marathon was my very first MTB race. I had hoped to ride the 78.5 km distance (climbing 2100 m) in under 4:30 h and was pretty happy when I unexpectedly made it in just under four hours. This was the point when I realized that I was slightly better than the average weekend rider. From then on I just couldn’t go back to simple endurance rides through the Black Forest. I had to race.

After the race in 2001

BFUBM 2003

Because of my decent result in the previous race I could start in the second block (of 39) this time. My training had been good and I felt pretty strong. Something wasn’t right, though, and I bonked pretty early in the race. A gel brought me back for a while but I was much slower than on any of the training rides. After 50 km I felt the first warning signs of a cramp in my left calf and I had to slow down even more. Well, at least I could make good use of my new downhill skills on the last descent. There were drainage ditches every 5m and I jumped them all at 40 km/h. :-) I still finished 15 minutes faster than last time (3:45:08) and came 101st out of more than 2000 racers, which is good, I guess. Just as I got off my bike behind the finish line I got such a bad cramp on the backside of my right thigh that I could not move for several minutes. Close shave!

I was still fit enough to ride home another 20 km and help out my club’s volleyball team for a few rounds on the way (they won the tournament.)

My brother took part too and came 230th in 4:02:35 with only a few months of proper training and a 13.5 kg bike! Not bad, I say.

Graph of all finish times. The two lines mark David’s and my position.

Klick here for a graph of the top 250 riders

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