Adventure Team | Aug 3, 2017
Former Seven Corners Adventure Team member, David Fischer, took to the mountains of Minnesota to participate in the Lusten 99'er- which consists of 99 miles, about 7,000 feet of climbing, 7% single track, 10% pavement, 40% snowmobile/ski trail, 43% Forest Service Road. Read on to learn how David's race day at the Lusten 99'er went...
Training. Planning. Preparation. All the hours spent conditioning and sacrifices made come down to a single race day.
Regardless of the of all the preparation, you cannot choose the weather.
You always know that there will be races in which the weather is less then pleasant. In some instances, downright miserable.
The 2017 Lusten 99’er was one of those downright miserable weather race days. Temperatures where in the high 40’s to low 50’s with rain all day.
I have to admit the Lusten 99’er is one of my favorite races. I love the northern MN terrain, the trails and roads, the family vacation traditions, the epic finish up a ski hill with spectators cheering you to the finish and most importantly sharing the race experience with my brother (Chris Fischer).
Our goal for this year was to race together and finish together.
The start of the race was like most. Everyone packed tight. Nerves high. The Lutsen 99’er adds an element of difficulty with a 2.5 mile descent. Race organizers limit the peloton to a max speed of 45 MPH. Despite that there is always a crash and it was no different this year. Unfortunately, I could see the pile of bodies and bikes ahead on the ground as racers evaded to not be involved. Sobering. Less than 3 miles into the race and for some the day is done.
Chris and I settled into our pace. After all, we knew with all the down-hill we were going to have to climb back up. And we did. The large majority of the next 35 miles were up hill.
As the day progressed and rained continued, the course deteriorated. The mud made the trail slick and the constant rain made visibility challenging. The longer we rode the more the mud and grit stuck to us and our bikes. There were times that the heavy rain actually rinsed our glasses and face, kind of.
There is a point in every long race that you question your decision and only want to miles to be done! For me, its usually around the 75-80 mile point on a 100 mile course. Long enough to start feeling the effects of exhaustion yet you know your work day is not done yet. That’s the advantage of a race partner. That person that will encourage you and calm you all the while you are ready to throw in the towel.
The final section of the Lutsen 99’er is through a ski area (Lutsen Mountain Resort). Great single track when dry, not so great in the mud. The last push to the finish line is a ski trail straight up from the bottom. Your legs hurt, your hands are tired and, yes, your butt is sore. All that seems to fad as you get closer to the finish line and you hear family and friends cheering you to the finish.
Chris and I reminisced about the day the rest of the night. It's amazing how fast the human mind forgets the uncomfortableness and pain. We were already making plans for the 2018 Lutsen 99’er.
For me, my 2017 race season is done. Although I had two additional (100) mile races planned a broken bone and damaged nerve in my foot will require surgery to repair.
So, the planning and preparation for the 2018 race season will begin.
As always and until our next adventure… push your limits, find new boundaries and never stop discovering! Be the difference!