Rusty Fish 100 Gravel Race | Mike Chojnacki

Race recap from Mike Chojnacki

My final race of the last 3 weeks was the Rusty Fish 100 Miler. The race started great, and I had made through the Manistee National Forest without ever having to dismount my bike! It was soft, wet sand, puddles, deep tire tracks, and hills. At about 40 miles in, I was in 5th place overall, and everything was clicking perfectly.

Then I missed a turn with no one around and went off course. It was a 100 mile race, and I rode an extra 10 miles! There is nothing worse than being lost in a race as time and miles are going by. I kept looking at the ground for tire marks or any other signs, checked my phone for the race map, went two different ways to see if I could find an arrow sign, and finally I retraced my steps and found where I failed to turn.


I was so upset, disappointed and pissed; pretty much every emotion. At that point, I just wanted to pedal back and forget this race! I wasn’t sure how much time I had lost or how many miles I had ridden off course, but I knew it was a lot!


I then just decided to keep racing. Everything was now a little off; my hydration, my nutrition and my focus. I am glad I didn’t call it a day. It took me a day or so to get over myself and appreciate the experience I had.
I thought a lot about the time in my own life when I had been most lost, so broken, so down, and God kept looking for me! HE never gave up and turned away. HE kept after me no matter what!

Matthew 18:12
“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?”

By the way, I did manage to ride my way back to 18th place overall…