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!
“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…