What’s a WF Warriror to do but his or her own Noble Best when completely outnumbered on the Battlefield? pic of your feeble leader after 60 miles of wet, cold racing in my ol’ hOMetown of Kinalani (Flagstaff), AZ by Ryan Fitch. the doo-hickey on my helmet is an electronic timing tag.  whatever.

“Where the fuck is Brinkman?” was my first thought as i wheeled Vajrapani, my aging pony whose carbon fatigue potential is in the Red Zone, through a pelting cold rain toward the Start Line.   Just last evening, i saw my ol’ friend and national class triathlete at registration at Singletrack Bicycle Shop in my ol’ hOMetown of Kinlani (aka; Flagstaff) which was the venue for the next day’s 60-mile Road Race.

14 hours earlier:  “ILG!” i heard, turned, and was shortly courted in a skinny-armed yet warm embrace by tragically endurance fit Paul Brinkman, owner of Flag’s best hole in the wall, cash only, beer chill out spot in downtown; Pay-n-Take.

“Brotha!” i replied and after our Man hug, we chatted about important life matters such as how stinkin’ beautiful it is to be alive on such a stunning evening and still fit enough to race bikes against a cream of a Master’s crop.   Paul was today a Friend With Endurance Benefits; I knew Paul would be fast on the bike cuz he always is, since i had no teammates for the race and I needed one, two, or preferably 2-dozen because two big PHX Master Teams were licking their shaved, tanned, and oiled up chops to make tomorrows race a bludgeoning affair for all.  Approaching the matter, PB beamed in the warm sunlight, “SURE!  We’ll work together!  i know a couple of other 50+’rs that are ragin’ right now and we’ll make those PHX teams hurt!”

Ilg drove back to the motel stoked and ready…i was flying in my sprinting abilities, had enough endurance, and now?  I’ll have a patchwork of local allies to help me take some of the thunder from the monster tribes from the low, hot lands.


“Fucking Paul,” was my second thought, as i shivered among a sea of lycra, staging for the Start.  I had no rain gear and now, i had no teammates.  Paul must have wised up and stayed home in the warm bed linens instead of racing for 2 hours in the cold rain.  Just, please…please fire the Start Gun…let’s just get this thing over…


“Fuck this shit,” was my third thought.  The very moment as we passed the neutral start zone, i accelerated to my high zone 3 heart rate from the front line.   Normally?   The last thing a road racer without any teammates should do is accelerate right of the start of a pissing wet, cold, high altitude 60-mile road race loaded with big teams.  Yet, ilg has never been accused of being ‘normal,’ so i kept on the accelerator  for a half-mile.  Then, i attacked myself (yup, not even in the same zip code of ‘normalcy’) and then charged up the first of an endless bounty of knee-cracking risers which are the salient feature of this 21-mile loop of which we would do 3 laps.

The first racer behind me did not even take a pull until we approached mile 1 marker.  As he passed me, i motioned aggressively to begin a rotating paceline, determined i was to whittle weaker riders asap.   In a 50+ Age Group  there could be guys that you know, have elimination challenges,  poor threshold capacities with a fast start/no warm up,  and  some might just not fancy hammering into cold wind through driving rain to start their Sunday morning.  ilg is good with it…kinda like the Nordic conditions…equalizes a bit the playing field with all the $10,000 bikes that seem to be the status quo within the Master’s.

Rolling through the Neutral Zone at end of Lap One, a grey-whiskered warrior rolled up next to me, “Jesus!  You must be on a mission!  you pretty much reduced the peleton by half!” I had not noticed.  Never looked behind me.  Just made sure i did not slip past 10th place in the paceline.  Guess i was on a Mission…i was looking to create a break and hoped the two bit (oh, did i just write ‘bit’…hmmm, i meant, big) Phoenix teams would be represented in ‘my’ break.  If that scenario happened?  Then their two-bit teammates would turn off the gas in the peleton and thwart chase groups to ‘my’ group.   That was my plan, anyway.


How does the saying go? “If you want to make God smile?  Make a plan.”

Basically, during Lap 2 the rain intensified, riders crashed, and the Two Bits started firing off their racers like a AK-47.  Without teammates,  i had to chase down every attack the big teams sent up the road.  There were 3-4 other strong guys without teammates yet, try as i might to organize our efforts, they insisted upon being idiots and kept chasing me down as i was countering the big teams attacks then, they would ease up and not help me chase all the Two-Bits going up the road.  Aaaargh.

So, Lap 2 was stinking brutal and stupid. Chronically sucking in massive amounts of spray water flung from spinning wheels around me while flinging my soaked self after all these Two Bits was REALLY beginning to test my  yogic equanimity while inflaming my genetic predisposition toward Teutonic Barbarianism.  I felt a deep urge for a hockey stick and some solid boards into which i could take into some of these weasel-looking roadies.


By the time the Bell Lap came, i was pretty stoked that only 4 guys eventually made it up the road.  I knew in the deepest fibers of my ol’ bones that i had done the lions share of damage limitation against the Two Bits.   After a few more aggressive attempts to get up to The 4,  and thwarted again and again by the Two Bits and The Idiots,  ilg tempered down, spirit simmered by sheer fatigue.  I’d save my final two matches for the final decisive climb (a 12%, 600-meter climb that serves as a launchpad for the finish, about 6 miles further).  I had to stay in contact with our Lead Chase Group which was now 13 from a total of 39 who started 2 hard hours ago.


we’ll now switch to rolling Ilg Tracker mode because i’m getting tired of typing:

7 miles to finish: Lead Chase (ilg group) is now hammering up the final big climb, pain etched in the faces of the racers, kneecaps seem ready to pop out of the skin…

90 seconds later: Lead Chase is reduced to 10 as three riders got gapped on the stiff climb.  The 4 are safely in the Neutral Zone, with 2:50 over the Lead Chase

Neutral Zone/5 miles to finish: The truce flag is being flown by the Lead Chase, they are content to let The 4 go…so it will come down to a sprint for 5th place.  meanwhile, up ahead The 4 are preparing for their own last noble efforts but we don’t care about them because they are just Two Bits and Idiots.

3 Kilometers (why not switch over to metric, sounds more Roadie anyway) to finish: A Two-Bit makes a hard effort to attack and splinter the group.  Endless Warrior ilg racing for Team BodyHealth/DWC once again covers the attack…must be his allegiance to BodyHealth supplements and the ASEA Sacred Water!

2 K to go; all is calm yet tempo is rising in the Lead Chase as each rider is planning their tactic for the finish which comes after a .5k flat onto a 6% riser. the Line is about 500 meters from the flat.  there are 3 obvious sprinters in this group,  ilg, the endless attacker,  being one of them.  but how much does the ol’ yogi have left in those fibers?

1 K to go: The 4 are now sprinting for the line but who gives a crap about them?

800 meters: Lead Chase is a bit argy-bargy as the fatigued racers jockey for position…the skies have suddenly cleared for this field sprint…ilg is 6 riders back…

500 meters: Lead Chase is about to detonate, you can feel it…yet when?  it’s an uphill, going too early would be disaster…speed is 21mph going into the hill…

350 meters; ILG ATTACKS!!  he’s buried his head and selling it all on this final effort!   he’s more of a 200 meter guy, yet he sensed the strongest sprinters were a bit boxed in…has he gone too early?!

200 meters; ILG holding clear by 30 meters over 3 chasers..

100 meters; ILG is still charging for the line, his thighs must be a flash flood of lactic acid…chasers have closed to within 15 meters!

50 meters; ilg is in front by a hair and.. wait, he just sat down and is time trialing to stay ahead of the now 2 chasers…

20 meters: ILG IS STANDING AND CHARGING AGAIN….ooooh…i can feel the searing pain from here…he is throwing his body forward hoping his bike comes along…

10 meters; ILG IS PIPPED!!!

Finish; oooooh MAN!    10 meters too long for Noble Ilg!  he finishes in 7th yet certainly drive back to Durango happy with his unceasingly attacking style and perseverance.

Wanna know what has helped ilg put out such Noble Efforts like this one for the past 3.5+ decades?  sign up for Wholistic Fitness® online training and be sure to check out his BodyHealth and ASEA pages for the optimal in cellular nutrition, recovery, and performance.   thanks for reading!   until next race…go toe the Start Lines in your life and never, ever give up!  Ilg’s next race is the 4-event DWC Championships where he will attempt to defend if not better his Silver Medal from one year ago!   join us!

6 Responses to “Race Report: Mormon Lake Road Race – August 25th”

  1. Leferisen John says:

    Yeah baby! Nothing but Spirit drenched in Medicine.

  2. padma says:

    Love it! My local tough ladies also did not toe the start line…

  3. Ken Doyle says:

    Dear Steve, If you had played golf, Tiger Woods would be looking for another line of work. GREAT JOB. love, Kendo

  4. coach says:

    whose sayin’ ilg is NOT gonna add golfing to my palmares! i’m still a young pup! if you train me, ilg will golf! now THAT would be some shocking Temple News!!! 😉 move over Tiger!


  5. coach says:

    Om Mani Padme Hung! many get dropped at the beginning of the Bardo…doesn’t matter if it’s raining or clear if you have to race anyway, right?! proud of you!

  6. coach says:

    Warrior Leaf!
    you would KNOW!!!

    Blessings toward the Front Range!

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