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Hampshire 100 Report


“What is the Hampshire 100?”

Jesse had been perusing my google race calendar and that entry had apparently set off some alarms. I swear I’d mentioned the event in an earlier conversation. And by mentioned, I mean I probably mumbled something so that the only intelligible words were New Hampshire and bike, and he missed the 100 miles and race part of it.

“Ok that sounds like a good idea.”

So I plunked it on the calendar and we went on to chat about business as usual and his upcoming Tour of Utah. You should read about his recent training and racing here, he has some fantastic insights.

The thing about being coached by a sibling is, he grew up with me. Jesse was there when I hid veggies I didn’t like in my pockets at the dinner table and later flushed them down the toilet. He knows all my tricks and diversion tactics. So the boss quickly ferreted out the full story about the NH100.

“You don’t think it’s a good idea?” I clearly learned less growing up with him because innocent talk certainly doesn’t work.

“Um cross season?”

“Oh yes, that. Wouldn’t 100 miles just be nice long base training?”

“For cross?”

A lot of time and energy is saved between siblings without the need for things like positive sandwiches (you know, starting and ending with something positive and putting your rebuke in the middle) and diplomatic explanations. Don’t get me wrong, when needed Jesse will explain the rationale and offer advice, but many times, he knows I know… we can finish each other’s sentences, and usually with a quote from Monty Python.

“Oh um I…look, if we built this large wooden badger…” Which is to say, I was bummed my ambitious but not entirely logical plan had been discovered, but I acquiesced and such flummery was put to an end.

However, I’d already gotten excited to do the event with a few friends who love these 100-milers, so I wasn’t very well going to back out of the whole thing. My friend Jim Mayuric regularly competes in the NUE events and we have a bit of friendly competition going from Hilly Billy, and I’d told him it was on, I’d gotten the go-ahead. Liz Allen was also pleased to know I’d “given in to the crazy side” and registered for one of these epics. So I negotiated Jesse down to the 100k option, which was tolerated with some misgivings and the stipulation: “Take it easy. Save your big bullets for cross season.” At least I could make the event.

Many locals have a temperamental relationship with the Hampshire 100, screaming and berating the race every year, grabbing their stuff and storming off, then buying their way back again for another go the next year.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s a miserable concoction of loamy single track and loose-rock climbs.” This is distressingly true.

“Why do you go back?”

“I don’t know.”