yeah 14,000 feet of totally climbing will absolutely beat you down to the ground. After finally getting to the top of potato patch I was ready to call it a day. The thought of turning around and re ascending that beetch after the long ride down will itself mentally take you out
The faces of anyone re ascending potato patch is nothing but anguish and misery-- the sun is in full overhead bake mode at about that time too. A lot of people drop out.
The single track at the beginning was a lot of fun, not technical at all- its all good. There is this small creek crossing that I wasn't aware of ..never been or even seen the course before...So I crashed good there in front of a lot of spectators.
then cometh the long fireroad grind. and some of the fireroad sections weren't really packed, but large loose gravel.
Since the climbing is the main part of this race I would go as LIGHT as possible and I always wear a hydration pack but still get dehydrated. I did it on a 26 hardtail, but next year I will be using a lighter 29er. You also need to get a move on and not lolly gag at all if you want to make the cutoff.