I've done 2 races, one last summer and one this summer, both DNFs. Is this something that happens frequently, or am I just having bad luck? Here's the story.
In May '05, I talked a friend into getting into the sport and we decided the shorter sprint races were a good way to get our feet wet. We chose one locally in September, and convinced a 3rd friend to join our 3-person team.
Race 1 (2005 Indy Sprint AR)
Teammate 3, henceforth known as 'he who shall not be named', is not prepared for the race. He has to make a run to Meijer to get a couple things from the mandatory gear list. This couldn't have happened before we get there are are getting ready for the pre-race meeting? We get started, and his light goes out between the first and 2nd checkpoints we hit. We finish the Score-O, and head for the bikes. Less than 9 miles in, he's emptied a 70oz. camelbak of straight H2O, no electrolytes. 13 miles in, we have to sit on a street corner for nearly an hour while he pukes...a lot. From that point, we had to walk up hills and ride the brakes going down. We finally (5hrs after starting) finished the bike portion. Once we hit the TA, he dropped into a chair and didn't move until I took the chair to pack it back in my car. The truly irritating thing is that he claimed to be exercising regularly to prepare for the race. DNF our first foray into the sport, but chalk it up to lack of team perparation and being total newbies.
Could June of this year be our redemption? We dropped 'he who shall not be named' and decided to go on as a 2 person team.
Race 2 (2006 Planet Adventure Sprint)
This was a shorter race than before, so we felt that we had a good shot and were confident leading up to the race. Thursday night before the race, teammate #2's bike is stolen from the back of his Jeep. Due to time and money constrictions, he purchased a basic replacement bike. Friday we head down to Nashville, IN, and get camp set up. What little time we had to spare, we used to give his replacement bike a small field test. We took a spin around the camp area and visited the paintball fields. Everything seemed to work ok. Bright and early Saturday morning, we started the race. We were doing pretty well until the bike portion. After the first bike CP, his chain broke. With some help, we got it back together, though his bike fed differently than mine and we had it routed wrong. Ok, no biggie, the hills made it so we were hiking up most of them anyway, so we thought we'd do that and coast down. This worked well for 2 more CPs, then disaster struck. His rear brakes ceased to function. He laid the bike down once to avoid a crash and was using his feet to stop like Fred Flintstone. The second spill was not so fortunate. He caught a rock and it threw him over the front. He nearly cleared the handlebars, then sailed like Superman. 4 broken ribs, a mild concussion, and a cracked bicycle helmet finished our day. DNF thanks to catastrophic equipment failure.
I'll admit to being very frustrated and disappointed in the days after each race, and I'm still a bit peeved that I have yet to finish a race through not fault of my own. However, I am not sure if our lack of success this early in our career is normal or if we're missing something. Any suggestions, insights, or even some similar stories would be helpful. Thanks.