doing the 65 saturday. first time. also first six hour race. thoughts/experience/strategy? what part to preride friday? go!!
The lolipop – it WILL end. You WILL get back to the SAG stop. First time I did it, I saw false flat after false flat, dying for water and having no clue how far it was. Then POP! it was there!
Don’t get impatient on the single track. Unless you are near the hole shot with the pros, you will get behind some folks that are slower than you. Use that time to relax, enjoy the flow, and rest up. (The initial climb will hurt). There are plenty of places to pass later.
The creek crossing was never an issue for me. Many get dunked as they somehow wipe out. Watch those in front of you and take the center line. At least that is how it was several years ago.
Wish I had the time to train for those races again. Key thing: HAVE FUN!
I have done the Big Frog the last 3 years, unfortunately I won’t be down this year.
Pre-Ride: I would recommend riding the first part of the singletrack (Ocoee/Brush Creek/Old Copper Road). It flows really well and only takes about an hour or so to ride. This will let you take a look at Old Copper Road as well, it has a couple of tricky rooty sections that will catch you off guard, but if you know your line its no biggie. If you have time definitely check out Thunder Rock since it will be in there twice this year.
Strategy: Pace yourself, there is a lot of gravel where you can make up a ton of time, people typically blow out the singletrack hard and pay for it later on. As @dprimm mentioned the lollipop can be a super demoralizing part, be sure to have some fluids and food.
Experience: It has always been great, the venue is super cool as its right on the Ocoee River. I think Mountain Goat Adventures took over the event this year, I can say nothing but good things about the events of theirs I have participated in.
Good luck and have fun.
p.s. the trails handle water really well, so the little bit of rain the day before should have them in great shape.
This is true. The last one I did it poured all freaking day! Trails were still amazing. (Only time many of us longed for hills so we could warm up!).