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Cheq 40 Report

I officially survived my second Chequamegon 40!  This race has been in the back of my mind since I finished it last year.  It’s hard to believe it’s already over but I couldn’t be more pumped about my results.  I finished almost exactly an hour faster than last year and 917 positions better.  In the car ride to the start line with my racing buddies, I predicted my race time to be 2 hours, 37 minutes.  I actually finished ten minutes under that.

Last year, we opted to start towards the back since it was my first year.  This year, we started really close to the front thanks to John and Dave who woke up at 6 a.m. to drop our bikes off. The very front is saved for a select group of riders are awarded a preferred start.

The start is a mass start and it’s absolutely insane!  It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be packed between 1800 bikes and riders.  We start at the Hayward school and ride on Main Street through the town out to the trail.  People are lined up and down the street cheering and ringing cowbells.  It’s a really unique experience and there is NO room for a mistake!  I’ve heard some bad stories about crashes on the start and hope I’m never involved in one!

I didn’t expect to start as hard as we did.  I wasn’t prepared for the intensity we threw down right away.  I struggled mentally the first 30 minutes to hang with the two guys I was riding with; especially knowing it was a 40-mile race!  I recovered from the initial sprint and settled into a good pace.  I felt good for quite a while then the cramps kicked in.  The last 45 minutes of the race I battled with quad cramps but I made it!  I’m already dreaming about next year.

I feel really bad for my buddy Rob who broke his chain at mile 11 of the Short & Fat.  He had to walk the last five miles but he finished which is a huge accomplishment!

Overall, it was a great weekend.  We camped with a big group of people who we met at Cheq last year and raced with throughout the summer at Buck Hill.  There were a lot of laughs at the campfire on Saturday night!

2009 Results

Time: 2:26:53.7

Overall Position: 150

Age Division Position (M 25-29): 20 out of 92

2008 Results

Time: 3:27:56.0

Overall Position: 1067

Age Division Position (M 18-24): 38 out of 50


Mandi and I found this Huffy Exercise Bike in mint condition on the side of the road near Hermantown on our way to Cheq.  John is convinced that pounding a Monster while warming up on this bad boy was the key to his success.


Rob and I training to race Cheq tandem next year.

Here’s a quick video of my thoughts pre and post race.

Mandi JohnsonCheq 40 Report