RACE REPORT: 2009 Traverse
The Warrior’s Society is made up of avid riders, runners, and hikers dedicated to maintaining, and defending our rights to ride local trails in Southern California. They are the ones that each passing year put together the famous Vision Quest Endurance Race. Each time you’re out enjoying the well maintained single-track in Orange County it is the hard work of this organization, and it’s volunteers.
With all the knowledge they have of the area, you can be sure the events will have all kinds of different terrain, and combinations of trails. The Traverse starts in Black Star Canyon, travels along the Main Divide in the Santa Ana Mountains, and finishes at the Trabuco and Live Oak road intersection. With over 41-miles of great riding and lots of awesome vistas, the Traverse is sure to show you what the Santa Ana’s have to offer. The first Climb to the top of peaks place is about 7.8 Miles and ascends 2200 feet. With an easy start at this year’s event Prado had the time to check out the competition. As they started up the steeper slopes of the Black Star Climb Manny decided to put a heavy tempo pace at the front to see how the other riders were feeling. A small group of 4 riders formed at the front, not going to work for the others he decided to continue the hard tempo, and rode away from the rest. With such a hard pace at the front the little Costa Rican rider reached the top of the climb in 41:27, almost a record time for this local climb.
This year the weather was really nice with an average of 85F. The second leg of the course was from Beeks Place to the top of Motorway a famous local Single-Track trail. The Vision Quest uses this trail to take you to the bottom of Maple Springs. The Traverse bypasses this trail and continues on the Main Divide all the way to Four Corners. Prado rode this leg of the course in 46:12 minutes setting a blistering pace. The next section of the Course doesn’t look very long, but it had some of the steeper climbs in the race. Prado decided to run the Prototype Specialized S-Works Renegade 2.1 tires for this race. This new tire allows him to have very low rolling resistance, while maintaining great traction and shock absorption. With their high volume and soft compound they also help maintain traction on the loose parts of the race.
By aid station one at the Four Corners junction, Prado had a large lead over the rest of the field. He was running a PowerTap computer that let him know that at 2 hours and 29 minutes into the race he was averaging 235watts of power. After filling his two 22oz bottles with E2 Hydro Prado continued up the climb to the top of Saddle Back Mountain. This climb reaches an altitude of 5400 feet, you can see most of Orange County, and on a clear day you can see the Catalina Island. From there it is a long rocky fire road descent, followed by rolling short, but steep climbs all the way to the top of the Trabuco Single-Track. Prado rode smart and smooth down the loose and exposed trail to finish 1st with a time of 3:58, to claim the $300 price for the top finishing Pro. Prado also owns the Course Record of 3:43 witch he set in 2007.
If you are a local rider, and have not yet challenged yourself with an Epic race such as the Traverse Prado encourages you to try one. With the support of the Warrior’s Society it’s much easier to accomplish such a task. They set up aid stations that provide you with E2 Hydro, along with energy bars, fruit, and much more. Prado will see you at the starting line in 2010 at the next Traverse.
Thanks for reading.