Daniel Espinoza’s Race Recap
On February 2nd Daniel Espinoza competed in the Pace Bend Ultra 12 hour ultramarathon bike race. He started at midnight and had a goal of completing 200 miles in 12 hours. After 6 hours in, he was on track to hit his goal. He was feeling good and planning on pushing his pace for the last 3 hours of the race if he still felt strong at hour 9.
Prior to the race, Daniel and I had chatted about what to eat the day before the race. We discussed all meals and snacks leading up to the big day. We also discussed race day nutrition and what to fuel with while on the course. He reported feeling good and not feeling hungry, which had been the case during some of his training rides.
At the 9 hour mark, with only 3 hours left in the race, he was just about to start increasing his power when something went terribly wrong…check out the photos below and see if you can figure out the mishap.
That is right…his chain broke and his derailleur was no longer functional. He tried to fix it and even walked some until the bike support showed up, but unfortunately, there was nothing they could do to fix the issue.
Daniel made the most of the day and was able to have a good attitude even though he had to end the race 3 hours short. After months of training and preparation, Daniel was on the road to success. He felt great, was hitting his goals but unfortunately had an unexpected mishap. He plans to take on the race again in the future and is hopeful to be able to complete the race.
Below is his recap and shout out to many individuals who made this race possible:
“First of all I would like to say, Thank You to my Parents, coach Bree Soileau and my Alamo 180 teammates, The Cyclones, Team Wingman, Drew Jones, Krista Neugebauer and Chris Potter. Yall have all helped me in many ways to be prepared for this race today. Also a special thanks to my Mighty Pato pit crew Christian Lambert, Jonathan Ramirez, Rudy Mendez! They did an awesome job today helping me with my race goals and giving me my nutrition.
I was a having an amazing race today. Even with having small problems with lights and stuff before my major failure my race plan was better than planned. I think I could have reach 192 miles today.
I finished with 161 miles. When I broke down at 141 miles I carried my bike and shoes on my shoulders for about a mile before the sag reached me. I asked him make my bike a single gear so I could finish the race. I still had 2 hours to go. Quitting was not an option for me. My last 20 miles were rough. I had to stop and fix chain and wheel several times. But I was able to keep rolling. When my chain broke on my only option was to find a way to make to the finish line. I had 40 – 45 minutes to get there. If yall remember the Flintstones cartoon that’s how I managed to get my bike rolling. On the steep grades I had to actually walk the bike to the top if the hill. Then I would get it moving and roll down the hills. I beat the 12 hour mark where I finished my race rolling through the finish line.
Despite everything that happened at the end of the race I had an amazing experience today. I felt stronger than ever. It was amazing.
For my pit crew, they were amazing. I couldn’t have picked a better group of guys. They do need to learn how to play dodge ball better. Thank you to Teresa Cuellar and Frank Cuellar for also coming out to the race.”
After talking with Daniel, it sounds like he made the most of the day and ended on a positive note. This doesn’t surprise me as he is one of the nicest, positive people I know. In times of adversity, he was able to still laugh and remain positive walking until he was able to get help. And even then, he was in a mental place that instead of getting a ride back, he decided to “Flintstone” his way back to get closer to his mileage goal.
I hope his story inspired you to try something new and remember that even if it doesn’t’ go as planned, always try to make the most of the situation.