The AZT 300 was quite the adventure. It was one of the best times I've had in a while. After hearing so many stories about how insanely difficult the course was, a few of us were pleasantly surprised that people seemed to be exaggerating a bit. Or maybe we came into it expecting the worst. Either way, it was great. Riding with Scott, Stefan, and Chris for large parts of the first couple days really helped out tremendously.
After managing to hold onto a very slim lead to the end and still having enough left in the legs to hammer through the final section past the Gila in less than 3.5 hours after only 4 hours of sleep during the entire race, my confidence is much higher for the Tour Divide, which is now less than 2 months away. This race was a great warm-up (or shake-down?) for that, and I very excited to be coming away with such an optimistic outlook. I just have some minor gear issues to resolve and an all-to-familiar knee problem to deal with yet again.
I want to put out a huge thanks to Scott for putting on this event, Scott and Paula for putting up with us crashing at and stinking up their house, Jobie for giving us a lift to the start, and Sheryl for picking us up in Superior and ferrying us and all our gear/bikes back to Tucson. This wouldn't have been possible without all their help. I also want to congratulate all the other guys who finished the race. Whatever pace you go at, this is a damn tough ride.
I'll try to write up a more full report of this in the near future, but I've got too much else going on right now to do that. Hopefully it won't be too long.