This section of race consisted of paved roads, then a recap of our mountain biking area, and ending again with more paved road. Oh, but what fun we had during the mountain biking section. It was about 2 or 3 in the morning and our headlamps weren't bright enough to safely light our way. Most of the trail was about 2-3 feet wide. One side of the trail was the hill going up, and the other side had the hill going down. In an attempt to not break any bones with a tumble down the hill, we spent a good bit of this section walking our bikes. While I avoided broken bones, my right calf suffered severe bruising. It looked like I had been beaten with a baseball bat. What happened was that the pedal on my bike kept hitting my calf.
Somewhere on the trail we decided to take another nap. This was our longest break of the race. Yep, a whole 30 minutes of glorious sleep in the middle of the trail. What was most surprising was the lack of other teams coming through on the trail while we slept. The only thing I remember was throwing a couple ticks off of me. After getting up from this break I was smart enough to put on my jacket. This idea was short lived, on pushing my bike up the next hill I was sweating again and had to take my jacket back off.
We finally rolled in to the finish line at about 8am. Around 6am we had all run out of water. We checked our team in, got the map for the optional orienteering section, and took the most amazing showers. Not opting for the orienteering section, we turned it back in. That's when we found out that our time didn't end until it was turned in. With the shower time included, we finished in 19.5 hours!
The ride home was quite interesting. We stopped to eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Honestly, I remember what I ordered, but I couldn't tell you what it tasted like. I ate it too fast. Then we all took turns driving back to Annapolis. Shifts were traded off when the driver started to fall asleep at the wheel. I remember turning on my blinker, then I was in the other lane. This was indication it was my turn to stop driving. At one point during the drive I remember pulling off at an exit. One of my friends asked what was wrong. All I knew was that my body needed protein, and it needed it right then. I saw a sign for an Arby's, but it was a lie. I ended up going to another fast food restaurant and getting a hamburger.
We got back to Annapolis safely. Our day was completed by eating a lot of pizza and then going to bed. We all slept about 16 hours that night. I won't be doing that again.