Two-time speed-skating Olympian (1960 and 1964) and former World master champion in cross country skiing Richard (Dick) Hunt from Bend, Oregon captured second in the individual 20-kilometer time-trial at the US Master Cycling Championship in Park City, Utah on Monday.
By Torbjorn Karlsen
Masters nationals is a part of the Nationals Park City Cycling festival. The time-trial race was held on Antelope Island in the middle of Salt Lake outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Dick, who just turned seventy, competed in the 70-74-year old category.
Dick, what can you tell us about the race?
– Antelope Island is interesting with its free running buffaloes and antelopes surrounded by a very salty lake. The course was tough with several long solid uphills. I had a good race and was only 21 seconds behind the winner. I beat last year’s winner by more than a minute. I was pushing heart rates right below and at 95% of my max for long periods and even saw a new max heart rate of 173 for a brief moment.
What is you max heart rate?
– (Was) 170
Any problems with the buffaloes or antelopes during the race?
– Not at all, but the Mexican food we had the night before the race didn’t treat me well.
Why did you drive 12-hours from Bend, Oregon to Utah to compete in a cycling race. At your age aren’t you supposed to play Bingo, Texas-hold’em, watch the Travel Channel or play golf?
– I like competing. I raced here last year too and had something to prove after placing 10th and feeling like a goof when I realized that I wasn’t prepared like my competition were. Everyone had $5000-7000 time-trial bikes, aerodynamic helmets, skin-suits and the rest of the works. My old fashioned cycling gear was like as showing up with bamboo poles, pine tar as wax and knickers in todays cross country ski races. This year I was prepared like the competition.
I also wanted to see what I could do after being slowed down for three months after having surgery for atrial flutter (miss-firing of the heart) this winter. My goal is to get back to where I was (or better) before the surgery.
I also realized after getting my MaxVo2 tested recently that training lots of hours of long and slow or long and medium hard isn’t good enough to even maintain your O2 capacity. I have for that reason started to pay more attention to modern O2 interval training principles, block training and max strength training. I have incorporated this into my training. I haven’t used these principles for a long enough period yet to make broad conclusions, but it all makes sense and so far it feels like I’m improving steadily. It’s no doubt that my MaxVo2 is on the way up again. It’s never to late to change your old habits. It’s all very exciting.
Who’s your coach?
– I got lots of good coaching help from Justin Wadsworth the last couple months and I have been listening carefully to what you and your friend Jan Helgerud has told me about 02 training.
What’s next Dick?
– I’m leaving for a two-week bike trip to Europe on July 4th. We’ll be riding some of the same mountain stages in the Pyrenees of Spain and Southern France, as they will be using in Tour de France a few days later. I’ll be on a trip with 15-20 other people. Then I’ll go back over to Europe for the Master Cycling Worlds in St. Johann Austria for the time-trial on August 24.
Photos From a bike MaxV02 test with Dick Hunt (and Torbjorn) a couple weeks prior to Nationals.
All photos by J.Helgerud.