Thursday, September 1, 2011
An Interview with Donut Derby Rookie Chas Offut
In my last post, I examined some of the extraordinary stats behind winning efforts of past Donut Derbies. I promised an introduction to a newcomer to the scene, a local boy prepared to do battle in the land of the smorgasbord. Here it is--an interview with DVR's Chas Offut:
(1) Chas, I've known you as a barbeque maestro and local produce afficianado, a Baltimore man, and one of the few non-waifs in MABRA who has managed to score some points in the Cat 4 field. You've never trained a day--until now. What is it about the Donut Derby that's got you actually training rather than just riding?
I’ve always ridden my bike so racing was just a logical next step to push my riding limits. But the Donut Derby, that’s an event that simply defies riding norms. It's true, I’ve been blessed with a naturally rounded mid-section, but I’ve never encountered an event that requires the esophageal fortitude more than the Donut Derby.
(2) This will be your first time tackling the Derby. Describe the Donut Derby and explain what makes it a more complex kind of competition than a mere bike race?
Racing bikes is actually fairly simple: train incessantly, forego relationship needs, avoid good food and put career development on hold. But with the Donut Derby, all of this is put in check with the intake of refined sugar, fried food and beer. Suddenly, friends want to hang out with me, my wife is encouraging me to ride my bike and I finally have time to stay later in the office. Honestly, it’s all very confusing, but that's the innate complexity of tackling the Donut Derby post MABRA race season.
(3) What do you think is necessary to win the Derby in terms of logistics, pacing, gluttony, and team support?
Is this a trick question? I’m bound by sponsor obligations not to divulge any information that may potentially aide my competitors. There’s just too much at stake here. I will, however, say there’s truth in the donut triple stack. I had three stacks this morning. Damn it, I’ve said too much already.
(4) A follow up question--is it necessary to keep the donuts down, or can you, a la the ancient Romans and troubled modern day sorority girls, induce vomiting?
Following the careful review of event rules, our squad’s lawyer concluded that a barf = DNF.
(5) Without giving too much away to your competition, can you give us an idea of what your training for the Derby has entailed? Tabata intervals? Insulin infusions? High altitude training? Periodization? And how are the sensations going into this event?
Let’s just say I’m on a first name basis with the Krispy Kreme counter girl. And, I hit my milestone today before work, which I know Friel would be proud of.
(6) Have you taken a look at competitors from past years and done statistical analysis of their numbers? What kinds of average speeds and numbers of donuts are these guys putting out and eating, respectively?
Yes, it’s quite impressive. The gut buster guys – 40-49 year olds who eat 2x as many donuts as 30-39 year olds – are the ones to watch. Not only do they maintain 17+ mph speeds, they’ve entered some sort of vortex where the cycling and food continuum collide for passage into another world. All eyes are on “Frank the Tank” Gonzales.
(7) What was your best race?
If I must pick just one, I would say the 50 States Tour in which I was awarded the most aggressive rider jersey. And funny thing about it, I wasn't even registered. There’s something about racing on your home turf that takes your game to another level.
(8) What was your most impressive eating accomplishment?
Hmm, what did I cook last night?
(9) Have you any experience in combined competitive eating/cycling? Has your preparation involved "bricks," as the multisport folks call them--that is, the transition from one event of the race to the other?
Nope, never tried that, but my training regimen did include a “boot camp” class. And although the squats left me incapable of walking for 3+ days, I know this class will pay dividends on September 5th. Though not sure how quite yet. And although I have not tested this theory, I have heard that eating cabbage and watermelon will help expand the stomach the night before.
(10) If you win, what kind of celebration will you do as you cross the line?
This is in the works, but let’s just say I’ve been working with a team of dedicated professionals to craft a victory salute that pays respect to all of the men and women who have tenaciously gnawed a tender dough-filled treat - clinging to the freedom it represents - during a sunless conference room meeting.