Manny’s Approach to La Ruta
Manuel Prado is only starting his third year of racing and he’s already had some impressive finishes both in local SoCal races and in some of the bigger endurance events. Manny finished 19th overall at La Ruta last year. To see some of his training rides just check out the Geoladders site…long rides with plenty of climbing. Anyone looking for an extremely strong partner for some of the 2-person team races would do well to have Manny as a partner. Had I known he was from SoCal, I would have asked him to be my 2005 teammate for both the Transrockies Challenge and the Transalp Challenge. I expect that Manny would quickly establish himself as someone to keep an eye on should he decide to start doing more 12-hour solo, 24-hour solo, and 100+ mile events.
M: What was your first multi-day race?
Manny: La Ruta.
M What years did you do La Ruta? Does it get any easier?
Manny: I did it in 2004 and 2005. I think second one was easier because I had a strategy and knew the route better. The first one was the hardest.
M: What tires do you like for CR?
Manny: I like the Continental Twister Pro and Specialized Fastrack 2.0.
M: Do you prefer a hardtail or full suspension?
Manny: I like to fly down hill so FULL suspension.
M: The finish rate at CR is about 1/3 to 1/4. What do you think is the most important determinant for a first timer finishing? No mechanicals, a little luck, fitness, no crashes,etc...?
Manny: Race with all your heart and have faith; you will overcome anything.
M: What does it take to put together 3 good days?
Manny: I'm still trying to figure that out, but there’s nothing like a good training base.
M: Did you train differently this year as opposed to last year?
Manny: Yes I rode less this year and still did well, but I supposed I should ride more.
M: What 5 items are the most important to take with you each day?
Manny: Mental strength, tubes, a pump (not CO2 for long events), light multi-tool like the Specialized EMT Race, extra Sram power link and lots of gels.
M: How do you deal with cramps down in CR?
Manny: I normally don't cramp, so I don't know.
M: What's your favorite thing about La Ruta/Costa Rica?
Manny: The mental challenge and the adventure, it is not the typical race where everything falls into place so you have to improvise.
M: How do you deal with the mud down there?
Manny: The Continental Twister Pro tires and lots of lube. Be careful when shifting. I broke my derailleur in 2004 and that wasn't good.
M: Do you think you'll ever do the Guanaride in CR in July?
Manny: I did it last year and it was a blast, I'll do it again this year if God allows it.
M: What are some of the races are you doing this year?
Manny: The Cal State XC series, The Granny Gear 24 hour races, La Ruta and The Guanaride.
M: Any tips for racers? Dos and dont's?
Manny: Be friendly and don't think you know everything. Open your mind and you'll find the answer.
Manny setting the fastest lap (as is often the case) at the 12 Hours of Temecula: