Upon arrival and seeing the course set up with lots and lots of turns and a ride/run up, self said to self "you gotta go 45" then you'll have a benchmark. Even though this was only a training race I still got the jitters lining up with about 20 other riders. All but a handful that were Pro's and CX3's. Mike and I took our rightful place in the back with a few girls. Girls that looked like they could beat us. The start was pretty fast and we all got gnarled up in a big wad at the first narrowing of the course. Why is everyone pulling away from us? next thing I new I was even behind the girls. As things usually go for me after a few laps, things settled down, and people started coming back to me as I pushed to catch them. Realizing that this is a training race and not wanting to burn matches I'll need later in the year, I went hard but not to hard. I eased of and let the people go that I was gaining on. I did however get into an impromptu competition with one of the ladies. I caught her and passed her, and a few laps later, as I was getting lapped for the second time and moving over as a courtesy to the faster riders the girl on the MTB went passed me. Now racing, even a training race, is more fun if you have someone to compete with. I certainly can't compete with pro 1/2 guys and most of the CX 3's, but it was fun to push a little harder and swap places with someone on the course.
The course was the perfect training venue, all the elements that you need to master were a part of the course. Hills, ride/runup, lots of tight turns, sweeping turns, a long flat, a transition from grass to pavement, pavement to gravel, and of course two sets of barriers. Anyone who is a beginner needs to do the next race on September 24th. Far better to hone skills at Wednesday Night Cross than at an actual race.
All in all I didn't do to bad:
- made the 45:00 (back hurt toward the end)
- felt good the whole time
- rode the ride/run up each time (dabbed once at the top)
- didn't get beat by the girls
- wasn't last
- and, Dwight Wyatt didn't lap me.(close but no banana)
PS: go here read my bud Dwight's blog. He did a much better job of descriping the experience (especially the snot), plus there's pics!