This report is a few days late, I know. I have been waiting for results to be posted online.
I stopped waiting and will update once I see ‘em. Update: 22nd out of 58.
Well, healthy me was back in time to race cyclocross at the Washington Park race; usually known as the Halloween race. Racers and spectators alike dress up in crazy and creative costumes to mark the holiday. Me, I’m boring, so I just showed up to race. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have had Nolan dress up in his skunk costume…oh well, next year.
Being only my 2nd CX race, I was hoping to capitalize a bit on my experience at the Domes race. So, I started further up in the bunch at pushed harder during the first lap and tried to sustain the pace throughout. I think I succeeded in that regard. The start felt like a motocross race start with a wide area funneling into a right-hander that shot up a steep little kicker. The following area flowed pretty well and I was able to pass a few other racers quickly. After a series of switchbacks the course dumped onto a paved trail, over a bridge and then the first obstacles appeared.
Two logs. Not bad, but the ensuing bunch-up of riders right after (during this first lap) made that area more pain than gain. I was able to get remounted quickly enough and shoot ahead of several guys at this bottleneck. More twists and turns and off-camber corners preceded an fun pile of woodchips that felt like riding through oatmeal. Then, the next obstacle. It was short, it said on it “Bunny hop or die!” Bunny hop I did – every lap. Way more fun than taking the longer way around it. The crowd prefers the bunny-hops too.
In front of the amphitheater and winding up the hill where the largest crowd was gathered took some energy. Thankfully, I had Sara and Nolan up there along with my friends Tom and Lisa and their son Colin to cheer me on. That always helps. After that the course dropped down and came right back toward the hill with two obstacles to jump over…then you get to finish running up the hill before getting back on the bike. Heart rate killer there.
The back part of the course was nicely fast with some corners that could be taken at breakneck speeds. Loved that part of the course. Then, you drop back to shoot down the finishing straight and do it all again.
By the third lap I had noticed a small group of guys behind me and seemingly catching up bit by bit. I dug a bit deeper to hold them off. I was able to pass someone right before a few tight switchbacks that I believed help keep the group pinned back for a bit and not able to catch me. In any case, it was all-out to the finish. Came across the line and was pegged. Good race for me. No clue where I ended up by in/near the top 20 would be my guess. The group of racers exiting the course after the finish wasn’t huge, so that’s a positive sign. So, out of 59 racers, I’m happy even though I
don’t know the official results yet. USAC shows I placed 22nd out of 58. It’s an improvement!
So, second race down. Had even more fun than the first. This is now creeping up on addiction status. Can’t wait for the Estabrook Park race on 11/5!
Tom snapped a few pics…here’s some of me suffering and Nolan sitting on the bike post-race.