I drove to Lawrence this morning to do a 3 hr mountain bike race. God's Country. it was great.
At Perry Roubaix i felt like s*it but today i felt awesome.
The day started with a spilled bottle in the race bag during the drive up, so ive got my jersey and shorts hanging over the visor with the heat pointed at them full blast. It was a chilly day so i didnt want a wet kit. Upon arrival i get dressed and the shorts are still wet so i fold my boxers and stuff them down my pants soak up the moisture as i warm up. Then in the porta poty the boxers fall out and into the toilet. I was very amused by all of this.
I rolled to the start line w/ mcdonalds coffee in hand (stayed up too late last night) and was happy to see a good field for the marathon class. i think it was 16. I'm really glad i decided on Marathon. i need big / long rides right now plus since i dont mtb all that often i feel safer since i should be going slower and therefore am less likely to crash.
The horn blows and everybody takes off on the gravel levy road. The start is fast and a group of about 8 is immediately gapping everyone else. The gravel whisperer and myself work up to them and he mentions that the winner of Trans Iowa is up there. So is A coe. So it seemed like a quailty field. We turn onto the grass and i get around a few before the singletrack.
There was a fun re-shuffeling as everyone's ability levels got sorted and then about 10 min into the lap it starts raining, not hard but enough to make it very slippery. Or at least very slippery for me, i dont think my tires are good for slick mud plus i probably had too much pressure. Then halfway thru the first lap my saddle goes nose up and im forced to stop and fix it, then it's too far nose down so i have to stop again. Something like 5 people pass me during this. After i get going is right when the trails were the most slick so i felt like no ground was being made up.
However, it was really great to be out riding in the rain. Kind of magical.
I was sliding all over the place but that only lasted for about 20 minutes. the rain stopped and every lap the ground got faster and faster. Plus i noticed that i was feeling good. The first lap was 40 minutes but the second was around 36. After that the timer was turned off and i lost track of the time in my head but i was pushing bigger gears as the race went on. I hope they post results with lap times because my last lap seemed pretty damn fast. i think i rolled thru at 12:30 on lap 4 and finished at 1:02. or something like that.
I couldnt believe how good i felt on that last lap. And i never cramped either. That's progress for me. it paid off. I cought and passed 2 marathoners with about 3 minutes to go. It was interesting how i got around them. So what's the procedure in a situation like that? Is a guy going to let you pass in the last few minutes of a race when he knows you're in his race? i'm guessing no. But then again is it cool to block someone whose obviously fast than you? I asked the first guy if i could pass and he kindly obliged, then as i passed him he goes are "are you marathon?"... "yep".... "oh son of a bitch". i smiled. Another dude who i know is in my race is now within range but then i hear a voice from behing... "can i get around?"... "what race are you in?".... "expert, open, i dont know".... The way he said it made me think he was pretty darn fast and needed to get thru stat. He goes by and I'm pretty sure it was that A Elwell guy, he seemes to be a bad ass. He quickly rode away from me but not before i saw him take a corner at speed that made me realize how awful i am at riding Bikes. It was awesome! I hope he didn't mind my questioning him before letting him pass.
I ride up to the guy in my race and he just pulls over and lets me go by. Ha! im sure it was because Elwell had just passed him too and he figured i was another cat 1 guy. Pow! At least i did ride away from these guys once i passed them. i had the juice so dont feel too bad about how it all played out.
The results for Marathon seemed to be in dispute but they had me at 6th. That sounds about right. Either way it was am amazing day. The trails were awesome, the new mountain bike is awesome, i felt awesome... i'm so glad i drug my sorry a** out of bed at 7am and drive up to lawrenc despite a suspect weather forecast.
Big thanks to Chris Locke for another top notch event. He does it right. Thanks man!
Every race should have hot dogs at the finish.
(did anyone else see that guy riding his tri bike on k10? that is crazy)