Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fort Steilacoom Cyclocross

John and I entered the Category 4 Men 45+ Masters race. They do things a little different on the west side. The age breaks are 35, 45, and 55 for the men's masters due to the large number of participants. That makes me scared to age up. Everyone was issued RFID tags for their helmets in this race so our precise times could be tracked for each lap. I guess it's not enough to know how far back in the pack you finished. Now you can go to sleep knowing exactly how many minutes, seconds, and milliseconds you were behind everyone. This being Halloween, a number of people were in the spirit and dressed accordingly.

This was a really fun race. Most of the course was soaked and muddy from a couple days of rain. This morning the sky was clear and the sun warmed us up as we waited for our 10:15 start. We went around the course once to scout it out. It was 2.2 miles long--four laps were allotted. There were plenty of muddy sharp turns to watch for. There was no run up today but we had two long stretches of climbing that seemed to get longer with each lap. Three obstacles were set up, one in one section and then two close together in another.

Today I focused on the picking my bike up by the down tube instead of the top tube when going over the obstacles. I can get off the bike in a dead run pretty good but the top tube carry is awkward for me. Reaching down and grabbing the down tube turned out to be way smoother so I was very happy with that during the race.

My strategy today was to haul ass on the first lap and then try to hold on for the other three. The start was a long straightaway and I passed as many riders as I could. The first lap went well and my lungs were burning. Our group started first and the 55+ masters started 30 seconds after us. The Cat 1-3 women started 30 seconds after them. The lead 55+ riders caught me on the second lap and the lead women caught me on lap number three. Other than that I held my own pretty good. During lap three I started feeling comfortable with my pace and the final lap seemed to go by so quickly. I think I need to warm up even harder before the race so I'm really pumped up at the beginning and not shocking myself so much starting out.

(I picked up Josh from UW and brought him along. All photo credits are his except for the first one taken by my sister-in-law, Susan.)


Coolest photo of the day.

A Jacque twin?

So happy with this technique.

John on a climb.

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings. She did when she finished.

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