|The artwork for the back of what turned out to be a coveted t-shirt|
I pretty much wrote off my training and racing for the week knowing the tasks that were ahead. The weeknights of race week were filled with last minute errands, filling up prize bags and setting up our registration files, numbers and waivers. We had a great crew on Friday to set up the course, and since we'd done it a year ago we were much more organized. We made some changes to the course to allow for much more parking, and we also made a set of our own team barriers to add to the set that came with our setup kit. By 2pm or so the course was basically ready, and some local riders were starting to filter in to check it out.
|The feared "St Lukes Staircase", a nasty, heart exploding climb!|
Race morning came early. It was a cool fall morning, but temps were predicted to climb into the mid 70's with wall to wall sunshine. There was a layer of dew on the grass which made things slippery, but our 9am field of 75 entrants managed just fine. They also managed to bring up some mud which was an added bonus to our fast course.
The mood was more of a festival than a race. Kids running around and screaming with joy as they explored the nature trails of the park and the various playgrounds. The announcer / DJ kept things rolling right along as people milled about at the St. Luke's nurses tent and the Saucon Valley Relay for Life food stand. If you needed something for your bike you could hit the Cutters tent for a tune up or head over to the Cycleops tent for a warmup on their trainers. I just tried to soak it all in.
The racing was great as well. The course featured nearly 125' of elevation gain per 1 1/4 mile lap, OUCH. Our team swept three of the top 5 spots in the Cat 4 race and fielded a podium in the Cat3/4 race. I lined up, without much warmup, for the 11am race. It was the masters 35+ race which was open to Category 1-4 and contained nearly 30 riders. Being only my second race of the year and considering my lack of training and sleep the week before, I wasn't looking for much. I had a PERFECT start and lead the field into the second turn. I managed to mix it up with the two leaders for the first two laps, but when I saw the 5 lap card I knew I was in trouble. It was warm, the legs were burning and I had probably pushed a little too hard, much too early. I was very fast in the technical and power sections but really struggled on the climb. The top 7 really moved away from the rest of the field and we'd fight the rest of the race out amongst ourselves. I finished a strong 6th, just seconds behind 4th and 5th. I was happy with that.
Just after my race was the kids "race". I headed down to the staging area and lead them off. Some of those little guys gave me a run for the money!
|Leading off the kids "race"|
|Finishing with Autumn and Ashley|
Just after the kids race was the women's race. We had a great field of about 30 women including Bicycling Magazine's "Fit Chick" Selene Yeager. These ladies battled hard and we gave cash and prizes to the top 10 finishers which was an added bonus! Selene wrote a great blog about our race HERE.
|Happy faces on the podium!|
|Bobby Lea chatting at the registration table.|
We couldn't have done it without all of our sponsors. Cutters Bike Shop, St. Lukes Hospital, Specialized, Motorex, Twin-Air, Honey Stinger, Cycleops Power, Fox and The Sufferfest
Photos of the race can be found at http://www.cyclingcaptured.com/share/2011-Town-Hall-Cross
And you can follow all the updates to our race at our FACEBOOK page or on Twitter @townhallcross
Now to get my butt in shape for some more cross, rest the running legs for HAT 50K and Boston Marathon training in Spring 2012!!!