Wednesday after registration closed we put in a long night of seeding riders and preparing bibs and waiver forms.
|Irish green lettering (not sure why Irish green, but I'll go with it)!|
The start is basically an uphill slog to the highest point of the course, then the "fun" begins...cool descents, sweeping turns, barriers, etc. The gun went off, I got a good clip in and and followed Kevin up the start straight. I was about 7th wheel heading into the first real turn. I made one move and went up the St. Luke's staircase 6th wheel.
|Up to 5th wheel the first time up the steep climb.|
|Now up to 3rd wheel.|
As we came up past the finish line Joe put a surge in and put himself between Kevin and I. I sat in and checked the gap as we climbed the staircase. I could tell we were pulling away and I knew we only had two laps left. Lap times were just under the 8:00 mark so I thought to myself "hold on for 15 more minutes and you got this." I was able to break the course down into smaller pieces and I had a lot of friends and family out there cheering which also helps.
Cyclocross is a lot about suffering and how much suffering you can push yourself to endure. I was suffering out there. Sweat dripping off my forehead, my legs screaming and my heart racing, but I was still smiling. That's what's weird about cyclocross, no matter how much it hurts....it's FUN and it keeps you coming back.
|Speaking of suffering, here's my last trip up to the top of the hill.|
When we hit the power section just past the pit with a lap and a half to go, Joe and Kevin surged. I couldn't match their surge so from that point forward I just wanted to ride smooth and consistent. I cross the line about 15 seconds behind Joe for third. Definitely one of my best rides and my first time on the podium in a 1/2/3/4 race. I was very satisfied and glad to step up on that podium....not to mention the $40 check!
Once the race was over it was time to get the kids race going. This is always my favorite part of the day. The kids just love it and this year we set up their own course around the baseball field. We got special medals made for them. They were smiling ear to ear!
|The kids starting to stage themselves for the "race"!|
It was such a nice day in fact that I decided I wanted more of the course. I signed up for the 1/2/3 race and decided to go out and ride around some more. I started at the back and worked my way past 6 or 7 riders, but as the laps went by my legs started to rebel. It was just too nice of a day too pull off though, so I soft pedaled around the course, hoping next year could be a fraction of what we were blessed with this year. Ended up being a great race up front though, and two teammates found themselves in the top 6!
We had some great helpers for course tear down and our long day ended shortly after 6pm. The race facility was morphed back into a park, the only sign of what had taken place that day was worn down grass.
We headed out to eat and celebrate. Then back to Gregs for a good ole fashioned bonfire and tent camp out! A perfect way to cap off a great weekend. The little kids crashed in the tent while the big kids watched the GoPro video of the race before passing out themselves. To top off the weekend, Lauren won her half marathon on Sunday morning! Can we bottle up September to use throughout the rest of the year?