Sunday, March 11, 2012


Ok I an going to bring this back to life again, or at least try to. So far no real racing action for me other then finishing up cross season with Nationals in Madison back in January, that race went a little better then expected I had a goal of not getting lapped and also lasting more then 1/2 the race before getting pulled/lapped. I understand they have a rule of 80% of being behind the leaders and you get pulled, now how far back I was not really sure and would I have gotten lapped before completing 2 more laps, probably, but I was just happy to be racing my bike with the Nations best racers and knowing that I have a lit of work to do before the race returns next year. Speaking of that I am going to try and follow some more structured training this year instead of my just riding around like I have the past 5 years or so, I have never really did any intervals other then hill repeats and pulls on fast group rides.

So far I just finished up a 5 week training block getting back on the bike with mostly base type riding nothing overly hard, did a couple hill rides just to try and judge where I am at and with Kent Park coming up in 2 weeks I will need as much hill work as I can get. On call week ends tomorrow, daylight savings was last night, and temps are going to be in the 70's most of this coming week.

The other thing that has changed is Angy has decided she want to run a 1/2 marathon in May and I have been running with her on most of her workouts including the long runs on the weekend, which is up to 9 miles today, when we started running 3 miles seemed like forever, but after 2 weeks in a row of 8 miles it really isn't too bad.

A few pictures from Nationals

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Iowa State Gravel Championships

Today was the State Gravel race hosted by Twisted Spokes down just south of Kalona, I saw this race a little while back and wasn't sure if I was committed to racing on gravel, but as the time came closer I decided that it might be fun to give it a go. Looking at the race flyer I noticed there was a Mountain Bike Open class, and since my cross bike is down right now with a shifter that isn't making with the happy, I figured this was something I could do. Load up the car and head down, get there with about an hour till we were off, got registered and waited to see who was showing up, saw Landon, and he was giving me crap about doing the mountain bike class since he too would be doing it, and then a little later another guy shows up with a mountain bike, not sure who he was but was from an Iowa City team and didn't know how strong he would be. We got all lined up and it was a neutral start for the first 1/2 mile or so till we got to the actual course.

The course is 7 miles long with pretty much rolling hills for the first 5 miles and then the last 2 miles are where the bigger hills come in.

Heading into the first lap we were joking about just rolling the first 2 laps together and go all out on the 3rd, but quickly that plan changed. I dropped back to talk to the other mountain bike guy to find out what his fitness level was and what kind of threat he might be. The group was rolling along really well together until we started hitting some hills, I was up front with the only singlespeed guy in the group and we pulled the others around, there was only 9 of us in the 4 or 5 different categories that were on the road and the mountain bike class was the biggest with 3. We get to the west section and that is straight into the wind, and being as I was up front I was doing most of the work, I tried to drop back a few spots but seemed like noone really wanted to come through. Turn onto the final stretch with all the climbing and I think on the 2nd of 4 hills is when we started to lose people off the back, by the time we got onto the 2nd lap we were down to a group of just 5, the guy on the single speed, 2 60+ guys and Landon and myself both on mountain bikes.

I tried to get the others to work on this lap to just put more time in between us and the others, but didn't get much interest in that, so I continued to set the pace at the front and tried to sit in if I could on some sections to conserve energy. This lap would be pretty uneventful as the 5 of us rolled along the countryside, no attacks, no one really falling behind we just stayed where we were at. Legs were feeling good on the hills and towards the end I would put in a few little digs on the hills to see if anyone else in the group would be going with, and John Adamson was the only one to really keep with me. Going into the 3rd and final lap we had a small gap, maybe 15 seconds, and I was ready to go, but he informed me that he would be going with, but not working at all since his teammate Landon was racing against me, and he wasn't attacking a teammate. So for a little while I kept going and decided it would be more fun to wait for the group and battle it out at the end. Sat up and within about a mile of that time the guy on the singlespeed had gotten a flat so he pulled off to fix that, now we are down to 4, John makes an attack and I decide not to chase him, I probably could have bridged up to him, but since we were about to turn into the headwind I wanted someone's wheel to sit on. So thats what I did, got onto the wheel of the other 60+ guy and sat there waiting for the final right hander leading us into the climbs again. We get there and now it is on, Landon comes charging from behind on the first hill and I follow right on his wheel, second climb I put in a small effort to only have it matched, and realized it will be best to wait. On the 3rd climb Landon tells me he is fully expecting me to pull away from him on the final climb and once we get to the bridge it is on, so we get to that point and now I am up front and he is on my wheel, I don't attack on the bottom part of the climb, but you can start to see the barn where the finish line is so I give it a little more, he follows, and then once we hit the 200 meters to go sign I decide it is full on sprint time, put my head down, pick up one gear at a time and don't look back.

Ended up 2nd overall for the group, and got my 1st Win since returning to racing in 2006, felt really good, and to know that I have the legs to attack and recover pretty quickly was awesome. I did get some crap from my wife for beating an old guy, but it's all good. Headed back to registration to change and get my medal, and my prize, a plate of homemade Cinnamon Rolls from Landon's wife, they are so good.

So I am the 2011 Iowa State Gravel Road Race Champion in the Mountain Bike Open Class!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

2011 Team

Guess I never announced it but I am back racing for HBA Racing for the 2011 Season.

Snake Alley Crit

This past weekend brought the return of road racing to my season, first time since 2009, and what a way to come back but to do the hardest race in the area. For those of you not familiar with the course it is a .8 mile lap with a climb up the second "crookedest" street in the world, with 6 switchbacks and an average grade of 12.5 percent and a max of 19 percent.

I didn't make the decision to race until just over a month ago which meant I was behind on getting a great starting spot, but was still good enough for a 4th row call up, and with as wide as we line up on the line I was in the 3rd row, looking around there were a few people I recongnized but for the most part it was out of state racers and even the ones from Iowa I wasn't familiar with. I had a game plan and that was to line up as far to the left as possible as the start is a downhill roll out to a 90 degree right turn which then starts you with a one block straight up climb before entering the narrow street know as Snake Alley. My reasoning for this was I figured everyone would be fighting for a position on the inside line of the corner and I would be able to carry more speed on the outside, so they give us the countdown and we are off.

I was able to get clipped in right away and was trying to move up as fast as possible, but got caught behind people that didn't get in right away, boy do I love my Speedplay pedals, a little bumping but was able to get where I wanted to be, and turns out that my plan worked flawlessly, I was able to get down into the little ring before climbing and not worrying about dropping a chain, shot past a good part of the field and entered the Snake up in the front, by the time we hit the top of the hill I was sitting in 3rd place, wow not where I was expecting to be, and once you get there you drop down into a technical descent with 3 downhill 90 degree turns, full of painted lines, and manhole covers, my descending skills are pretty good so I was able to retain my position until we hit the bottom where it flattens out a little bit and the guys with bigger motors then I have passed my, but still sitting up in the top 10 heading up the Snake again. The next few laps were about the same, I would try and climb the best I could, but was losing some time and places there, turns out I just ran out of gears quicker then I thought, next year I will have a 12-27 out back for that little extra climbing gear.

I would continue to ride the next few laps solo, lost some more places by now, not sure how I am doing, and we are at the halfway point now. The field was so blown apart and I see Rob McKillip at the top of the hill cheering me on, he started with me but got pulled early on, so at this point I was in survival mode and tried my best to TT the best I can to avoid getting caught and pulled, had very consistant lap times through these last few all around the 2:44 area and was hoping to stay away, come up towards the line on lap 7 or 8 and see the USCF Ref down on the street kind of waiting to pull people, and thought my time was up, but I was spared and he pulled the 2 guys that were maybe 10-15 seconds behind me, dodged that bullet, next lap saw him again and I was still allowed to continue, so figured I was doing well enough that I wasn't holding anyone up or causing a situation to where I should be pulled.

At this point the sky's opened up and it started to downpour on us, not good for this race, but knowing there was a chance of rain I was running a lower tire pressure to try and get just that little bit of extra traction. I was climbing when it started and going down the first time was borderline scary, I grabbed the brakes going into the first corner and they didn't do much for me, only slowed a little, so I sat upright and trued to avoid leaning the bike in the corner so I didn't go down. Climbing proved to be a challenge as well since you can't stand up on the bricks when they are soaking wet, and I am not a good sit down climber, with 3 to go I got caught by the solo leader, so I only had 2 more laps to go. I did the best I could to stay out of the way of riders that were lapping me, but of course they were catching me on the climb, so I would take the far outside line, was easier to climb there, but my lap times suffered pretty bad. Final lap and I had been caught by 3 guys but had another group of 6 or so charging pretty hard so I basically sat up before descending to get out of the way, was a mistake because no one was actually going downhill faster then me so I just jumped in line and would get out of the way at the bottom, I had one guy think I was on the lead lap and almost sprinted but told him I was lapped, he smiled give me the thumbs up and cruised across the line.

At this point it was still raining hard and I had no idea how I did, went and found my wife and headed back to the car to change, the rain stopped shortly after my race and I was able get changed and walked over to look at results, ended up in 23rd out of 52 finishers, 62 starters, and 5th Iowan. I was very pleased with that result. Came home and downloaded the info from my Polar power meter and compared my race to when I did Snake Alley 2 years ago and had an increase of 32 watts average for the race, I was pleased with that as that is a 10% increase in power over 2 years time, means I am still getting stronger.

Pictures from the race can be found here

Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011 So Far

I know I have been bad about updating this since I have been into the social media with Facebook, and recently twitter, and have been letting people know what has been going on there. I will try and keep this more up to date though as race season is getting into full swing.

Training so far hasn't been consistent to say the least, had an awesome January, February I fell off a little bit, March wasn't great either, but April things started coming around as I got to a few group rides, races started up and was getting good mileage each week, and now we are into May and things are going well.

First race for me was Sylvan Island MTB race in April, always a great way to start the season, this year I will be competing in the new Comp Class in the IMBCS Series basically in between Cat 2 and Cat 1, and the same people I was battling with last year for the overall in the series also stepped up to this class, and with that they have upped their training. So this year they decided to do a parade lap which was about a mile long to add some longer double track sections and try and break up the pack more before heading into the singletrack to prevent a bottleneck. Well from what I was told beforehand we would not be doing that as our classes were small enough that we wouldn't need that, apparently the USCF Ref didn't get that message and sent us out to do the lap, so the tape was moved at the finish line area but not in the woods, I was in 2nd place at the time and the tape was across so I yelled out to the guy in front to just go under it, and a course marshall held the tape up so the rest of the field could get under it, so now I am in 1st place leading the way though the lap, and we come back down by where the start line was to see all the Cat 1 guys standing there and they stopped us saying we weren't supposed to do that and we would be restarting, crap my HR was up and I was ready, but now I had to stop and stand around again. On the restart I was bumped into the 2nd row somehow and even though I got clipped in right away I didn't get a great start and was 3rd going into the woods. First lap I felt like I was doing awesome, till I couldn't reel in the guys in front and could hear guys coming from behind, so I just did my best to hold my position. I would lose a few spots before that lap was over, and was doing my best to keep up the pace I had set. The problem with Sylvan is that they only have so much room to build trails so it is tight singletrack with many turns with short sections in between so you are flying into every corner and pushing to get out of them as fast as possible, well after a couple laps of that it takes it's toll on you and I was really starting to lose some major time on each lap. By the last lap I was toast and every corner I just wanted to stop and get off the bike and walk out of the woods, but knew I had to just keep going, was helpful that there are a ton of spectators out there cheering and that keeps you going. I came across the line in 14th place in the Comp Class, not bad for the first race of the year, but farther down then I was hoping. Pictures are here

Next race was the Decorah MTB TT going into this race I knew there would be a lot of climbing which I did my best to train for by hitting some hills around here, but still nothing can prepare you for this race. The weather was less then desirable for this time of year, when we arrived it was 37 with a wind chill of 32, I didn't pack for that kind of temps, I did have arm and leg warmers, but just my summer long finger gloves. I did pre-register which gives you the option of choosing your start time when you check in, and since it rained the day before I wanted a later time to let it dry out a little more, and was able to get 40th spot. I got a little warm-up in and rolled up a few minutes before I was to go, and knew who my guys right before and right after me were, and with 1 minute intervals you can kind of judge how you are doing out in the woods if you can see them. I started off up the road towards the entrance of the singletrack and dove into the woods to start climbing, this year was dryer then last year and that was nice being able to climb everything and not have to get off and run, I started catching a few of the slower riders not too far into the woods, so we climb almost to the top of the hillside, and then switchback down towards the bottom to only climb again, and repeat a few times, except this year they had a cruel idea of sending us basically all they way down to the start line to climb all the way back up as a sustained climb that would take somewhere in the 3-4 minute range, then drop down the backside of the hill and hit yet another 3+ minute climb, then bomb back down to the flat section of the course next to the river. For only being 6.1 miles long there was just over 1100 feet of climbing, took me 42:15 which was good enough for an 11th place overall and 3rd in my age group which the overall placing was awesome for me and I was pleased with that. Here is a video I took with our Go Pro handlebar cam

After that I did Snake Alley Crit which I will do a separate write-up on that later.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

2010 Cyclocross Season

I know it has been a long time since this has been updated, so I will cover the whole cross season in one post, and Jingle Cross will get it's own.

First race of the season was at a new venue in North Liberty at Bobber's Bar and Grill put on by the Iowa City Crew, and Race #1 in the Eastern Iowa Cyclocross Experiment (EICE) For the series I did the combined Cat 3/4 lined up on a nice 50 degree day with a mist in the air, not really raining but enough to make it chilly. Lined up front row as the start wasn't very long, and then had a 90 degree left onto the grass, got a good start and was either first or second going onto the grass, lead into the barriers and continued there for a little while. Halfway through the first lap and we had a gap forming and 5 of us were gone. We would battle that out over the next few laps and exchanged places depending on what section of the course we were at. About the halfway point I was still feeling strong, and could tell some of the others were starting to fade, so I put in another good lap and was all alone by the time we came through with 2 to go. This is the point where I don't like being as there are guys in front you can't catch, and the guys behind aren't really gaining on you much, so just have to continue to give it all you got. I go around with one to go, and know I am in a good position, cruise that lap and end up coming across the line in 3rd Place out of 15, good enough to score me some upgrade points.

There was a couple week gap in the schedule till the next EICE race, and I didn't feel like travelling to Des Moines, so I found out about a race in Illinois that was only about a 3 hour drive, and decided we should go out there and see how I do in a larger field. So we head out there and I go to register and after turning around my wife points out that Barry Wicks is standing right behind me, and she gets all giddy like a school girl, Barry is the man. Being as this was part of a series and I didn't pre-register I knew I wouldn't get a good start like at the local races, but didn't realize it would be this bad, I was in the last row of about 70+ starters, oops. Oh another sweet thing is this race had a fly over, which I have always wanted to do a race with one, but nothing was local, was awesome. So back to the start, I was able to get clipped in right away, fast start into a left and then a right, weaved through the pack, was able to get into about mid-pack and was riding well, barriers in the woods, and with this being a Cat 3 race you would think people would know how to dismount and remount, but nope was a traffic jam, I was able to get through and pick up a few spots, but of course by now the leaders were gone. Found myself in a group with about 6-7 other guys and was nice for a change to be with people, I think this was the first race that I was with someone else the whole time. I did have one stupid crash on the first lap on a downhill 180 degree corner, but once I found the line through there I was good. The course wasn't overly technical, so of course the stronger road guys would pull away on the straights, but I would bring them right back in the corners, or the short run up. Going into the last lap I found myself with a small group of 2-3 guys, was able to loose all but 1 going into the last little bit, and found us sprinting for the line which I don't recall ever having to do that. Came across the line in 34th out of 64 finishers, and was pleased with that result, wish I had a better start maybe could have pick up a few more spots.

Back to Iowa for the next race in the EICE, Devil's Cross in the Quad Cities. Always a good venue with a good run-up, some climbing, and technical corners, line up again on the front line, and once we are off I get the holeshot into the first corner, around the tree into the barriers, lead for a little bit longer, then I crashed going into a corner way too hot, and since the ground was dry from the lack of rain this year it was loose, also 2nd place went down on the same corner, was able to get back up quickly and retain my position, got passed on the run-up and was ready to settle in behind those guys. At this point I was sitting in 3rd place going into the 2nd lap. Next few laps were pretty much riding by myself in no mans land again, and then I notice Steve Bullerman coming from behind with Carl on his wheel, did my best to keep them behind me, but after another lap they caught me and were gone. At this point my plan was to hold off any more riders from catching me, going into the last lap I was starting to gain a little ground on the guys in front of me, but just could never catch them, oh well I would settle for a 5th place finish.

Onto the first double weekend for us with Bobber's Cross II on Saturday, and Middle Park Madness on Sunday, I didn't have a great night going into Saturdays race I knew I would not have a great race but still lined up on the front row and got the holeshot, but was quickly passed once we got out in the field, this race was shorter the the other race held here, was slightly more technical with the corners but I still wasn't mentally into it. I tried to do what I could to pull people back that I usually beat, but just didn't have it in me. Spent the rest of the race trying to not lose many more places, and came across the line in 8th place.

The following day was Middle Park Madness, held in the Quad Cities, I love this race, always a fast start, and a perfectly made, natural jump over a drainage pipe, got a much better night of sleep, felt refreshed, and was back on my game. The start line is about halfway through the lap as to sort us out some before hitting the run-up, so we start, around the pond to the barriers, I am leading at this point, through the tight turns in the field, hit the run-up, get back on as soon as it flattens out some, still in the lead on the upper field section, down to the jump, get a decent amount of air, was a little farther down the hill then I though and the landing was a little sketchy, but all good. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold the lead for much longer, got passed in the barriers and made a wrong turn and almost through the caution tape I went. Regrouped, figured out I needed to just calm down a little and race, next couple laps more of the same, not really losing to many spots until I crashed, not once but twice on the same lap. Once again due to how dry it has been the grass was a little tricky in some of the 180 degree corners, and I went down, the second time I had ripped the scab off from the crash at Devils Cross, and was bleeding again, doh. I yelled to the wife I had crashed, and of course being supportive as always she cheered me on and said I was doing great and to keep at it. Well with 2 laps to go I find myself in 4th place, and 5th was closing in on my slightly, he was on a SS so I would have the advantage in some sections, and others he would catch back up, going by my wife this time she yelled out that if I get top 5 I can get new tires, as the ones I am on this was their 3rd season, and that was the motivation I needed to just keep hammering away. 5th place never did catch me as the run into the last bit was downhill from the jump, then around the pond and the small field section, I was gone, bug ring the whole way just cranking on it, came across the line in 4th place, and decided we were heading to Geoff's Bike and Ski on the way home to get some new tires, picked up a sweet set of Challenge Grifo's :)

The next week I went on-call for work, had it all worked out for a guy to cover my weekend so I could race both days of Cedar Valley X, but that fell through and was only able to find someone to cover Sunday, oh well one day is better then none. So we get up to Cedar Falls, and the course is huge, 2 miles long with a giant whirl, it took almost a minute to get through it. The start was a decent length climb that switchbacked up to the finish line, then down hill, a couple corners to the run-up, over to the long paved section, about 1/2 mile, and then barriers, the whirl, and then repeat. Get to the starting line and Carson is there along with a few other fast road guys, and with this being a pretty much all out power course with little technical section, I knew I was screwed, so in my typical fashion I got to the front of the line and when the whistle blew I was off, didn't realize how big of a gap I had till after the race and looked at some pictures. I lead the entire first lap, and bobbled the run-up as I had wasted most of my energy already, and just couldn't get back onto the leader group. I did bridge up to another guy on the paved section and was able to sit on his wheel into the headwind, and we caught the leaders, seemed as if they were trying to use some road tactics, and of course it worked because shortly after we got on they went again, I did all I could to try and keep up, but just wasn't happening. I would ride the next few laps solo, which wasn't too bad, but the paved section sucked into the headwind, so when I thought I would get a little break on that section I ended up working harder then I wanted. Once again I didn't have the legs I wanted, so I would just settle for a 7th Place finish, and be happy I was racing my bike and not working.

Then my season went really bad, got sick on Halloween, was in bed for 2 days, got over that and still didn't feel right, ended up I had Bronchitis and it took just over 3 weeks to get better from that.

But in that time of being sick I had one more race in the EICE, Psyclofest in the Quad Cities, another all out power course with one killer run-up, I decided I would show up, do the race for points in the series, and if I didn't do well I had a pretty good excuse. I lined up with everyone else, didn't go all out at the start, wasn't leading, but once we got to the backside of the course and started climbing I knew it was over, I basically had no power in my legs, couldn't breath, and just realized I shouldn't be out there. I did the best I could to keep moving forward, which at some points wasn't easy. Phil's Hill was killer, was really hating that thing after about 2 laps, and at that point I was so far off the back it didn't matter. Halfway through the race I was feeling worse, so I made the decision I would finish, but I did sit up and made it a point to get lapped. It took a while for that to happen as it was a long course, but eventually it did and I was relieved. Came across the line in last place, and just rolled over to the car, loaded the bike and sat down for about 30 minutes before moving.

That race was the final race in the EICE series, so we waited around watching the mens open race, and ate some pizza and drank some Gatorade that was provided by DICE/Healthy Habits. Once the results were all final and the series standing were posted I ended up in 2nd Overall in the Cat 3/4 for the series.

There is one thing I have learned from doing both the IMBCS Series the past 3 years, and this Series this year, is you don't have to be the fastest to do well, all you have to do is be consistent to do well.

I will do a separate write-up in Jingle Cross later as that needs it's own post, and this should be more then enough reading for now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WORS Race Lake Geneva

2 weekends ago we decided to travel to Wisconsin to do a WORS Race, having never done one, but always hearing great things about them and it only being 3.5 hours away we went for it. Get directions and we are off, get closer and we follow some signs which lead us to the Grand Geneva Resort, I mean this is an upscale place, they have a sweet stone entrance, a whole bunch of fountains, huge resort buildings with sports complexes, golf course, and an airport. Tucked all the way in the back though is a small ski hill that would be the venue for the race. I decided to try out the Comp Class which is basically in between Cat 2 where I usually race and Cat 1, which I hope to achieve someday.

Roll up to the staging area after getting a good warm-up and look around, don't know anyone, talk to a few guys that pre-rode the day before and got some pointers on the course, and they go through the call ups for series leaders, not looking good, so the rest of us finally get up to the line and I am 3rd row. Not where I am used to starting, usually am on the front row and ready to rock out, now I would have to fight for a decent position. The way the had us staged was in 2 separate age groups lumped together, so wasn't really sure who I was racing against. The countdown to go, and we are off, now since it is a ski hill, and we are at the base of it, guess where we get to go, that's right, up, and up some more, the start is fast, short grass flat and then turn left and climb, was in a decent position by the top of the hill, maybe top 10, and once you get to the top, you have to come back down, really fast side hill singletrack downhill, into another left and climb back up, back down and then the final ascent on the frontside that would take us all the way to the top of the hill. Get up there, lost a few spots as I didn't know the course so didn't want to blow up too quickly, into the singletrack on the backside, and just hold my current position. The singletrack was a lot of fun, twisty, and rooty and rocky, my kind of course, but of course the local had the advantage, so I would end up losing a few more spots before getting to the rock garden. That was a blast, it seemed every spectator was there waiting for carnage, and you could hear the cheering from about 1/2 mile away. Small drop down, sweeping right and now you are in the rocks, thankfully there was a line established by this time from all the other riders before me and was pretty smooth, after the rocks was a set of 4 drops that dropped you back off on the fire road. Now we are about 3 miles into the 6.75 mile course, and I was doing my best to follow wheels, started to catch up to the back end of the Elite Womans field that started 3 minutes or so before us, and passing wasn't an option in most places, so you did have to wait some. One spot was a pine tree section that reminded me of Sugar Bottom for a short while, but that was quickly replaced with more tight twisty rocky, rooty singletrack. Before making it back to the lap line, you had a series of switchbacks that were just about180 degrees, and very tight making for some hard going for the 29ers, but as long as you took it wide you were good to go. One final double track climb and time to rinse and repeat 2 more times.

Feed zones was established at the top of the first climb, and was able to get my empty bottle to Salem so he could get it refilled for me before the last lap. By now the guys from the next wave were starting to catch up to us, and not knowing what class they were in I assumed they weren't with me as they were moving pretty good. Back up to the top and down into the singletrack, had 2 guys gaining on me at this point and told them I would let them pass when we got the chance, well I rode that section well and took till the next doubletrack before the catch. They go by and I try and hold their wheel the best I can, but that was a lost cause, and they were gone. Look up ahead and see a familiar jersey in front of me, and it was on the shoulders of Brittany McConnell from Iowa City. Couldn't quite catch up to her before the rock garden, went through there again with relative ease and was feeling pretty good, caught Brittany on a singletrack section, and waited till it opened up again to make the pass, exchanged a few words and kept on moving. It was pretty neat as half way through the course they had a neutral water station set up and had 12-15 people with water cups lined up handing them out to racers that wanted them, or they would splash you with it if you liked, so I would grab one at the first guy and drink that one and then grab another towards the end and throw that one on myself, was really refreshing as it was close to 85 degrees that day. End of the 2nd lap and I was starting to feel my legs just yelling at me telling me enough already, but had one more lap to go.

Start the 3rd lap and was able to get both my water bottles, so I had plenty of fluid to get me though, just didn't know if I had anything left in the legs. Climbing the 2nd hill on the frontside I actually dropped into my little ring and just sat there and spun, I think that is 1st time in an XC race the past 3 years I have used the little ring, only other time was the 24 Hour Race last year. Crested the hill for the last time and was back into the singletrack, rock garden seemed to come quicker this lap, was probably all mental but go there and flew down through the chute again, and was felling like I was ready for the race to be over. But alas there was still almost 4 miles of the race left and knew I had to keep on moving. Get to the feed zone and the 1st Place Elite racer flew by me like I wasn't moving, ok so he has made up a whole lap on me now, damn. I just keep plugging away knowing I just need to keep pedaling and not look back. The nice thing was you could tell when the Elite guys were coming because you would hear them talking to guys behind me, so about 2 minutes or so later 2nd place comes by. I did my best to stay out of their way, not sure if I ever stopped, but would get over and let them go. Final time through the switchbacks and you can hear the announcer at the finish starting to rattle off names of finishers in my race as well as the Elite's. Coming up that doubletrack for the final time was a relief, I was in pain, legs were shot, and I did all I could to not allow anyone to pass me. Finished.

Sat down on the side of the hill, layed down and was convinced I would just stay there for a while. Got up about 5 minutes or so later, and talked with Kyle, Robin, Kevin, and Brittany for a few minutes, headed back to the car to change and hangout and try and eat. They are really quick about getting the results in, so walked back over and saw I was 13th in my age group, and found out later that I was 44th overall for the Comp Class, a pretty good result as it was my first time racing at that level, and hoping next year to make it back up there to do some more WORS Races.

Next up Cyclocross Season :)