Sunday’s temperature was predicted to be high 30’s at my 10am start time and warm up to the low 50’s by mid-afternoon. Brrrrr. I ended up dressing in my Under Armour coldgear mock turtleneck thermal with team jacket on top, full length cycling pants under my team shorts, and my summer weight full fingered cycling gloves. It’s what I call my upper-40’s set-up but it was perfect.
Being my first race in the Expert class, I was nervous/anxious all day Saturday and up to the moment I launched out of the starting gate. And it showed as I shoved off squirrely and nearly took out the timing clock. After the shaky start, I quickly settled in and set a pace that was slightly uncomfortable, but something I felt was sustainable.
My brother and brother-in-law shot out to some spectator spots on the trail for my first lap to cheer me on and encourage me which was really great. Great, that is, until my brother-in-law races me down the last straightaway yelling “GO! GO! GO! ONLY ONE LAP TO GO!!!” Yeah, that meant I was only half way. I gave him a hard time about that comment on the way home. I actually chuckled once I dove back into the trail for my second lap and had a second to digest what he had just said.
I ended up finishing 12th out of 26 in my age group picking up 20 points towards the Championship Points Series (CPS). My lap times were 51:54 and 53:39 which are both slower than my one lap from last year, but it appears as though the course may have ran slightly slower even though the conditions seemed perfect. It could be the overall average conditioning of everyone due to the harsh winter as well. Only time will tell.
A teammate of mine took a bunch of pictures. You can see I wasn’t really too worried about my poor start from the smile on my face. Or was that just slight embarrassment 🙂 I love this sport.