Ah, Steilacoom…everyone’s least favorite course. People used to dread the Knapp Time run up, but since that’s gone I guess people dread the long drive and inevitable traffic jam on the way home.
Eric left at 5:30am to hike Mailbox Peak with the guys and made it home just as I was leaving. Good timing! I had a leisurely 2 hours before my race, almost too much time, but at least I wasn’t rushed. As usual the last 20 minutes before my race are always hectic- get my bike off the trainer, swap wheels, grab gels, inhaler and water, and then frantically find someone to pin on my number (thank you Eva).
By 1:30pm it was pretty darn hot by Seattle standards (upper 70′s?). Nothing like sweating in a skinsuit! I downed 2 gels right before the start and boy, they just sat in my stomach the whole race. Ugh. I got a decent start and moved between 3rd and 4th place. At one point I found myself in 5th but my mad gravel downhill skillz kept the roadies at bay. We really need some rain- the course was bone dry grass, loose turns, sandy hills and TONS of dust. I bet we’ll be coughing that up for a couple days! Finally with 2 laps to go I glance back and see another rider hot on my tail. Mofo. I pulled out all the stops and managed to hold my position, finishing in 4th place.
It sounds like a few people left the race in an ambulance, including one my of teammates. I hear Michelle is back on her feet though and I hope we see her at next weekend’s race. It’s pretty scary to see someone on the ground like that…
All in all the race just “OK”. I guess the course, hills, heat and time of day really didn’t work well for me. Next week is Lake Sammamish…not really a fan of that course either. Hope it rains so we have a little mud!