CamRock. It just sounds hard, doesn’t it? I don’t know why, but I’ve been scared of this course. Because rocks. I hate rocks!
So I had a pretty stressful, no-sleep week/month and by Saturday I just didn’t want to race at all. More than anything I was dreading the long drive…I’ve spent too much time in Wisconsin lately and just wasn’t up to it. But I was kinda committed so Sunday morning I packed up and made the 2-hour trek to the Middle of Nowhere. Well, it should have been 2 hours except that I missed a critical exit and the next one was 13 miles down the road! Needless to say I arrived later than planned. I’m glad I drove by myself because the next 20 minutes consisted of digging through gear bags and swearing. “Really? Out of Honey Stingers? F***. I hate Clif Blocks!”
I’ve never been to a WORS race before and was pleased learn that I had two categories to choose from- Open and Elite/Expert. I’d been hemming and hawing all week over these categories and after a discussion with some random guy, I decided that Open was the best choice for me (on that day). After registration I went out for a hefty 10-minute warm up and met up with fellow competitors at the start line.
I’m not good at racing unfamiliar courses. I guess that’s why I like CX so much, because you can easily pre-ride and get a good feel for the terrain. Not as easy with MTB unless you have time to ride the day before (or if you live near Middle of Nowhere, WI). It seems that CamRock is the home course for many folks which made me a little nervous…
So off we went, up a half-mile long hill. Within a couple miles I was up front and teamed up with a local gal. I figured she knew the course so I let her pass on the gravel road then hugged her wheel. Well, Gentle Readers, if you’re read my past race reports you should know that being complacent is a big mistake (in races and in life, apparently). After a techy part she slowed up a bit to recover, because she knew “what was coming.” Uh, what does that mean? So as I’m visualizing some insane climb or rock garden I hear a snap! followed by unhappiness- her chain broke on a punchy little climb. After the obligatory “Are you OK??” I was out of there. And I never did figure out what she was talking about…in my opinion the course wasn’t very technical or hilly (or rocky- yay!) except for the initial climb. MORAL OF THE STORY- just pass people if they’re slowing you down. When I had a chance to look back I saw a few ladies not far behind, which was the motivation I needed to pick up the pace. Going into the second lap I was pretty much on my own and rode as carefully as possible to avoid crashing. On the final climb I noticed a few gals had gained on me but I knew they couldn’t catch up. So I rolled across the line in first. It wasn’t an easy win though; if I had let down my guard I would’ve been passed for sure.
On the way home I wondered how I would’ve done in the Elite/Expert group. It’s hard to say, but probably towards the back of the pack (at least for this race). I don’t see any other WORS races in my future as the rest as very far away (and Middle of Nowhere, WI is not a family destination worthy of a weekend trip). So we may never find out. That’s kind of a bummer because it’s clear that WORS races are pretty awesome.
My next race will probably be WEMS @ Southern Kettles. Yay, another trip to WI…anyone want to carpool this time? I promise I won’t miss any exits!