One of the nice things about living east of the Mississippi is access to some big CX races. Last weekend’s Trek CXC Cup was one of them- a 2-day UCI event right at Trek’s HQ. Pretty cool! BTW Trek’s HQ is in the middle of nowhere.
We made a “half-weekend” out of Trek by staying in Madison the night before the race and going out to dinner with friends. I think Vietnamese food, particularly Bun, should be incorporated into my pre-race routine going forward.
I’m never really nervous before races anymore, so what gets me worked up now is AKA’s “terrible three” behavior. We managed to leave the hotel in a timely fashion on Sunday, only to be bombarded with whining during the entire 25-min drive, which in turn irritated the heck out of me. *Sigh*.
I hustled over to registration and was pleasantly surprised to learn that an event sponsor waived the $10 day-of fee for women races. Very nice! I was anxious to pre-ride the course and hopped on as soon as I could. OMG- the course was fun but HARD. Ups, downs, run-ups, logs and a fly-over. Chicago courses are pretty bland so this was a welcome change. There were so many tech features that I couldn’t memorize the course…looking back I should have ridden it twice. Oh well!
So if there’s such a thing as a female Fred…it’s me. Seriously, I must look like a total amateur out there- a too-big jersey, pink gloves, blue Sidis and apparently the worst CX offense of all…short socks. I think I was the only person (male or female) wearing less than a 4″ cuff in the entire staging area. Tall socks are fun and all but I just can’t pull off the look (or cycling caps for that matter ). Eric says it would be bad luck for me to wear them anyway since I’ve been a shorty for so long. LOL. But on a positive note, maybe people think I’m slow based on my mismatched look 🙂
I nabbed a front row call-up which allowed for a good start. The front two ladies were moving pretty slow so I made my move right before the fly-over and hammered into the wooded section. We went down, then up the run-up…or so we thought! Turns out we were supposed to go to the next run-up (someone forgot to tape off this part), so the leaders had to run back down and over to the next hill. By that time a bunch of women had gotten ahead of me. I was super frustrated and struggled to get my mojo back (which never really happened). I was able to pass some of the women and held my position for the rest of the race. The course was tough and the heat made things worse. I felt like I picked the worst lines and the run-ups were super awkward (when is the last time I did run-up??). Despite all that I managed to finish in 5th in the cat 2 group. Someone was handing out beer coupons as we crossed the finish line as consolation for the mix-up. Pffft.
Afterwards I caught up with the race director to find out what had happened. I wasn’t angry, but I did want to let her know how frustrated the leaders were. She sincerely apologized for the mistake and to my surprise, refunded my entry fee on the spot. It was a nice gesture but still…
I’m over it now and already looking forward to Jingle Cross this weekend, despite the forecasted hot temps. I’m racing cat 1/2 on Friday and Masters on Sunday.