My race run today was pretty good. Only one small bobble that caused me concern, and another that caused a small slippage in time. The concerning one was one of my feet slipping off the pedal while in the air during a bug jump. Yipes. Right in front of a bunch of people.
As usual it was a fun race, but I think I would have had more fun if I had done the race with some friends.
The details. I got to the race site around 10:30. I got geared up, and headed to the pit to register. After paying I grabbed my plate and got in line for the shuttle. Attaching it just as I got on the shuttle I was a little anxious. I was feeling a little tired, and not as fresh as I would have liked.
Jumping off the shuttle I made my way to the top of the course, got my armour all strapped on and set out for an easy run down. No taking chances, no pushing myself, just ensuring that I know the course and am ready for the race. No problems during the run. Previous races I have managed to crash pretty hard during my practice and I really wanted to not do that this year. Mission accomplished.
At the bottom of the course I headed back to my truck, dropped off my camelbak, ate some food, grabbed a bottle of water and a cliff bar, then headed back to the pit to get ready for the race.
Race practice today was pretty good. I was glad to see the course has not changed much since the last time I raced it. My first run down was horrible though. My suspension was not set correctly, and my tire pressure was way too high. This combination lead to a very choppy run. Fixing those two things made for a much nicer experience, and way more fun for the rest of my runs.
Race run will have to be at the max if I want to place well though. This is a very fast course with some big jumps. Challenging for me, but fun for most (it seems). Hopefully I can pull together a good race run like I did for the Victoria DH.
No crashes today. I really hope I can say the same for tomorrow.
One sad note: I scratched my new goggles. Damn. I caught a few branches today so it must have been one of them. Now I regret not getting some tearaway strips as lens protection. Grrr.
Results are up (finally). It is tough waiting so long to see how you placed. I am very, very happy too. 7th place out of 43 racers. Pretty damn good in my book. Imagine what I could do if I actually trained for such an event?
My offical time was 4:36. Looking at the expert times that would have put me in 22nd out of 28 (if I had been in the class). Not so good. How did I fare against the beginners? Well, 4:36 would have been a winning time of the 21 other racers. Just re-inforcing the fact that I placed myself in the right category.
I expect that a little local knowledge helped my on the trails too.
A couple pics from race day taken by a co-worker of mine.
This first picture is post practice run. Lookin' huge thanks to the armour.
This pic is post race run. Hmm, to match my bike I think I need yellow shorts. That would look awesome.
The wait for results begins!
I got to the race site at 9:30. I figured just over an hour to get to the top and do my pre-run, register (another 20 minutes or so), then take another hour to get to the top of the course. Racing started at noon so this timing worked well.
When I arrived at the dump I lucked out and got a parking spot in the lot. I talked to a few others there, and found out that registration was under way. I grabbed my wallet and headed down. Plate number 56 for me today. Cost me $57 to get a membership to a club and enter the race. Good karma? I dunno.
I zipped back to the truck, got suited up, then headed up for my pre-run. I hiked to the top, zipped up my armour jacket, tossed on my jersey, got set on the starting platform, and rolled in. Instant tunnel vision. I was focused on the course very intently. For Snakes and Ladders I followed the lines I wanted, pedalling hard, but not enough to exhaust me. I flowed the dips and turns, lifting my wheel around corners, prejumping logs, sneaking pedal strokes when I could.
Coming up to Shar's Choice I noticed a newly exposed root. That was when I made the most elemental mistake when mountain biking. I stared at that root wishing myself to miss it. I fixared on the root. I hit the root. My front tire slid out, skidded across the gravel, and down I went. I slid a bit, then impacted a tree with my shoulder. Armour to the rescue. No harm done on that crash.