First things first, we were late.....really late. I knew Sport started at 10:40 and it was after 10:15 when we hit the park. We had a graduation party the night before and I was totally unprepared for the early start, but we managed. We rolled in, parked, ran to registration, got my number on, got my jersey on...and I was ready. The only problem.....my warm up consisted of riding down the hill to the bathroom and across the parking lot to the start line. Literally....60 seconds of warm up. It was warm outside and my body was warm, but my legs were not so much!
I got to the line with Dan and we were ready to go (sorta!). I knew Brian was right behind me (in the red helmet under the start tent) and I figured he would be chugging after me. Dan's plan, just cruise for the first half and then let it rip on the Green trail. His philosophy lasted all of 3 seconds as he started to pull away right from the word GO. I kept him in sight until he made the turn into the beginning part of the Red trail and he disappeared. I settled into my pace and didn't worry about him....I know he is faster. The guy I was worried about was right behind me....well....30 seconds anyway. I was going pretty good but the trail was dry and I had too much pressure so I nearly went down in the Trenches. Thankfully I saved it and continued on unscathed.
When I got to the long switchback climb a few miles in I caught a glimpse of Dan at the top. I was within grasp, but not close enough as he put 6 or 7 minutes on me in the last 10 miles. I was rocking my pace and holding it steady. Pushing the limits some, but not too much so I didn't crash. Right at my comfort level though...which made the race fun. I made it all the way to the last root on the last climb in Granny's Garden before I spun out and had to put a foot down. Almost made it! Been a while, but I get closer every time!
This race seems longer than what it is because we ride the Amusement park backwards. I get disoriented until I see the Green two-track and know the climbing is coming. Still haven't seen Brian, wonder how close he is.....
I was motoring as fast as I could through the green. After the boat launch I knew the end was getting closer so I pushed the gas as hard as I could to the end. Below is a pic of the log jam on the green, I can clear it...but it snuck up on me and I had to ride around. Still, those two in the pic passed me, and that was it to the finish line.
I finished with a time of 1:19:03....a major 15 minutes faster than last year. No kidding, I must be doing something right because I almost got podium.....ok...well...I was 6 minutes from 5th, but I did take 6th out of the 8 in my class. Brian never caught me, but he had chain issues so I still don't chalk this one up as a win yet. After the race we took a tip in Eagle Lake and headed to Brian and Gwens campsite for food and relaxation. We finally got kicked out around 10pm, but it was a lot of fun.
The team did great and I was feeling great. I had my highest sport clyde finish and I was complimented on how much weight I have lost. I will keep moving forward....because that is what works!