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This past Saturday I entered my first ever Sport XC Race. I’ve been racing Super D this past year and after 2 ½ years as a beginner racer I thought it was time I push myself up to the next level. Not sure what I was thinking; me and my delusional thought process!
I was not a happy camper come Sunday morning. I caught a bad cold that week and was still feeling the pain in my throat with every gulp that morning. The congestion and cough left me feeling less then fabulous. I have been looking forward to this race though so I figured I’ll give it a go and I’ll pay the consequences later.
If you have never raced this venue before I definitely encourage you to try it out! This venue is a lot of fun and the course is opened up only once a year for this event. This was my 3rd year racing at Mt Sac and I always have such a good time. The trophies are pretty sweet too – all hand made by the students at Mt. San Antonio College!
Once I signed the dotted line on the waiver it was a done deal. No turning back! Sport category=18miles. UGH!!! I think the longest race I have done was 12 miles. 18 miles sounded awful! My only goal was to finish. A DNF just can’t be an option! If I could just complete the race I was going to be satisfied with my results no matter what they were.
As we lined up for the race I actually felt very calm. My stomach is usually tied up in knots but without the pressure of needing to podium I was just going to do my best to enjoy the ride! With iPOD ready and sports drink stocked I was feeling pretty good. My jersey was filled with a few FRS blocks and some Organic sports blocks thanks to team mate Kim Finch.
As we were lined up the announcer yells a little something and everyone is off! There’s no time to warm up the legs as I immediately met the first of many tough climbs that morning. The first 10min of the race is actually pretty slow. There’s lots of bottle necking and spots you could have walked faster around the racers than if you waited to ride through. Most of us that have ridden this course expect this and just go
with the flow. But there are a few though that are cursing and mumbling. I just chuckle a little when I hear it.
The course was similar as years past with the addition of some sandy switchbacks. There was also a little extra climb and steep downhill that got me the first lap around. I lost control in one of the sandy ruts and hit the dirt pretty good. I was a little sore but recovered quickly because I was in shock! No time to survey the damage as my competition was just feet from me. The most difficult part of finishing the first lap was knowing that there were two more laps to go!
I got a 2nd wind the 2nd lap and even passed another girl in my group the second time around. I lost time on some of the downhill portions and the one thing I was afraid of happening actually happened. Flat tire you ask? No. Mechanicals? No. My iPOD died!!!! My tunes were the only thing making the climbing bearable! Aye. So it was just me and the voices in my head. It wasn’t long before my competition caught up and passed me up. Most of the race was like this – back and forth with the girl in front of me.
Third lap was brutal to say the least. My legs were done. It took everything in me to finish but it was good to know I was going to finish. I was pretty excited to see the finish line and that gave me the extra pep in my pedal to push through. In the end I finished 3 minutes behind 2nd place. I am just proud to complete the 18miles and the 3rd place trophy was a sweet surprise!
I have no idea if my schedule(school/work/kids) will allow for the training I would need to continue to race the sport category next season, but I am glad I pushed through that day! It’s great to push through something so difficult and to see what you’re made of. Thanks to our sponsors who help make this possible –I had a great time with my team mates and friends as always. We’ll see you out on the dirt trails!