I wasn't completely sure that I was going to race Peak 2 Peak until the morning of the race. My entire body was ridiculously sore from my first week of weight training, and part of me thought that sleeping in would be a better option. However, all week I had been doing easy rides, and I wanted to get a hard workout in.
The race course is very non-technical, so I decided that my Mamasita would be the best bike to race on. Right now it's set up for cross, but we switched out the wheels so that I could at least have mountain bike tires on. I'm not a fan of racing on rigid forks, but it wasn't bad for this course.
Our start was really fast with Sue Stephens taking the lead and hammering through the wind. Before long I was part of a 3-women break with both Sue and her teammate Erin Vicary. Every once in a while I would hear them talk to each other and at one point I actually screamed, "WHAT???" Ha ha, I didn't want to be left out of the conversation :-)
Once we were in the singletrack I entered "hang on for dear life mode." Sue and Erin were flying through the trees, and I knew that we were getting close to the area where I fractured my clavicle the year before. I kept trying to leave a little room so that I could see where we were going, but then they would gap me immediately. I finally decided that NOT getting gapped was more important then trying to look for that stupid root anyways. It's funny. I thought about that crash during the most random times over the last year, but once I was racing I never thought about it again. And I never saw the spot either. I think it's safe to say I've moved on!
There were some open parts of the course that were really windy, and at times I felt like I was almost in a road race. It was mostly flat minus a long ski hill climb at the end too, so there was no recovery. Absolutely none!
I was shelled repeatedly during the race, and ended up riding in 4th until I finally caught back up to Erin during the end of the 2nd lap. We rode together for a while and I knew that I would have to try and get away before the long ski hill. Because after the ski hill we had a dual slalom like run to the finish, and Erin could bomb down it like nobody's business.
A few expert guys came up behind us, and once they passed us I decided to go with them. Part of me thought I would pop off and be stuck in no man's land, but I guess the whole point of XC racing is to push yourself to the limit, right? I passed Erin cleanly, but then had to pass another guy. It was the worst pass of my entire life. Not only did I get hit in the face by a tree branch, but then I almost crashed into him. We both kind of got tangled up and veered off course. I managed to stay upright, but I'm not sure about him. I think I heard him yell. Sorrrrrrry!!!!!
I managed to stay with a few guys until the end, and was very, very happy to see the finish line and finish in 3rd place. It was a tough day as Michigan has some really, really fast female racers! Not to mention our honorary Michigander :-)
I was one second away from collapsing at the finish line!
I wish that there were more XC races to do, because they are such a good workout and it's been great racing with friends that I normally don't get to see much of during the summer. Plus, I really need more practice at my starts and not getting shelled during the first hour....
Peak 2 Peak is a great race venue, and the promoters do a really great job putting it on. Afterwards there was an open bar, and lots of food. Oh, there was also a petting zoo of sorts.
Can you tell that I was terrified of this thing??? It was being really aggressive with the food and I thought that my hand was surely going to get eaten!
The little ones were much less intimidating!
PS. I raced cross today (day after Peak 2 Peak) but it doesn't warrant a race report. I had absolutely nothing left in my legs, and it was a very ugly 45 minutes with lots of snot and drool all over my face. . However, I'm still glad that I did it because Kisscross races are so much fun! The next one is on Halloween which means one thing and one thing only....COSTUMES!!!!