Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I heart Cyclocross.

How can you not love Cyclocross? What a fantastic workout. I just wish there were more races…

When I saw a few weeks ago that there was going to be a Cross race in Clermont I was literally beside myself with joy. So much fin, so close. Awesome.

Finally the day came. I paid my $84 (gulp) for two days with of racing/licenses, glued on my number and showed up to the line ready to rock and roll.

I was a little disappointed when only 4 people strapped one on to race the A’s. Whatever.

The starter yelled “Go!” and we were off to suffer, suffer and then suffer. Going around the course the first time I lost my chain on a slight up hill. By the time I got it back on I was in last and the leader was pulling away. Ugh!!!

By mid-way through the second lap I passed two of the guys in front of me and I was in second. The guy in the front had a gap that I never did close. I ended up lapping the other two guys.

2nd place was a good result. I earned back the cash I paid for the race. While I was there I previewed the course for Sunday. Oh man did that route look hard. Saturday was a warm up. Sunday was going to be a bear.

I went home Saturday excited to race again on Sunday.

Saturday night my dad passed away. It’s funny; I never once considered not going to the race. There was nothing that was going keep me from going back for round two.

I left strait from church on Sunday. This time I brought my son, my friend Jim and my girlfriend Debbie and her kids. I had a support team to bad I stunk up the joint.

Funny story. On the line I saw a dude that had a “USA Triathlon” shirt on. I said something dumb like, “So, are you a triathlete? …Yeah, me too.”

So why is that funny? Turns out it was Jarrod Shoemaker. He’s an Olympian in triathlon. Last time I saw him race was at the Duathlon (run-bike-run) worlds in 2009.

He won.

Not the age group.

He won the elite race.

Holy crap.

So the race starts and a couple of guys get gummed up in a corner and I toke the lead. My first lap was around 5:30 and I was leading. Second lap was closer to 6 min. By lap 3 I was settled into 6:30 per lap and 4th place. It was hard to really get into the race. I was tired physically and emotionally. I hadn’t slept much and my legs were a bit knackered from 45 minutes of racing Cross and a 5k run the day before.

I soldiered on and finished 4th.

That course was HARD. There was one spot where we had to run up a 30 yard sandy slope. Ouch! Then there was another 30 yards up hill on grass. That hurt something fierce! Another part of the course was a 20 yard uphill that I could ride; but BARELY.

Lots of sand; lots of twists and turns. Awesome!

Sundays harder course was awesome and so was the turnout. 11 in the race was much better than 4 from Saturday.

When I finished the race I actually apologized to Jim and Debbie for performing so poorly. Thinking back now I guess that was silly. The Olympian was second and some other strong dude was 3rd. I probably would have been 4th no matter what.

I did my best. My dad would have been proud.

Next race is next weekend in Dade City. Two more races! Bring it Mr. Olympian!!

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