Every race gets better: Seneca Creek Cyclocross Challenge

I went into to SCCX with low expectations. My race would be strictly Cat 3, where past races were Cat 3/4. The only reason I am a Cat 3 is because I hold a Cat 1 mountain bike license. A Cat 1 mountain bike license isn’t all that difficult to obtain, and it certainly doesn’t mean you have ‘cross skills worth squat, making me a slower Cat 3 so far. So anyway, whether or not you followed all of that, I fully expected to be pulling up the tail end of the race and I was OK with that.

I quickly ended up in the back half of the field at the start of the race, but I slowly started to inch my way up. With the layout of the course (I loved this course by the way), I could always see the riders ahead of me. Each time I passed someone, I concentrated on the next person in front of me. It is always easier to chase than to be chased, so I just kept looking ahead. On my second lap, my husband told me I was 8th. Not bad, but it was a small field (14), and it was about where I thought I might be.

After my second lap, the lap counter said 3 laps to go. Three more laps?? I wasn’t sure how I would survive. However, by my 4th lap, I started hoping that I would not get cut off and that I would in fact get to do a 5th lap. There were 2 more girls ahead, and I knew that I could catch them with a 5th lap. When I was in the finishing straight of lap 4, the official was still ringing the lap bell and the lap sign said 1. Yes!  I have more time!

As we rode past the announcer on the last lap, he announced my name and that I might still have a shot at the podium if I can pass 2 or 3 more women. I had never been called out by the announcer before, so that was fun! My eyes were still glued to the 2 women right ahead of me. I got around one and stuck close behind the second. Our gap varied through the lap, and her friend yelled and yelled at her to not let me pass. But by the back half of the course, I was solidly on her wheel. I waited through some turns for a good spot to pass. The finish was in sight and my husband and her friend were seeing who could yell the loudest. Before the second to last turn, I cranked it up and passed as hard as I could. My husband was FREAKING OUT. Around the last two turns and I hammered it to the finish.

Sixth place out of 14. I’m moving up! DCCX is next!

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