It’s been so long since I have written a race report that I almost forgot my password and I had to get my calendar out to see what races I have done. It turns that there have been kind of a lot. So let’s knock a few out all at one time:
Seneca Creek: Up to this point every race had been super dry and dusty and I was really hoping that Tropical Storm Karen would bring some rain our way. However, on her way to D.C., Tropical Storm Karen was decapitated–according to weather forecasters–but then her ghost returned, bringing something like 7 inches of rain in the days before the race. So yeah, it was a little muddy, but oh so fun! Since it was a small field, they started all of the women together. I had a pretty good race and managed a 4th place finish and won myself a pint glass full of beer.
Tacchino: This was the day after Seneca Creek, but somehow much more muddy even though the rain had mostly stopped on Friday. The mud made things a lot more interesting. My back wheel was just sort of going wherever it wanted to go, but for the most part, I was able to keep both wheels in the correct general direction. Overall, the race was a ton of fun. Mud beats dry and dusty any day.
DCCX Women’s 1/2/3: I was a little freaked out about DCCX because I knew it would be a big field and a more competitive race. Not that any of that really matters when you are bringing up the back of the pack and fighting for “not last place,” but that thought didn’t really make me feel any better. To my surprise, however, I was having a pretty good race. Or maybe it was just drum line induced delusion from the Batala Afro-Brazilian percussion group that was playing. It is impossible not to feel amazing when there is a drum line cheering you on. Though the first few laps I passed 3-4 people and was solidly not in last place by more people than usual, but at the very end of the second to last lap I flatted going into the part that squiggled around the trees. I managed to ride it on a flat as I was still processing this new information and what I should do. As soon as I hit the road, I knew that was the end of my race. The good part is that I used my nifty electronic tire gauge so I know exactly how low is too low. The other good part was that I was already signed up for another race that day, so at least I had another shot at the day.
DCCX Men’s 3/4: I signed up for the Men’s 3/4 race just to change things up a bit. In the women’s race, things spread out so much that sometimes it feels more like a time trial than a cross race, so I wanted to see if I would push myself more with more people to race. And also, as much as I love racing, sometimes I just want to go out and ride and race and enjoy it with a little less self-imposed pressure, and that hasn’t really been a thing this season. I figured that jumping into a 100+ person race I could just blend in, do my thing, and not really worry about how I finished. The start was pretty miserable, but I was expecting that. I started in the back, and as we waited for the start I pictured all of the terrible things that could happen. I really had no desire to push my way through, so I got shuffled to far back pretty quickly. Once you start in the back in a race like that, it is pretty hard to move back up. I was kind of aiming for around 60th-70th in the field, and ended up 77 out of 103. I just know there were guys ahead of me that I could beat, and because of my timid start I ended up racing the dust covered guy with his number half hanging off instead. But for my first giant-chaotic-mass cross start, it was not terrible and I would like to give the men’s race another shot.