Sunday's race was at a venue new to me. I've done a crit there before, so I knew it would be hilly but didn't know what else. I started the morning by bike marshaling the Rock n Roll half marathon course. After grabbing breakfast we headed to the park. It was unusually warm for the day, race time temp was about 80 degrees with lots of sun. I got a lap and a half preride in on the course and did the rest of my warm up in the field at the top of the park by the barriers.
We had eight ladies in the A race and 15 in our B race . . . a pretty good size field. The whistle blew and we took off. I would say I got my best jump of the season. Liz led out, Britta was right behind and I was sitting third wheel. I knew someone was right behind me, but didn't know who. We stayed close and tight until we wound around the top section of the field. There was a little downhill 180 to a short uphill right. I was geared wrong for the uphill and had to dab to get around the turn. Cat passed me at that point. I got going again, determined to take back third place. I caught onto Cat after the parking lot and was able to pass her on the third climb. By this time there was a short gap and Britta had taken over the lead. By the time we finished the second climb of the second lap. Britta had a small gap on Liz. I was able to close the ground and sit on Liz's wheel. We were even through the barriers and she got a jump on the downhill. I went around her on the pavement. I know she stayed close to me for the next lap and a half, but I was eventually able to gain a good gap. We did six laps for the race, but I was never able to bring Britta back. I think she probably had a 20 second lead on me. The toughest part of the race for me were the barriers after the climb. My legs felt a bit jello like every time across them.
The course started on pavement before 180ing back to a long gradual climb. It curved right and picked up an old sidewalk that you could ride most of the way to the top. From there was a series of switchbacks -- four I think -- up and down. We then wound around to the bottom of the park before starting the second climb. The second climb was as long or steep as the first. It led to the top side of the park again. There were some curves and turns and a few small elevation changes before heading down to the parking lot. The course cut across the parking lot before leading back into the trees and the hardest climb. The beginning of this one wasn't tough, it was the small kicker at the end that hurt. From there you turned right and had the barriers. Then it was a bumpy little down hill that led to a hard left to take you back to the start/finish.
|Topping the small kicker that hurt. *Photo Credit: Don McKinney|
|The bottom after the gradual downhill. Courtney hot on me. *Photo credit: Mike Dawson|