Monday, March 21, 2011

Budu #3: Soaring Eagle

I decided to make Soaring Eagle my first race of the year, and my first competitive race since the Capitol Forest 50.  I race in the Men's Sport 30-39 category and as usual, there was a very large field for Sport racers.  There were around 100 Sport racers on the course and we were separated by about a minute, it was a bit chaotic.
When our group was released the pace was very fast, the course started with a very gradual climb in thick, slick mud where everyone was gunning for the hole shot onto the single track. A break of 8-10 riders quickly formed in front of me and a large gap was behind me.  I was feeling really good, which surprised me since I haven't really ridden much since September, so I decided to bridge the gap and stay with the leaders.  My goal originally was just to ride hard and do my best but now, with my new found confidence I changed my goal to a top 10 finish.  I bridged to the leaders quite easily and we quickly caught the 40+ group which started a minute ahead of us.  The course was not really technical, there were a few log crossings and a fair share of roots but mostly it was just tight, flowing and winding single track with lots of mud.  Passing was a problem and the flow of the race quickly changed once we caught the group ahead of us.  We were passing three sometimes four wide which meant breaking trail, lots of bar banging and some crashing.  The race quickly went from fast and consistent to anaerobic repeats in order to stay in contact with the leaders.  Around 2/3rds of the first lap the lights went out for me, I was done.  The starting and stopping, sprinting and crashing had taken its toll.  The rest of the race was very uneventful, I was getting passed on the fast straight aways and passing back on the single track, this went on for the remaining 2 laps, I was slowly losing ground and just racing to hang on.  At the end of the race I finished in 20th place which I was not happy about but also not really disappointed either since I had no real expectations.  I now know what my fitness level is and what I need to do.  I look forward to Cookin in the Kettles next weekend!

-Brian M.
Beginner (W) 30-39 Dani Vergara 3rd
Sport (W) 30-39 Theresa Nation 6th
Sport (M) 19-29 Reuben Andrews 7th
Sport (M) 30-39 Brian Mitchell 20th
Sport (M) 30-39 Edward Vergara 28th
Our OOA Brothers and Sisters
Expert (W) 40-49 Jennifer Burtner 2nd
Sport (W) 30-39 Ann Mitchell 1st

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