Race Report: Rocking the Mud at Cam Rock!
It’s an honest-to-goodness race report. Hold on, brace yourself. My writing skills have suffered immensely over the past few months. *
After a rough weekend I can’t say the motivation was at an all-time high for this one, luckily I had an awesome Manx to cheer me on and keep my spirits high for the upcoming mud-fest that would be today’s main event. Low 60s and an entire night of rain which continued for the morning races was to set the stage for one of the most technically difficult assaults on my body and gear that I’ve ever encountered. This is the kind of weather that crossers dream of.
36 lined up for the start on the only bit of pavement that was on the course, and BAM … war was started. Cue the drums, bagpipes, thunder, and gods raging down burst-open clouds. It might be a slight exaggeration – or it might be exactly how it felt out there.
The course was a wonderful mix of think peanut-butter-esque mud and slippery, sloppy, highly viscous goop that splattered, gave no traction and made you feel like you were rolling on ice instead of wonderful earth. I’ve fallen in love with my tubular wheels, and even with them at extra low pressure it was difficult to get anything in this muckfest.
Legs had absolutely no pop, the night’s previous turmoils had taken their toll. The mad ringing and accented yells of “GO GEO” kept the legs driving though (cue blatant shot of love for my girl). I reserved myself to settling for a few gears and just grinding away – I thought I was having one of the worst races I’ve had in a long time. The start was mediocre at best, I thought I passed a couple people going into the first descent, but I lost contact with a decent group ahead of me and regulated myself to a no-mans land putting time behind those behind me and not seeing anyone of the chasing group.
More near-slideouts that I can remember, mud that would suck in my entire foot if I gave it the chance, and the inability to keep any sort of speed going without the imminent danger of going carbon-wheel-first-into-a-tree-because-cork-pads-stop-slower-in-the-wet kept me at a metronome for the entire race.
I ended … finished in the big-ring with the same intense-stare that I kept for the entire race. What had just happened?
Best finish of the season so far happened. I didn’t believe Jen that I was up in the top 15, I had thought that my start had kept everyone ahead of me. The results say otherwise, and I’m just amazed. The mud was definitely a factor in this all – the course was flat and would’ve been amazing to get some real speed going. Searching for traction through the grassy, muddy, mess was like swimming through a kiddy pool looking for cool water. (Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.)
Everyone looked the same. It’s been 9 hours since the race and I’m still pulling dirt out of my eyes. The hose had an instant line at the finish. Jen refused a hug right after the finish – I don’t blame her. 😉
Plans for this week are hitting up THE SUFFERFESTon Tues & Thursday nights. Light spinning tomorrow night. Riding to work every day but tomorrow. Eating the best I can and hydrating like crazy. The Warner Park race is in a week and while my girl won’t be there, my parents are actually coming so I better look good.
*Disclaimer: everything in here is based on truth, but might have been adjusted to make it that much more epic sounding. Hopefully I succeeded.