Friday I drove up to Mt. Morris. Kevin had just gotten back from NY so I wanted to wait to wish him a happy birthday before I left. Got there around 4 and met up with Rachael to do the preride. We set off and for some strange reason my Specialized shoes kept on unclipping with every single little bump. I rode the first lap frustrated with my shoes and before the second I went back and changed to my Northwaves.(glad I brought and extra pair!) Second lap was much better and I was totally digging the course.We went back to the hotels and got showered and all went to dinner. We went to a Mexican Restaurant(Po Po's) that used to be a Denny's or Friendly's. The menu was the old menu but an added section with Mexican fare. We were all really surprised that our plates looked just like the pictures and the food was good. We went home and it was time for sleep.
Got up early and headed over to the course so I could watch the Cat 2 races and hang a bit before having to get warmed up to race. Around 10 it was time to get changed and do a warm up. I hit the road for a bit and got the legs going. Rachael and I then headed over to the staging area. I was glad that there were no series call ups because sometimes those call ups tend to put some people on the front row that really shouldn't start there. I made sure that I got a spot on the line and was ready to go.
Don did his thing and we were off. I had a great start and hit it hard. It paid off cause when I looked back I had a nice gap on the rest of the field and knew I would be able to hold this pace all the way up. My strategy was to haul ass up the climbs and make the girls work to catch me but my plan was spoiled when I saw the congo line of Cat 1 men at the entrance of the single track. There was nowhere to go except wait in line. Foot down and all the women soon assembled in line with me. Stuck in the congo line for 2 or 3 sections of single track sucked. It was slow and guys kept bobbling on the rocks which then made us constantly running around them or putting a foot down. At one point in the congo line one of the women decided to go off the course and then back in a few spots ahead. I was thinking what the hell was that? In cross if you cut off the course you need to go back in where you went out, tape or no tape but I guess its just an etiquette thing to not do that in mt biking. It pissed me off but there was nothing I could do but try to keep my spot and not let others sneak by like that. Things started to spread out a little and we were able to ride almost at speed. I was feeling good about keeping the girl in range until the guy in front of me went down and I got caught up with him as Lisa blew by. Finally we were out of the single track and in a nice power section. I went to my big ring and got chain suck and had to stop pedaling to keep the chain from getting wedged up in my chainring and Robin flew by me. I got going but I didn't want to risk miss shifting again so it was the small ring for the rest of the race.(I have XX so it isn't the granny thank goodness!) At some point in the downhill single track I let Lori go ahead of me so I could follow her lines. We hit the section with the tight uphill switchbacks and the rock drop. I rode the switchbacks but when I went to do the rock drop I ended up sitting on the rock. People were yelling at me to get up but I was kind of enjoying the rest and hopped back on the bike. I was able to get back on Lori's wheel as we went through the lap through and charged up the hill passing and gaping Lori. From there I would remain for the rest of the race, in fourth.
Second lap went well and I felt really strong on the climbs. I got back to the rock drop section and rocked out the switchbacks and as I was about to go over the rocks I chicked out and put my foot down. The whole 3rd lap I kept on seeing Becca(?) so I wanted to keep things steady through the single track and hit the hills with everything I had. Kept on thinking about the rocks as I started the switchbacks and decided to dismount and run them. This was actually a good decisions since I was able to get through it fast. I then finished up the last bit of single track to the finish. It was weird racing 3 short laps. It would have been nice to do another since the course was awesome! I was and still am stoked about getting 4th in my first race of the season especially with the field being 35 women!
Spent the next 7 hrs with Rachael watching the pros race and then waiting around for the awards with John, Lori, Mark, Cale, and Katy. Got some CASH and then headed for home to celebrate Kevin's birthday which was on Thursday.
3 years ago