The day has finally come and gone and it was as kick ass as expected... that's right kids, the very popular, exciting, beer fueled, painful, log hopping experience that is the MRC Wrentham Cross Race. Course setup was due to start around 5 and I planned to leave the house around 4:30, but my brain vetoed itself and I didn't drag my butt out of bed until like 4:35. It worked out because I got there around 5:35 and things were just really kicking off. I'll tell ya crossers (or bike racers of all types), if you've never set up a cross course, you should try it. If you get enough people, it only takes like an hour to 90 minutes, and you get to see the intent of the designer as you go through it. It's little things like "make them make a decision if they're going to ride the berm or try the narrow lane inside", but it does give you an appreciation for their sick little minds. So we had really pretty much finished up by just after 7 and then it was time to start thinking about racing.
I had warmed up nice while working and wearing 5 or 6 layers, but stripping down to put on the race clothes was quite the shocker. I managed to get in maybe 5 laps for warmup and felt ok, but nothing spectacular and it was freaking cold. Race time, strip off the jacket and extra pants... damn! It's REALLY cold. Ah well... reason to race harder. Fortunately I didn't suck too much in the eyes of Colin so I was lined up in the third row. Whistle goes... crap... where's my pedal? I actually seem to be having some pedal issues lately so I need to check out the cleats and pedals. Found the pedal and was in my usual ok-but-not-great position. Through all the turns, nothing exciting. We get to the barriers and chaos breaks out. One guy clips his front wheel and drops his bike. Another guy trying to avoid it clips someone and swings his bike sideways. Snaked my way through, but then both those guys clogged things a little more when they remounted without checking their chains first and had to hop right back off. Into the woods and tried to hammer on the road in there. I came through the Landry's pit and one of the guys told me "11 in front of you"... cool... I thought I was further back. Kept hammering just trying to hold position and finally found a good line/dismount plan on the down and up into the barriers. Cool part of lap one was having a front (ok rear) row view of Andy P styling over The Log. After that, the race turned into the usual chase and drop exercise. By 3 to go I had a group of 3 with Steen leading in distant view and they became my new goal. FINALLY on the final lap I made contact after going through the gate and just as I did one of them jumped. I hung on as much as I could and planned to get them in the down and up into the barriers. I did get right in the middle of the group running up the hill, but we had also just lapped someone and he got in the mix. The traffic coupled with a poor remount meant I was still chasing and then one guy who had sucked Steen's wheel for 2 full laps jumped going up the last hill and that blew apart the group. I had burned so much chasing them back that I never passed any of them and came home 8th. Brad and Cookie were flying up front and I think were 3 and 4. Steen was 6th. Hooray for the MRC 4's again.
It was a hard fought 8th today and I really felt like I raced all I could so I'll take it even though I was one out of the points again. Much of blog land was out today and I got to chat with G and Ctodd (by the way, never have that man or his mechanic glue your bubulars), and I finally got to meet the one and only man who breaks Solo styling in his oh so pro contractor glasses and duck taped rain jacket :) Congrats to him on his 5k PR yesterday and then coming back today and tearing it up.
Now if I only had put down this many words in my school paper for the past 20 minutes I'd be better off...