Coach Cathy made it on the podium despite the less than desirable conditions – but, that’s cyclocross and why she loves it!
When I first read about this race I thought I should add a Mohawk to my helmet. I signed up immediately and had grand plans for getting my ‘cross punk on – you know, tons of safety pins, doll head dangling from the saddle – you get the idea. When Sunday rolled around it was all I could do to get out of my warm bed to race. I decided braving the single digit temps that morning would be “punk” enough for me.
As crazy as it may sound, you do get warm during these cyclocross races. Don’t get me wrong, I did have a minimum of two layers of clothing on, and three in places (knees, chest, and arms), but it wasn’t miserable. It was actually pleasant and fun (like any other CX race)! The sun even peeked out a bit.
The start was on snowy hill on asphalt, which sharply turned into a descent on the trail. The cold temps had frozen some good ruts into the trails, which made for a sporty descent. And as the temps rose the course changed. Whatever started as a frozen and iced over became slushy, muddy goodness! The course meandered through the forest and abruptly stopped at a barrier and run-up. There was a flat chunk of the course with two more barriers, a thick sand pit, and one more barrier for good measure. It was a good mix of riding, and running.
My start was horrendous! I was dead last, but that meant I had people to chase. By the second lap I was in second place. After that I lost track of cold, pain, amount of laps, and everything else (as evidenced by the snotcicles). At one point I was right on the wheel of Maurine Sweeney, a formidable competitor and all around nice lady, who was in first place. Between a fumbled remount, and a snowy crash I lost some ground, and finished second.
I was happy to see some of my fellow crazy teammates out in the cold. Brittany Jones and Emily Zinn (2nd place) both made it out for the SW3 race.