Pulling up to the race course, I was definitely not disappointed - racers were slowly pedaling around, some completely covered in mud. This was going to be messy. I was excited.
Initially I tried to stay clean and dry pre-race, which proved hard as all of the grassy areas were saturated. This put me mainly on the road, but since that seemed to be the situation for everyone, I didn't mind. I rolled around a bit - garnering some guts to randomly talk to some other ladies I saw spinning around. There are starting to be a few familiar faces at these races, which is super-nice, but it still doesn't quite feel like home and I still feel like the awkward random girl. Hoping this changes in the coming months....
Anyway - between races, I did give in and jumped on the course to see just how slick it was, and it was going to be a grinder. I caught up for a minute with Matt and Cisco from Team Roaring Mouse, who both said it was one of the most physically demanding courses of the season. Yay mud.
Lined up with the ladies - a little disappointed Chava wouldn't let me sing "Happy Birthday" to her at the start since it was her birthday - but then again, may be she heard how bad my singing is. Anyway - starting to have a few friends here which is fun when you have friendly faces to commiserate (or in my case giggle) with through mud.
For once (Coach B - you'll be proud!) I had a strong start and was about 3rd wheel off the pavement and on to the grass. Unfortunately that didn't last terribly long as we got a little bottle-necked when the course narrowed down and a girl ahead of me went down around a corner. The course was slick to say the least. After fumbling and sliding through some corners, I found myself sitting in 5th - not a bad position, but there were a few girls behind me who I knew had beaten me before so I wasn't sure how this would all play out.
As we came through a super swampy section, I noticed Chava hot on my tail. She's super fun to race with and packs a ton of power. This could get interesting! I was very excited that we had several barriers to navigate - maybe a little less excited that the barriers were quite flooded and it was blind luck whether the muddy water came up to your ankle or your knee as you sloshed over them. My poor bicycle....
Due to the mud the laps were taking pretty long - so we only ended up doing about 3 1/2 laps. A little disappointed for sure, but those 3 /12 laps did take the full time. I went down pretty hard the 2nd lap in a sand pit, but our field had gotten so spread out there wasn't an impact on my placing. At the end of the day I ended up a solid 5th. Not awful. Not amazing, but I was pleased considering I was able to stay ahead of two girls that had been ahead of me in prior races. Guess there is something to be said for being a dirt-loving girl. Haha.
|Selfie time -- "Look! we're MUDDY!"|
|See - serious mud on the skinsuit!|