Monday, October 09, 2006

Race report: Lake Rebecca

Denied again! Okay, every MCF race so far I've come in 9th, just out of the money. What's up with that? Anyway, Lake Rebecca was certainly a roadie's race and didn't seem to play into my strengths (or shall I say it emphasized my weaknesses!). It was very fast and only three obstacles. The start/finish was a gravel road punctuated by a tight 'S' bend, then into looooooong singletrack with few safe opportunities for passing. The second obstacle was a barrier at a steep run-up or ride-up, depending on how you handled it. I was able to ride it if no one was futzing around. More loooooooong singletrack then a second set of barriers at a longer but less steep run-up or ride-up, with the barriers just far enough apart that running or riding was a tactical decision. Even though it wasn't very steep and fairly long, I decided to run this one, which turned out to be the right decision. At the top was a short segment of paved trail followed by the gravel road. There was a headwind on the road, so I was actually drafting in a cyclocross race!
__The race started late because the course hadn't even begun to be set up at 10am, and wasn't ready to start at the C's 11am start time. The gravel road was narrow, so people were lining up in front of the people at the start line, which ended up putting me in the third row. I wasn't feeling good about this race, since I think I do better on the more technical races, so I didn't sweat it. As we were waiting for the start Super Rookie (who had apparently been working on his remounting skills) was joking with me about the thread on MCF with people complaining about the mud. I also introduced myself to Emily Mokelke, the girl that I've been trading places with for the last few races. She's super strong and has great skills as well. She beat me in Rum River and I beat her in Hudson, so my only goals for the race was not to get girled and to have fun!
__As expected, the hole shot was important going into the S curve. I was able to move up quite a few places and be aggressive into it, and move up some more before the singletrack. After that I sat in and played it safe. There was a bunch up at the first barrier and run-up, so I had to run it, but was able to move up some more places there. Things got more strung out by the second run-up and someone passed me just before it, which was awesome because I just jumped on his wheel for the long asphalt and gravel sections into the headwind. I think he was a junior, so hopefully he learned something there! He was clearly peeved at me and was riding rather sketchily to shake me loose, but I (foolishly?) held on. He towed me right up to Super Rookie and Morgan battling it out but once we got into the singletrack that was the last I'd see of them. After that I was trading places with a few people for the rest of the race and finally passed them before the finish. It started to rain toward the end and it got a bit greasy, but I kept the rubber side down. I did better than I expected, didn't get girled, didn't crash and had fun, so it was a good day.
__Morgan stepped up and raced the Bs, and I watched and chatted with people in between handups at the start/finish. There wasn't any other place for spectators, as the course went around a lake and there was no place to get an overview or spot where you could go back and forth between sections. Morgan did pretty well and was certainly looking strong through the start/finish, although he had his pain face on toward the end. I guess there were many crashes in the B race, as the light rain changed the course conditions. For the A race they added a log to make things more interesting - I wish they would have done that for us, as there was a loooooooot of long, unpunctuated singletrack. Karla kicked butt again, moving up through the men with each lap. I picture her as a lion, picking off the slowest antelopes at the back of the herd one by one...
__In the end it wasn't my favorite course, but as the promoter said, if you don't like it, promote your own race!