Before I head out on my LONG AWAITED vacation to ALASKA (!!!), I thought I’d post a general race report on the off-road races I’ve checked off this month (so far). Four races to account for: Peters Canyon Summer Series Trail Run #3 and Over the Hump Mountain Bike Races Series Races 8, 9, and 10.
Peters Canyon Summer Trail Run Series Race #3
Slight improvement on my race time from the first race (which had the same course). The race starts at Cedar Grove Park in Tustin. Intead of running the mostly flat main Peters Canyon Trail, we head right up Eucalyptus and run along the ridge (up and down, up and down). Then we finish off the last half of the race coming back on the main Peters Canyon Trail, back to Cedar Grove Park. You would think that hitting the ridge first and getting a nice flat at the end would make the run easier, but you would be wrong. The general consensus (as I walked around eavesdropping on other people’s conversations) was that the clockwise loop (Race #2) was much easier. And it was.. my time was way faster that way than going clockwise.
Over the Hump Mountain Bike Race Series – Race #8, #9, and #10
Race #8 was an EPIC FAIL because I DNF’d (again). Just wasn’t feeling it during the pre-ride. This was the first week of running the course in reverse STARTING WITH the single track through the cottonwoods. This was a clusterf**k if I ever saw one. I didn’t get out ahead at the start, so I ended up being stuck behind some juniors through the singletrack. That put me WAY WAY WAY behind right off the bat. Heading to the second half of the course, they added in some extra single track with some short, steep climbs (also very soft). Unfortunately, I again got stuck behind a kid right as we were getting into the single track. He was having a BAD race (to say the least). I could tell that he was working way past his anaerobic threshold, and was cursing up a storm. He ended up screaming and falling into a PIT. I stopped to make sure he was ok and get him out of the pit (and out of the way of other racers). Needless to say, I just called it quits once I got back to the start. I was already way to far behind to even think about placing, and I just wasn’t feeling it that night (mentally or physically).
Race #9 was much better on the morale. The course was the same as last week, with one change. There was an optional section of rolling climbs instead of a steep “hike-a-bike” section. I tried both options during the warm-up pre-ride and decided that they were equivalent (you ended up at the top at the same time, regardless of which way you took). I would make it a “game-time” decision during the race depending on which was seemed “faster” (i.e. less crowded).
Right before our group started, Sid Taberlay (pro-rider for Sho-Air) was coming back through the finish area.. with NO RIDERS anywhere close to following behind. He ended up winning the race by MORE than 3 minutes. CRAZY!
I was able to stick right on Elise’s wheel right at the beginning of the race, so I didn’t get left behind. This also allowed me to save some energy as I wasn’t trying to play catch-up the whole time. At one point, I passed Elise and jumped on Jennifer’s wheel (she was in the lead at the start of the race). When we got to the optional split-off, she took the rolling climbs, so I followed her up that. I had a hard time getting up some of the later climbs, which set me back a little bit (Elise and Wendy – new to the race passed), but not too far. I was able to get back behind Elise for most of the rest of the race. When we got back to the optional detour, Elise went straight toward the hike-a-bike, so I followered her up that. However, I had some bad lines (and got stuck behind some walkers) on the later climbs, which sent me further back from her at the end. Ended up in third at the end of the race, which isn’t horrible.
Race #10 was the Race#9 course, but in reverse. (with the rolling singletrack split and all) So.. we had some nice climbing, but NO GOOD descents (at least not ones that you could take very quickly). The race was pretty tight at the beginning, with less than 15 seconds seperating the beginner women’s field. But it was tough for me to keep up. There were three ladies at the front that are just crazy fast for beginners (haven’t been doing the whole series), so Elise, Debbie, and I were pretty much chasing most of the race. Those long climbs were where we’d be able to catch up (except Lauren, she flies up those climbs), but the descents (single-track especially) and the flats slowed us (at leat me) down a bit. I also wiped out on a sharp turn, which left me with TWO HUGE bruises. Finished up in 6th, which actually sucks a lot.. but I’ll settle with that. This will still put me in 2nd overall at the end of the series.
Only one more race left (for me) in the series. We’ll see if I can manage a win (??). We’ll see. It’d be nice to get atleast ONE win in the whole series.. but it all boils down to whether or not I can keep up.. and then sprint it out at the end.
UPDATE: I almost forgot..
My bike started making funny noises after I wiped out in the first lap.. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but since I was still able to move forward, I didn’t think much of it. Minh checked it out yesterday while I was out on my training ride, and found this little kink in my chain:
It’s a wonder that it didn’t just completely break during the race. Still shifted smoothly and everything.