Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jenna's SW Open Race Report

We had another fun day today down at the Foothills 'cross race, with a great showing in the men's 35+/4's, 4's, 35+, open, and 3 ladies in the Women Open!

I was excited when I got there that Michelle decided to sign up too. Then, as we were watching the boys race, we saw another lady show up in a Blue Sky kit! At first we thought it was just our imaginations, but it turned out to be Susan, an awesome Blue Skyer we'd never seen or heard from this year! :-) Now we're going to get her up to Longmont on some group rides.

Click to see Isaac's captions!

I lined up near the front and found myself with about 10 or 12 or so in front of me going into the first corner and singletrack. The first challenge was some super-high barriers on an uphill, but got through them with no issues. I passed a couple girls and got on Susan's wheel, finding that she's a great 'cross racer! We made it through some more barriers and a ledge that required dismounting with no real problems. We both passed a rider on the gradual uphill singletrack section, but then we hit the big horseshoe shaped hill.

For me the whole race ended up being about this horrible hill. In the warm-up I made it up on my bike, so I went for it on the first lap, but had to unclip when I got stuck in the loose stuff. For the rest of the race, I basically lost time on the hill and bumpy descent, and chased back as much I could on the rest of the course.
2nd lap I actually made it up!
3rd lap was a total disaster: I didn't make it, then fumbled around unclipping. I got back on only to go sideways, getting caught around the course marker and in the tape. So, I had to dismount again, then get back on carefully so I was actually clipped in for the descent. And of course it's where everyone is watching :-(
4th lap I figured I'd just plan to run up from the bottom. Not very fast.
5th lap Isaac said I looked so determined flying up to it and had a crazy look on my face! I was not going to let it stop me! I was spinning out at the top but stayed on!
6th lap I'd gotten passed by one girl earlier in the lap, but just passed another right before the hill. I knew I had to keep on the bike to have a chance to beat her in the finish, so again I was super-determined and made it.

I got stuck pulling on the gravel road leading up to the finishing stretch, so I figured I just had to sprint first and give it everything and see what happened. I actually put a pretty big gap into her by the end, and finished 9th. Yay top 10!

Susan ended up in 6th, very impressive in the open when she usually competes in the Master's! Michelle put in an awesome effort just getting through it all. She rode with another rider the whole race, which is always a good motivator to push harder, but didn't have anything left for the final sprint. Still, 18th!

Thanks for all the cheering from everyone out there, and for the feed every lap from Kevin!

A rundown of today's results:
35+/4: Kevin G. (15th), Brian M. (17th), Dave K. (20th), Kevin A. (one broken derailleur)
35+: Bill (27th)
SM 4: Isaac (5th), Lee (15th), Jim (19th)
SW Open: Susan (6th), Jenna (9th, 2nd in SW4), Michelle (18th, 7th in SW4)
SM Open: Dave H.

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