Echo Red to Red MTB XC
Wow. This race looked like a fun, dry, fast single-track dream (which it was), but it kicked my ass. I competed in my first Cat 1 XC race ever, and boy oh boy I’ve got some work to do. For the first 20 miles I was great, riding up with the top 5 of my Cat/age-group, but then something switched. And by switched, I mean switched off. I just lost all power, started getting really crampy, and could only think about food while singing Journey’s “Separate Ways.” Translation; my body was shutting down and I was slowly going insane. This sounds very doom and gloom, but really I had a great time. I definitely faded at least 15 minutes of my race away over the last 10 miles. I still finished mid-pack in my Cat 1 race, and the race was exactly what I needed. It hurt, it pushed me way beyond my comfort level, it kicked the lingering sickness out of me, and it has fueled me to get out and put in some big miles on the MTB.
We had a great weekend with the team as well. The group of us (pictured above) drove out Friday night and stayed in the luxurious Comfort Inn. Of course we all slept with our bikes in the rooms with us. They needed a good nights rest as well.
It was most of the team’s first XC race ever. Congrats to Ken on placing 4th in the Men’s Cat 2 35-44! Jeff and Christian finished quickly a few minutes later. Hannah, Diana, Krissy and Phaedra all finished their races with smiles. Sarah and Tuuli joined us for the trip, and each did a great job. Tuuli got 6th place in her Cat 2 field. It was quite the introduction to XC racing for everyone. The biggest credit of the race goes to Issac. I think he changed around 8 flat tires, including his multiple times (even at the start line!). At a certain point he became trailside assistance for those in need. As we were all comparing blisters after the race, he was showing us his beat-up flat-tire-changing fingers. There are too many details, so I’ll let him tell the story. He’s got some serious good cycling karma coming his way!