The race took place just outside of the JBLM gate onto North Fort. So, a relatively short distance to get there. Today I was doing the Big Girl Race. Yes, that's right, Cat 4 Women. Would have liked to do Masters Cat 4 Women, but there was no such category. After two laps around the course as a pre-ride to get the lay of the land, we headed to the start. The coolest part of the whole day was the fact that there were SIX of us OOA chicks racing Cat 4 (that's in addition to my Junior buddies, Juliann and Annie who are RAD Racers)! It was me, Maria, Jean, Karen, Chris, and Cindy. It was so awesome to have all of us lined up together at the start (there was a whole pack of Group Health gals behind us, but, who cares--there were 6 of us)!!!
Of course, we didn't stay together in the race. Maria and Karen took off quite quickly, with Jean and Cindy right on their heels (make that, wheels). Chris was close to me...I think. But, since I had my SSS (Super Sucky Start), I'm sure she was ahead of me too. Part of the start was this little popper of a hill. I managed to pass a couple of gals going up that--only because there was no one right in front of me. Once on the course, I just tried to catch up to as many as possible. I had no visual on Maria or Karen, but I could see Cindy and Jean ahead. Annie passed me, but then I passed her on the second straight stretch. I couldn't catch Cindy or Jean in that first lap (we did three). At the barrier and run-up, I managed a half run/half walk up the hill. I remounted not at a run, but at least an almost walk, and found the pedals quickly.
In lap 2, I caught up to Cindy and passed her on the same straightaway I had passed Annie. She yelled ahead to Jean, who was not far ahead of her, "She's coming for you!" So, then I had to pass Jean too (would have been fine just riding along behind her for awhile)! As I came around one, somewhat off-camber corner, the gal in front of me wiped out. I made it around her. Around the other turns, down the hill, around more turns, back to the barrier, up the run-up, back on the bike, pedal, pedal, pedal. I could hear people yelling my name. I didn't realize there were so many people watching that knew me!
Into the final lap, I could see I was slowly catching up to a guy (the Cat 4 guys started 10 seconds before us). I passed him, and was catching another guy. But, I couldn't pass him. As I came to the last time over the barrier, a Cat 3(?) gal, Emily, yelled, "Why are you still smiling?" Clearly, she is unable to distinguish between my smile and my grimace! Another guy yelled, "Go Pippi Longstocking!" I had red and white striped knee highs on...with skull and crossbones on the back (me thinks Pippi did not have that).
Across the finish line, and I was DONE! I finished 18th out of 35--smack dab in the middle! Now, if I could only do better than my SSS, perhaps I wouldn't have to pass so many people! Oh, and young Miss Juliann (all of 13 years old) took first. She also went on to take first in the Junior Race. Such a speedster!
Can't wait to do it again!!!