Here's a diagram of the course. I made it from the finish to just before the barriers before I had to get off for the next race.
While the next race was going, we checked out the vendor tents. There was Nuun (free sample of Nuun Plus), Tonik Cycle (women's jerseys), and, of course, Suburu (free water bottle). At the Tonik tent, we could enter a drawing for a free jersey. I did, and I WON! They announced after I had left, but Sarah and Jean texted me a photo of an orange and grey one. It looked good to me. I'll get it tomorrow.
We lined up for the race. Call-ups were based on registration, and I got called up. I got an okay start, but I discovered that when I don't start in the very back, I get passed by a lot of Cat 4s...A LOT! Oh, I passed a few, but not very many. Today there were 7 of us OOA women racing. Five of us raced Cat 4. Jen raced singlespeed, and Chris raced Masters. Jean, Katie, Cindy, Sarah, and I were the Cat 4s.
It was raining, and the course was pretty muddy. There were also a few hills, one of which was rather long. But, by far, the worst part was the run-up. It was very steep, with very thick mud. There was no "running" up this thing for me! I just tried to find foot holds in places where others had stepped. Oh, and be careful of the roots...they're slippery!
Here's Sarah at the beginning of the "mud-up".
I had to go up the run-up three times (four counting the pre-ride). At the top, I couldn't even get back on doing a decent remount. I just had to get on. Shortly after, came the long climb. I found that going up the right side was more solid, but it was still a lung buster of a climb.
Of course, what goes up eventually has to come down. The decent was okay. I found it more solid if I stayed where the water was running down the path. Back down to the field, the hardest part was that it was so bumpy. The bumps really tire out your legs, and it's hard to get much speed up.
Chris riding her Cannondale for one of the last times (next week she should have her new Threshold!!!).
Cindy making one of the turns on the grass.
The course wound around to a set of barriers. I still can't run over them, but I could at least do a decent remount afterward.
Here's Katie doing a much better job running over the barriers.
Jean goes over them more like me.
Shortly after the barriers was the sand pit. The sand was really deep and impossible to ride (for most of us). Some tried, but ended up getting off.
Even Julianne, who won her race, had to get off. Valiant effort though!
There was more bumpy stuff, then back to the start/finish. When I rode by the finish after the second lap, the thing said 2 laps to go. Fortunately, the leaders from our time slot passed me on the third lap. That meant this was my last lap. Whew!
I finished 29th out of 34--a little closer to last than usual. Jean finished 27th. I don't know where anyone else finished.
Katie, Jen, Jean, me, Chris, and Cindy (Sarah, where are you?)
Muddy butts! And, we get to do it again tomorrow!!!
Once again, thanks to Tom for the photos. These posts would be pretty boring without them!
Tom, and the best part--the propane heater!