Today I rode up with Karen and Cindy. We got there in time to pre-ride the main new parts of the course, except the part at the base of the previous day's run-up. We still had the long climb, but to get there we went up a paved path. Plus, the sun had definitely dried some of the mud in the climb, and there was a fairly solid track. The "Orchard" section was more muddy than yesterday. The best line for me was to come down the right side, and at the turn, cut across the bad mud to go up on the left side where it was still very muddy, but there were some bits of grass for some occasional traction. Lots of people ran that part.
Back down to the field, the sand came first, then the barriers. Although more people were riding the sand, I still ran it.
The Women's race was at 11:00, like yesterday. Once again, I got called up, but into the second line, instead of the front. At the whistle, I finally had the best start I've had all season! I clipped in right away, and was able to sprint to the first turn...where I promptly slowed down! I went to the left like I had yesterday, and out of the corner of my eye saw Jean go past me on the right. I tucked that bit of info away for the next lap.
There was more mud, and then there was MORE MUD! Jean got off, but I rode through and passed her. Then, she passed me again after the MORE MUD ended. We came up to the base of the run-up from yesterday. It went up a little, then turned to the left. It was still so muddy, that I opted to get off and run that short bit. In the second lap, Geraldine and Andy were telling me to stay to the right, and ride it. I tried, but was not successful. Third lap, I just ran it again.
I went up the pavement right on Jean's wheel. There was another gal who got between Jean and I going up the climb. But she was slowing down. There was a spot where there were two decent tracks. I passed her, then caught up to Jean, and passed her, right at the top of the hill. I think I passed Chris in the Orchard mud section. The descent was less muddy and I came down faster than yesterday.
Overall, in the bumpy field section, I felt like I was going faster than yesterday, but who knows? Since the course was a little different in that area, there were a few more bumps.
When I came to the first turn of the second lap, I remembered how Jean had passed me. Instead of the left side, I rode the right side. Aha! Much better! In fact, in the third lap, I passed a gal who was going on the left (I feel your pain, left side rider).
In the third lap, I heard the announcer guy say "1 lap remaining" as I was returning to the field section. Now, I just had to be passed by the leader, then this would be my last lap. After the sand and barriers the leader passed me. She was kind enough to say, "This is it!" Then I knew for sure I was almost done. Emily (Starbucks) had passed me just after the barriers. I couldn't catch her.
I ended up in 17th place. It seems like it was a much better finish than yesterday's 29th, but there were only 23 (21 who actually started). However, Emily, who just beat me today, finished 18th yesterday, and I finished ahead of a couple others that I had finished behind yesterday. So, I'm going to say I did better!
I don't have any photos for today. Just take away the rain from yesterday's photos, and you would have today (replace Katie with Karen).