Well I will be honest I feel I had a very special weekend of racing. I guess I will begin at the beginning…
Friday I dropped off Heather at her parent’s house so she could go to her sister’s cross country meet and help get ready for our open house on Saturday. From there I headed up to stay in Ogden with, my soon to be Brother in-law,Glenn.
Saturday morning came and I headed down to the fairground for the secondUTCX. The weather was perfect in my opinion! Cool and I dare even say a little chilly, cloudy, and the course was just damp enough to make it nice and tacky, perfect for Mad Alchemy embro! I did a few warm up laps with Jason and I could already tell this course was really going to play to my strengths: flat fast “roadie” sections, tight turns, and short punchy hills! So mentally I was already getting pretty stoked for this race! Alex and I also did a lap or two just trying to make sure we knew where all the turns were so we didn’t get lost…Most of us would eventually get lost, but the great guys and gals with UTCX were constantly out adding more cones and tape to help keep us on course. Thanks for that!
Two of my big goals for this weekend were to really work on my corners and to not make stupid mistakes and crash. This course offered several barriers and tight corners so I would have to work hard and concentrate to complete those goals on Saturday. About 50 of us lined up for the C flight race. (The results say 41 but I know a few guys who didn’t finish and are not on the list.) The race went off and I have a pretty good start. I was near the front so I was probably top 15 with the hole shot. Buddy Alex and John Karren were right there with me.
Apparently I cut this guy off when rounding the corner and for that I greatly apologize. But i mean…seriously…trying to hop that log when you know someone is going to flip that corner on the inside is kinda your fault…however I will apologize because I hate to slow anyone’s race down!
I can’t recall lap by lap what happened so I will throw out a few highlights for me. Any time Alex was around me he always cheered me on or told me to jump on his wheel to help move me up! How cool is that for him to help pull me around in a cross race?! On lap 4 as another guy and I went past the announcers trailer the Rev himself commented that I “Have myself a battle going on.” Little things like that kept me drilling it the whole race! Glenn was also there cheering me on and taking some sweet photos of the race. All of that encouragement goes a long way! We may not be able to respond to your cheers or we even be able to remember what you said after the race, but in that moment when we are red lining it goes a long way in helping us pushing through those mental barriers. Or at least it helps me. On the last lap I powered past 3 guys on one of those short hills and held them off to finish 8th. I was able to hold tighter lines and carry more speed than I had in races past. So my goals for the first race of the weekend were met!
So I had a great day and had a lot of fun. Mark also full race day recap and a very nice shout out to me. Thanks man! Post race Glenn and I had some bad ass waffles and cheered on more racers. I want to again point out that Heather and I had our wedding open house that evening and I still had the opportunity to get out and race and Heather was able to go and cheer her sister on at her region cross country meet. I want to thank Heather’s family for all the work they did getting their house and everything ready for the event. All I did was set up and clean some chairs. So Thank you all for making our lives just that much easier and for the nice evening we were able to have with family and friends.
Here is a tweet post race from Mark to Alex that sums up Cross! “@skibikejunkie: @windmills Cross is like combining the hardest of the hard parts of crit racing, mtb, and time trials. To excel requires unusual suffering.”
Here is an awesome comic that made it’s rounds on the internet a few days back that helps sum up/describe cyclocross. Check it out and enjoy!
And this video of the A race is on Steven’s blog and it just shows how amazing those guys really are!
Now onto Sunday’s Raleigh / Sabbath Cross race!
Sunday morning I rolled up to the Big Cottonwood Complex for race number 5 of the Raleigh Cross series. John Karren also pulled up so we went and warmed up together. Taking a lap around the course and then just around the park trying to get our hearts ready. The course was really tight and twisty with a really sweet “power hill” on the back of the course. Alex was there also, but not to race. He was there to cheer us on and eventually hand up our water bottles.
8 of us lined of for the C race and off we went! I was 3 rd out of the hole shot right behind John. I caught John eventually and pulled into 3rd. I passed the guy in 2nd in a similar way from the race before, attacking on the short steep power hill. The guy who was in first was waaay out there, and when I came around with 2 laps to go Alex told me he rolled his rear tire and so that put me in the lead! So all I had to do was keep drilling it and keep the rubber side down and I had the win!
I did hang on and took my first ever win. Pretty cool feeling and I had a really good time doing it. It was great getting cheered on by Alex and Chris. (Who also had some photos posted here ) Before the race I had been thinking all day how it would be really nice to get the win. I felt strong and I felt if I had the chance to get away I could stay away…and I had the opportunity to do that. It was a great learning experience and just like Saturday I never fell and I did well through the turns.
Thanks again to Marek, Steven, and the rest for putting on the Raleigh Cross series. It has been a lot of fun and really helped me develop my skills a lot! I am sorry I will miss the last two races…blah blah getting married blah blah excuse after excuse ;)
After the race we were all talking and I was humbled by some of the comments given. Thanks guys for your support it truly means a lot after the hard and frustrating road season.
I realize there were some random parts in the this post but I had a lot of things I wanted to say, mostly I had a lot of “Thank yous” I wanted to get in. I want those whom I have thanked really did/do have a positive impact in my life and I appreciate it!
One more random note…The Rev wrote a sweet blog post about respecting your competitors and sucking it up and accepting that shit happens don’t turn it into an excuse and cheapen their efforts!!