Sunday, August 7, 2011

Race Report: Ocup 6, Kelso

Oh hiii.

Long time no posting, je sais, and I'm sorry about that. But today I had such a fun time at Kelso I am inspired to share a race report!

I haven't been to many races this year so the usual "race stuff" was not coming naturally to me. Hence, I spent all of yesterday preparing, slowly, so as not to forget anything. Even with all that careful preparation, somehow this morning I still managed to leave later than I should have. I arrived at the venue with barely enough time to register before hitting the road to warm up. Yikes!

The drive to Kelso involved torrential downpours so I was not sure what to expect. But the beauty about a weather "limiter" is that everyone has the same one so it is what it is (and it ain't what it ain't.) Luckily, the gods smiled on us and the sun came out just in time for our start. I think it was because I paid my dues riding a time trial in the pouring rain on Wednesday, but I digress.

The start was good ... great, even. Despite being a little flustered over my late arrival, I got myself together and was calm and collected on the line. At "Go", I found myself a spot in the tight pack as we went up the start hill, down the other side and then ended up in a single file as we began the BIG climb. Oh Kelso ... how you hurt us so. For those who aren't familiar, the BIG climb goes from the bottom to the top of the Niagara Escarpment. Parts are in the shade, but most are exposed to the sun. It is steep, long, and hot. And yet somehow I felt GOOD!

I made a move early in the climb and by the second part of this three-parter, I was sitting comfortably third wheel and our group was pulling away from the pack. That is, until I confused my lock-outs with my shifters, mis-shifted and sucked my chain on into the wrong side of the rings -- thank you oxygen-debt. I was too "dumb" to figure out what to do so I tried a couple things then let my heart rate come down to "thinking" and "seeing" levels. By this point, the entire women's field was past me, and the next category was rallying up too. Oh no!

Trying not to panic, I sorted myself out and began my race again, this time with a lot of fire in my belly. I actually wonder if it wasn't a sort of blessing -- although I'd gladly take that time back, thanks! Racing from behind, I was definitely "in the hunt" which is a great way to be. The first lap seemed to fly by and I gobbled up a couple girls. The second was more of the same. My final mark was Erica on the hill, and then it was one final time around. side note: huge thanks to Sean Ruppel for his colour commentary at the top of the hill. For the record, I do NOT have a drinking problem in case you happened to be within earshot.

Anyway, happy to report that besides a recurring chain-suck issue, the race was very "clean" despite slippery conditions from the earlier deluge. I'm super happy to have rode well -- and safely -- and to come home feeling stoked on a job well done.

Here are the results. My time was 2:07:08.84 and the next fastest was Laura at 2:04:22.60 ... that means that even with the stops I had to make (maybe 2-3 minutes total?), I don't think my time suffered all that much. So 6th place, and that's all me, baby!