The last two races of the Columbia series were this past weekend. Wow, it is cold here. I feel like I am back in Wisconsin. The high on Saturday (which was achieved early morning) was 34 degrees. It was below freezing (judging from the freezing puddles on the course) and blowing at about 20 mph by the time we got out there. Sunday was even worse, 17 degrees at race start, but at least the sun was shining and the wind had died down.
The course Saturday was wide open and fast, not really my favorite but it takes all kinds. the minute they said "go" I knew I was in trouble. My legs were COLD and my lungs (which don't tend to work well in the extreme cold anyway.... exercise induced asthma at its finest) were non-functional. I can deal with one or the other, but not both. I struggled the entire race but managed to BARELY squeak out the win. I never got warm; in fact I was freezing when I finished. It hurt worse than any race has in a long time. I did not have fun. Not even a little bit.
Sunday was a whole different story. First, Star came to race with me so I had a teammate to cheer for. Second, the course was REALLY fun. Fast, a bit more twisty, some single track, and a killer steep run up. the ground was mostly frozen (except for a small part of the single track where the sun was thawing it and creating MUD!!!) and it was FUN.
Star did great. She lined up in a very competitive category 4 women's field against the top two girls in the state and some others. She rocked. She easily took second and looked great doing it. I had so much fun cheering for her.
Sunday was the first race in 6 years that I did not race in a team kit. It was just too cold. After Saturday's miserable experience I was going to be warm, I hope our sponsors understand. I don't know if it was the fun course or the added clothing but I raced great. I went hard from the beginning and never let up. It was one of my better races this year. Not only did I win, I was 7th overall in our field of cat. 3 men, masters men and 1/2/3 women. I was sitting in 5th for a big part of the race but lost it in the last lap. It is always fun to feel like I am racing with the men. And I know they love being pushed by a girl....
As an aside, I won the Columbia CX series for the category 1/2/3 women. Thanks to Columbia for a great event.
I've posted some photos that were taken by Keith Nash on Sunday. Thanks Keith!!! As you can see, it was cold...