What a day!!! Emily, Star and Alex raced today and it was non-stop excitement.
We started our day with Emily's race at 9am. It was already hot and sunny by 9am. She lined up in a stacked field. It was the "who's who" of junior expert women in this country. There were previous national champions and national team members in the field with her. She was also the youngest girl in the field by two years. The age group is 15 to 18 and she is just 15 this year. Emily was so nervous. She ROCKED!!! She took third. I was so excited for her. She made the podium at nationals. Not bad for a 15 year in her first year of expert racing.
After her exciting finish we had some more excitement: DRUG TESTING. USADA (US Anti Doping Agency) is here doing random drug testing because it is the national championships. They are almost always at the big races to test the pros (I've peed in a cup more than once at races) but rarely do they test amatures. With the state of cycling as of late there has been a push to do more testing. I think it is a great thing except when it is one of us that is getting tested... I love the concept of it but it is a PAIN when it is you they pick. There is nothing worse than finishing a 2 plus hour cross country race and then being told that you have to pee in a cup. Talk about asking the impossible (can you say "dehydrated???"). Needless to say, Emily was completely dehydrated and it took a while before the "urge" returned. I went with her as her "athlete representative"; I figured she could use the moral support and I have been through it so I could help her with what to expect. The USADA people are always really nice so it was as good of an experience as can be expected. Now Emily has had the complete experience of nationals!!! We rushed from drug control straight to her podium where we got a bunch of pictures. They are not on my camera so I will get those posted ASAP.
Star and Alex were racing while I was waiting for Emily to pee so I missed most of their race. Fortunately Margaret, Tanya and Shannon were there for support so I didn't feel quite as bad. They both had great races and Star missed the podium by one spot!!! For the girl that was terrified to ride this course three days ago she ROCKED. Star, we are all so proud of you. She took 6th. Alex took 7th in her field (they are in different age groups) and our friend Grace from Huntsville took second in her race. All the girls had big fields and should be extremely proud of themselves. Anytime that you crack the top 10 at a national championship race you should brag about it.
Tomorrow Tanya and I race the pro cross country race. I am excited about it. I will not be cracking the top ten but I will go out there and give it everything I've got. wish me luck; all the big dogs are here. It is going to be a hard day.
Thanks for reading...