Wednesday, May 6, 2009
SERC #5/ US Cup East #1
Helen on the (very wet) podium. Congrats!!!
Sometimes Mother Nature is a cruel woman...
Last weekend was the 5th round of the SERC series at our (almost) local trails at the Ocoee Whitewater Center. The Tanasi trail system is one of my favorites and I was definitely looking forward to the race. It was going to be a HUGE weekend, as the race was also the first round in the national Kenda Cup East series. We had 8 of the 10 of us registered to race and it was going to be a great weekend.
And then the rains came....
We have been in a drought for about a year and a half. Now with the mountains here, I have gotten plenty of rain at my house but at the airport, where they measure our rainfall, it NEVER rains. Therefore, we are in a drought. (I actually think that we need to go to the airport and ride on rainy days and we'll stay dry but that is another discussion...) It started raining about a week ago and it hasn't stopped. Even at the airport. We went from an almost 4" deficit to a surplus of rain in less than a week. The trail was going to be a river.
Saturday was the Time Trial and we awoke to what can only be described as a monsoon. Mark, Helen and I were headed to Tanasi as the thunder and lightening roared around us. Oh well, everyone has to race the same thing.
My day got off to a crazy start with Mark stranded in Shannon's driveway behind the mover's truck that was wedged in her very steep driveway. After a FRANTIC tire change at work, (I needed mud tires...sorry for the psycho behavior guys; I hate feeling late) we were finally going to the race. On our way there I got two calls. The first was from Emily; she was running late and was going to get there right as the time trail was starting. I told her to get dressed in the car and I'd meet her at the start with her number plate. The second call was from Catherine; her car broke down in Atlanta and she wasn't going to make the TT. The day was beginning to feel like the apocalypse.
I decided to try and relax during the warm up on the trail to see what the conditions were like. The trail was GONE and in it's place was a muddy river. It seriously was flowing. Fast. I didn't have the best TT but still ended up tied for second place in the pro field. Emily won the Expert TT and Helen won the beginner. Whew. The stress was worth it.
Sunday the weather was not any better and my bike was looking sadly at the mud it was about to be forced to endure. I LOVE my bike and she ROCKS on these conditions (thanks Specialized!!!) but mud does a number on everything. Even with the weather the fields were big; I think that the race being the first Kenda Cup East series race brought some riders down to the Southeast that would not have been here otherwise. It was fun to see new faces. It ended up being a great day for the team. I rode alright, my first lap was slow but then I got into a groove and rode myself into 4th in a very competitive pro field. Paula rocked the pro race from the start, taking 2nd. Emily was 5th in the Expert field. Gina, Catherine, Star and Lisa raced Sport and they went 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th. Helen was the star of the weekend winning her race in a sprint finish and making it a double with her TT win on Saturday. AWESOME!!!
Awards were done in the pouring down rain and we took our soggy muddy selves to dinner and then home. I am still trying to dry things out.
As an aside, I love the new look with the white/light blue team kits but WHAT WAS I THINKING??!!! I had to wash stuff 4 times to get the mud out.