Cholla Challenge was this weekend and it was good. The trail, the weather, the results...all good. Saturday was a lil' chilly, but great for racing. I lined up with Lynda, Sue, Jen, Erika, and DJ. After St. George I was a bit apprehensive about where I would end up.
On the starting line
My goal was to suffer and I did. So we started out with a descent. I was in second behind Sue, but took a corner wide and Lynda passes me. Then on another corner Jen gets by me. We start the slick rock section and climb. Sue and Lynda are beginning to gap us, so I jump around Jen and was able to catch the two leaders. They are keeping a good pace, but I am feeling strong. I then decide to go ahead and try and take the lead. I was in first for just a moment or two while we entered the rocky down hill. Sue and then Lynda pass me in the wash. I can see them on most of the first lap, but then I lose them.
I rode the most of the second lap by myself. The side of the trail was littered with competitors fixing flats. I continue to push. I am incredibly nervous about being caught.
My last lap I hear this guy behind me. He stays on my wheel the entire lap. We go through sections where people are cheering us on and he says thanks. I can't believe he can talk. I could barely grunt as a response. I give a look over my shoulder to see if I am getting caught by anyone in my group. I can't see much. He asks if I am annoyed by his presence; I tell him no. He then says that there is no one there.
I end up in third place six minutes or so behind Lynda and three minutes behind Sue. Which is a large margin given the length of the race, but I am still pleased with my performance. I was cramp free. I had hot CarboRocket (tea) with breakfast and drank it in my bottles during the race.
After the race and awards, Chris and I joined Racer, Charlie, and Kevin on Barrel Roll. We did this spur that Lynda told us about. It was pretty cool. I did not fuel well after the race and I died close to the top. Racer had some GU and I was able to make it back without suffering too much. It was tough though. It took me a day or so to recover from that.
We rode Hurricane Rim-Jem-Gould.We planned on riding it out and back, but wimped out and headed back to the car instead of heading back the way we came. We also hit some of Barrel Cacti, Zen, and Gooseberry on Monday. Gooseberry was delightful!