Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Super XC

The Utah State Championship Series has concluded. It's in augural  year was absolutely successful  from a racer's perspective. A huge thanks to the sponsors (especially Ford!), the staff, and of course the volunteers.
This last event was dubbed  a super cross country race meaning it was longer. My three laps, 36 miles, took 3:24. And it burned. The legs. The lungs. The heart (and not in a good way). And it was a bit warm, but not bad.
At the start, I had a good view of all that was taking place. I was off the back for the first bit. I knew I did not want to enter the single track last, but ET, LW, and JK were all wheel to wheel. The only place was in front of ET so I took it. I really did not feel I was up to leading the group but feared getting gapped off in the back.
In the front early
None the less my heart rate hit 182 about 7 minutes in with ET on my wheel. Not a good place for a longer style race. I was excited when she came around me. I expected her to drop me as she is a phenomenal climber. But she kept close. I would like to say that I kept her close, but I don't think that was the case.
We developed a pattern throughout the race. ET would pass me on the climbs and put some time into me. I would catch her on the descents and put some time into her. While this was carrying on, I still feared that LW would catch us/me at any moment. I was constantly looking for her.
Behind ET on the climb
Luckily, the last descent has a couple of techy spots and is longer. On my final lap, I was scared. I wanted/needed cushion between ET and myself before the short road climb to the finish. But I also did not want to take any risks and ultimately take myself out. I could not see ET, but pushed like mad up to the finish for second place well behind KS.
While I have yet to stand atop the podium in a race this year, I was able to take the series win. I look forward to doing this series again next year. Great venues, well run events, pay-outs, and a great end of the year raffle, the USCS is doing things right.

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