So this race happened more than a week and a half ago now, but I want to post a quick race report on this one before I post a longer race report on the 100 miler I did last weekend. I am pretty sure if I post the Cohutta report now, I will never get around to posting this older one as it recedes into distant memory.
This race took place on a trail system near Columbia SC, which is where I live. I live close enough to these trails that I briefly considered riding my race bike the 8 miles of road to the starting line to warm up (but ended up driving there instead). I know these trails well enough to ride some of them by the light of the moon. I was still nervous as I rolled up to the race venue though, because I am always nervous before a race.
The fields were small and I felt pretty confident on the starting line. Rather than just race the other Cat 2 women I decided to treat it as a time trial, see how fast I could ride the course and how well my time would measure up to the Cat 2 men who rode the same course. I got the hole-shot into the woods and did not see another Cat 2 woman the entire race. It was fun to race on the trails I usually use for training, and cool to see all these out-of-towners riding on them.
I ended up finishing in 1h 43 min, 13 minutes ahead of the second-place Cat 2 woman. I chicked about half of the Cat 2 men's fields with that finishing time. I felt like a real sandbagger to finish that far out in front but it was still nice to get a first place finish.
Besides just having a good day on the bike, my goal was to finish strong enough to allow USA Cycling to upgrade me for future races. I haven’t done lots of sanctioned XC racing lately, which is why I was Cat 2. But I would rather race Cat 1 when I do go to sanctioned races, and I also wanted USAC to upgrade my cyclocross category for the fall. Mission accomplished-- watch me get my butt kicked by the really fast girls next time I race XC!
So, there you go. This is a pretty boring race report if I do say so myself. I could have spiced it up with some complaints about the race organizers, but decided against it since I am not fond of complaining.
Stay tuned, my next race report will be about the Cohutta 100 and I promise it will be more interesting! Also longer!