Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Masters State Championships

On Sunday, my team co-hosted the Masters and Juniors state championship road race. My primary role was to offer any help I could in supporting to race, but I got the opportunity to compete as well.

My first activity of the day was to act as a corner marshall for the morning races. This basically involves standing around somewhere on the course and closing corners to traffic when the race comes through. Pretty uninteresting work, but it's amazing how irritated some people can get when you stop them for a minute to prevent them from running over some 15 year old kid on a bike. Don't get me started...

While I was manning my corner I got the word that I'd be able to race. I rushed back, changed and jumped into the back of the lineup with absolutely no warmup. Given how little prep time I had, I wasn't expecting much out of the race. I was hoping for a nice ride on Sunday afternoon. Yeah, right.

The course was a 10ish mile loop with 2 climbs. We did 4 laps for a total of 42 miles and, do the math with me, 8 climbs. When I saw the first climb approach it looked like a wall, but on the way up I found myself passing groups of people without too much effort. On the second climb, even more. By the time we completed the first lap, I was up front. I managed to stay up front for the remainder of the race.

About half way through the last lap, the pace picked up and everyone started jockeying for position. I held my place up front and ended up finished with the group in the final sprint. I think I let a few positions slide because I don't take as many risks as others in the closing miles. The lesson here is that I need to defend my position better until the very end unless I'm willing to take those risks.
Washington Masters State Championships


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