|Cold and raining during the awards.|
Well, who would have thought that the January race would have had the best racing conditions. March has always been sunny, warm, dry, and FAST! Not this year. With muddy conditions expected and my fitness level not exactly where I wanted it, I chose to ride gears. Indy got the call up and she performed amazingly well.
Me, on the other hand, not so well. Legs were not sparkly. I was not sure if it was a combination of the previous week's training, my less than stellar health, or the fact that pedaling through soft terrain and soupy mud drained what power I had pretty quickly.
I was able remain comfortably warm in my Costa Rican weather gear: shower cap on the helmet, 16 gallon trash bag over my torso, and Gorilla tape on my shoes. I contemplated wearing my high dollar Gore-Tex rain jacket. I would have acquired more style points, but also would have burnt up in it. I chose the "better to feel good than to look good" Glad attire.
This time I was able to start with only a handful of racers in front of me and most of those I never did see until the finish. I pretty much had the trail to myself ... no energy lost in passing 30+ people. My drive train held up extremely well; it was a silent as a single speed and the shifting was impeccable. Kudos to my mechanic and Specialized!
At the halfway point, my time was 1:37. Not good! At this rate, I was going to have to slay the second half if I had hopes of winning. I have done sub 2 hours on the second half before, but it had been dry and I had been in good form. Today it did not look good for me, but I accepted the challenge and dug deep. I was descending well and the Specialized Captain's were hooking up quite well on the rocks and in the mud. As I crossed Snake Creek and began the final climb up to the last techy bit of single track, my hopes of winning were dashed. This fire road climb which, just a week ago had been dry and SUPERFAST, was today a slog through sticky mud.
What little time I may had gained was quickly lost as I suffered through. By the time I entered the single track, my watch showed 2:42. Oh well, I did the best I could and enjoyed the ride. The Era rocked the chunky trail as I held on for dear life. I happened upon Mr Hardrock again, this time walking up The Wall. If you recall, I met Mr. Hardrock in January as I pulled his 30 pound bike off of him as he lay in the trail, unable to clip out of his pedals. This time he was doing much better and was able to keep the rubber side down!
I finished with a time of 3:41:07, slightly better than January's, but 2 1/2 minutes behind Jamie's January time. Good enough for 2nd place and $500! This was money well spent as I used it to purchase Carly's new bike.
I will be back next year. I hunger for The Bounty!!
Thanks once again to all of the NWGA Sorba volunteers who made the 7th running of the Snake absolutely fan-friggin' tastic.