Race Report - Theodore Wirth CX

4:25 AM

Finally my prayers to the cross gods were answered with an actual cyclocross race on an actual cyclocross course!  Theodore Wirth CX has everything my little heart desires when it comes to a CX course: climbing, technical turns, well placed barriers, sketchy descents, and a nasty run up a crumbling set of log stairs with a rowdy group of spectators jeering you on.

There were about 15 category 1, 2, 3 women at the start, a pretty good turnout for a race in Minnesota (sigh…I miss Madison and the 40 women at the start line…).  The hole shot ran up a gravel hill and gave our group plenty of time to spread out before we joined in with the regular lap, but I knew there would be issues on the edges so I picked a center spot in the second row.  This ended up being a good decision as a few of the women riders inevitably tried to shoot through gaps that were too small and wound up off their bikes and swearing.  I didn’t go out too aggressively because, quite frankly, the hole shot never determines much in a 45 minute cross race.

We completed six laps of the course.  The first couple of laps were just exhausting, as I had done a pretty hefty interval workout two days before.  Though I want to do well in races like Theo, it is really only a third of the way through the season and I can’t be skipping hard workouts to feel rested for the weekend – there is still a lot of work to do!  By the third lap I felt warmed up and much stronger.  

The best part of the race was the crowds – there were a bunch of teammates out to watch, and it was awesome to hear my name shouted every time I rounded a corner or scrambled up the run-up.   Though I have no idea what my finish place was (officials were still trying to figure everything out when I left) I was proud of the fact that I didn’t get lapped and finished with the same number of laps as the top women.  Hey, I race with the 2012 Women’s 40-44 National Champion, so not getting lapped is no easy task!

Next weekend is a planned double: Green Acres CX (with that hill and a new feature this year: a flyover!) on Saturday, then Jackson Meadows CX on Sunday (and my first foray into a weekend category 4 men’s race – watch out if you don’t want to get chicked).  

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