The day started off much nicer, meaning hot, fast races for Women's Cat 4; Haley had a killer race at Starcrossed with a placing of 23rd out of 64 starters. My own race kept the sunny demeanor, though starting at the back of the pack of 70 riders was not ideal. After 35 minutes and a few encouraging words from Dan Spry (although he could have helped a little more...) I came in 13th out of 66 finishers. We hung out with some friends I manage to keep in Seattle (Ryan, Melissa and Eric who some of you met) and drank an excessive amount of beer with Thomas Pickett and Matt Kennedy. We even enjoyed the beer garden while Showtime Jay Loder hurdled barriers.
We got to watch the Elite race from a couple hundred vantage points, in the dark and the mud, and my favorite picture is this one of the whole shebang in the middle of Marymoore with Katerina Nash opening a huge gap: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfgcyclocross/5006453674/
Nick had a great showing against 60 very talented international riders coming in 26th over a fast, and muddy course. The battle between the French National CX Champion Francis Mourey and Ryan Trebon was pretty excellent too.
The next morning was Rad Racing out at Lake Sammamish; the course was mostly grass with as many switchbacks as they could find, of course over exposed roots and other such nonsense, with a dual sandpit (one of which had a huck jump right in front of the beer garden).
The competition was somewhat different on Sunday, with only half the competitors having raced Starcrossed. Haley again had a strong showing and powered into a 7th place finish.
I was testing a theory about beer consumption affecting my racing and found that I couldn't tell. I was pretty happy to find I was top 10 for much of the race, but a spill near the end, as our last 2 laps changed from sunny to downpour, cost me a spot pushing me into 11th out of 71 riders. The sudden rain meant disaster for quite a few folks taking lines that were none too kind when turned to mush. Though it gave everyone more chances to "give advice".
The showers persisted during the Cat 3 Masters race, and Showtime showed us how it was done while we heckled the sand pit from the beer garden. Many handouts were made for those that chose to huck it into the sandpit but couldn't keep the front end up. Jay ended 12th out of 44 muddy masters.
The Mighty Riders put in some good work with heckling to boot, and I'm pretty sure I drank enough for anyone that wasn't. Next year we expect more fans, however. Until then, we'll have to do our best up here in BC to stay loud, drunk and in front.
Next races are October 2/3 at New Brighton/Vanier - easily accessible and there better be beer handouts for anyone off the back.