Well, at least it was not as hot as last weekend. While I had been hoping for a really sloppy day, I'll settle for kinda sloppy & "raw". Sunday dawned grey & cold, but mostly dry as I left to pick up Kirk-boy at 7:30 (nice, late start... there ARE some nice things about being in proximity to the "bubble" and it's many cross races). Started to get a bit of spatter by the time we pulled in, enough to set up the tent for a real team "compound" if it really came down (Which it DID, but much later in the day...). Since I skipped Castle Rock on Saturday (Reports for the new venue were almost all good, both at the race & at several online locations...), I was all fresh & happy for todays sand pit.
Kitted Up with Matt & Kirk to recon with them before the 35+ open race. By that time it was starting to spit ice pellets a bit, and the N.E. Breeze off the lake made sure you covered up. Pretty typical Boulder Rez course. Paved start, to a loose dip to gravel road. A BUMPY turn back thru more loose turns to the woods and the inevitable Plastic boat dock run up. This year a nice combo of rain/sand slick plastic dock, plank double barrier, and for good measure a telephone pole. this nice long run was just to warm you up for the next running section. After the run, a long off-camber grass section brought you to a steep drop onto the beach, then a looping trip over the FIRM beach to the real gem run up of the day, a long slog up the hill to the beach house. At least the previous run made sure your running legs were loose for a nice jog up thru the ankle deep sand. This led to a quick drop BACK down the beach, but in a disturbing trend I've seen over the last three years, instead of a nice straight line down to the waterline, there were not one, not two, but THREE hairpin turns to insure there was NO momentum to be kept. The sand this year was pretty moist, and once a track got worn thru these, it was actually possible to ride the turns at least. In many years, once you could reach the waterline, the moist sand there is pretty hard, and you can slog along the water with only mild discomfort. This year, the wet sand at the waters edge was very soft and not so fun. Then course designer Matt Pacocha added just ONE more little dipsy-doodle up and over ANOTHER sand pile for ONE more run. Back to the soggy sand, with very little good re-mount opportunity, then back to a long paved section back to the start. All in all a good course for those who can put out the watts, or just suffer well.
So my one little BCR point from the RRV race last weekend, and my NON-participation at Castle Rock dropped my call-up into the deep, dark depths of the BCR mid-30's. even with that, now that we are in mid season, and LOTS of those silly "fast" or "fit" people have been upgrading, many names went unanswered, and Still made it to the second row at the line. This time, once we were off, I was able to hold that kind of start, and even move up a bit, landing in the top 15 or so for the first corner. With 86 starters, the herd behind that was pretty impressive once we switch-backed toward the trees. Since looking at the long line behind you seems to slow you down (based on the people starting to fly by me..), I got back to focusing on suffering. Things spread out quick after the first run, and REALLY started to break up after the zig-zag sand drop. Tried to be smart about staying out of the wind on the long pavement section, which helped me get back by a couple of people, even though I would still tend to get passed in the sand run-ups. The 2 complete rebuilds on my right knee has doomed me to be a "shuffler" in cross races, not a "runner". In spite of that, I did have a first for me actually PASSING someone on a run, and a sandy, uphill one at that. Amazing. A bit of bump & grind for corners & in the sand was the only other real highlight for my race. As usual, seemed to slow down going into the last lap, and again, lost a few places in the last loop. Ended up drifting back into 26th place. Given the large field, this was actually one of my better %-tile finishes, and while not in my goal of top 20, still made me pretty happy.
Brian & Boulder Racing put on a good show. Good turnout, in spite of the conditions.
BIG weekend of UCI and TOP NOTCH courses next week, with Blue Sky Velo at Xilinx, and Boulder Cup at Harlow Platts park. 2 of my all time favorites. Have to see if I can bring a bit more motor to bear for those two. Only question is IF and WHAT costume for Saturday.
Some video from the 55+ RACE here. Should have video in from the SW 35+, SM 35+ Open, and the Beer-Drinking-Dads league soon. If you raced in the morning & thought it was nasty, check out what the afternoon was like.
55+ Men Video
Boulder CX#3 - SM55+ Start from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
55+ Lap 1
Boulder CX#3 - SM55+ Lap1 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.
55+ Lap 2 in the sand
Boulder CX # 3 - SM 55+ lap 2 from Dale Riley on Vimeo.