3:41. What the heck did that mean? How did I do?
That’s a complicated philosophical question. OK flash back to Sunday afternoon. I cross the finish line and bike back to the the guys who are writing down the finishers.
“3:41 did that match your gps?”
“Yes, how many finished in front of me?”
“7 you are the 8th person in.”
Wow, that’s pretty good the voice in my head cackled. (Yes it was still cackling. And it was happy that I beat some of the cross bikers…OK, I’ve turned into a mtb snob. Its a mtb race, ride a mtb. If you want to ride a cross bike, you get what you deserved 😉 )
So why is it complicated to figure out how I did? Well if you remember back, I was shooting for a 3 hour time. I missed that mark by 41 minutes. That’s not so good. But no one finished this year under 3 hours. Winning time was 3:05. That’s good. It would have been really incredible if I had finished in 3 hours. Clearly time was not a good metric.
How did I feel about my effort? I went out fast. I was close to the lead group but I just could not hold onto them. I rode about 40 of the 46 miles with another guy. We yo-yo’d the entire way. Well mostly he got ahead of me, then had to stop to, umm do some business or get some water and I passed him. Then he caught me. We talked. Then he passed me. Repeat process. In the end he was a little bit stronger and I didn’t stay with him on the last hill. Do I feel bad about that? Well turns out he is a runner and a more experienced mountain bike rider/racer (remember we talked). So in the end I don’t feel totally bad about finishing behind him. He was stronger. Once we got onto the course and riding, no one passed us. That’s also good. So all in all I feel satisfied with my effort. (Next year? I am going to be better. I am going to be the guy who rides away at the end. I might even win this thing.)
But how did I finish? I was 2nd in the sport class. 1st place went to the guy I rode with. I got a nice plaque out of the deal.
Better than the plaque. I got a $15 gift card to a local dairy shop called Stuarts. They have awesome ice cream. Perfect reword for a fast ride in a a fatty jersey!
But that’s really only half the story……OK Flash back to my finish………
(yeah that’s the same picture, we are in a flash back after all)
How’d I finish…8th…(yadda yadda yadda) I bike away to find my awesome family sitting on the grass.
(Me) “How did Noah do?”
(Coreen) “4th. But he is bummed. I finished 3rd and got a prize and he didn’t get anything.”
(Me) “4th? That’s awesome. Were the kids who beat him bigger?”
(Coreen) “Yeah High School kids on full sized bike.” (I knew it was going to be tough for Noah to “win” when I saw he was in a under 18 age group. He actually said he wanted to “dominate”. It’s rough to be 10 and on a 20″ bike)
(Waiting for the race director to announce the winners.)
Coreen also said their course was much harder than we figured. More rocks. More hills. More mud. Pretty much a mini version of my ride. But Noah gutted it out and finished. Coreen also said that Noah got passed by a girl and was upset at being “chicked” (my words not hers). She told him if he didn’t like it to do something about it. So he put it into high, passed her, and never saw her or her dad again.
Noah said that next year he wants to train harder and longer. He wants to do some single track to get ready. Oh, and he is hoping Santa or mom/dad will bring him a bike with big tires. Sounds like a plan to me. This was a good learning lesson for Noah. You don’t always finish on the podium. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes you need to work harder. (Still proud of you dude, it was a tough race!)
After we finished the race we went out for lunch.
Garlic knots, pizza, and lots of water. (Of course ice cream for desert!) Yum.
So that’s the story of my first podium as a mtb bike racer and Noah’s first race of any kind.
My thoughts? This was a great race. If you are in the area think about riding in it. The course is fun. It was well marked. The people who ran the race were super nice. I have the date circled on my calendar for next year. (I might need to do a ride that doesn’t make me cry by that point.)
It was great to do a local low key race. Yeah, there was no Armstrong or Weins or Rush to race against. But heck I felt like I had a chance. And truthfully, sometimes it feels good to win (even if it wasn’t against Armstrong or Weins or Rush ;)). It feels really good.