Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rim Nordic Part Deux

Awesome race Gabe! Props to Big Rob who pulled off a second place, missing the top spot by inches. And congrats to Bob, Paul and myself for ... well ... for surviving (barely).

Though Gabe's win was mighty impressive, it was rivaled only by his all-out 100 yard sprint to hand me my dropped water bottle on my second lap!

It was a tough course, probably the only course all year which required the "granny gear" to make it up the climbs. It was a lot of singletrack, very narrow, sandy terrain, just technical enough to keep you on your toes and steep. There were precious few sections of fireroad where you could grab some water or pass. And with temps near 90, lots of dust and the sun blazing through the thin 7000 ft air, the conditions were tough.

By the time the Cat 1 30-34 lined up, it was way too hot out and I was already feeling the sun and altitude. The field was small but super-competitive. Looking around at the start I realized that we had all been trading spots all season.. there was no clear winner and I could just as easily get first or last depending on my luck. About 1 hour into it, I found myself battling with the top four who were all bunched together within a few seconds (a pretty rare occurrence in MTB races). The brutally steep climbs got the better of me and the smaller riders pulled away but I kept 4th place and was satisfied that I left it all on the course after finishing 3 laps in 2:12. Bob was close behind.

After the race, I was surprised to see Gabe and Paul hanging around waiting in vain for their results to get posted. There were all sorts of screwups with the results from all categories - supposedly they gave the win in one Cat 1 race to a DNF. How hard can it be to keep track of results and post them in a timely manner? Pretty hard apparently.

As always a great time with great people. It was a lot of fun despite the "bad and ugly".

And one final note: The announcer (don't recall his name) must really love Chicken Ranch since every time we walked by, he commented "How 'bout those santa barbara chicken ranch riders and their carbon weave jerseys". Apparently we have big fans all over socal.

Some photos attached.

- matt

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