This past weekend Tom and I headed to MadTown for the WORS Battle of CamRock race. I originally wasn't planning on doing this race, but after racing my first WORS race a few weeks ago I couldn't wait to do another one. Once again WORS did not disappoint,f and even Tom was impressed with how legit the race day set-up was...it really feels like a first class event.
We arrived at CamRock to pre-ride around 3 pm Saturday. Tom went off for a 60 minute run and I hit the trails to see what was up. The course was set to be 2 laps, each about 8.5 miles. I was really stoked to learn that 2 miles of each lap were to be wide open double track yeh! Since I just hit my 1 year anniversary of mountain biking I'll be the first to admit that my technical skills need a little lot of work. So these wide open power sections definitely help level the playing field a bit for me. Outside of this double track there was some nice technical sections and a sweet uphill switchback section with wide berms. I kept wondering what it would be like to race down the berms instead of up!
After pre-ride Tom and I headed to check into our hotel Madison. I had scored the Clarion, a 3 Star hotel on Priceline for $48. Hell yeah, it was even a suite..sweet! I dont' know what it is about Priceline, but not much can replace the adrenaline of that moment right before you you see "Congratulations your bid has been accepted." And then you scroll down to see what hotel you got! It totally reminds me of when I was a child and I used to splurge on Grab Bags at the flee market! I love Grab Bags!!!
Tom and I hit up The Great Dane Saturday (of course!) for an awesome dinner and then he even demanded to go out for ice cream on State Street afterwards (this almost never happens so I was totally on board!). Madison holds a super special place in my heart as it's home to my very first Ironman Finish. As much as Tom hates the Badger carnies I know this town is special for him too. Accomplishing something you never thought was possible is pretty cool. September 13, 2009 changed my life forever. I'm hoping to replicate this feeling some day on my mountain bike!
Last night Tom brought something very important to light.. For the past few years I had been tirelessly chasing a Kona Ironman dream. He said "Just think how different things would have been if you would have qualified at Ironman St. George." He is totally right, had I qualified I would have raced in Kona last fall and chances are I wouldn't be racing WORS races on a mountain bike and discovering an amazing new world! Things do happen for a reason and I'm fully certain I was meant to race on a mountain bike.
Okay back to the race. I had an awesome night of sleep and I was really feeling rested and ready to rock it. I had a solid warm up and my bike was shifting great and all was well. Then as we were gathering for the race start I heard the mumbles that the race course had changed and that the 2 miles of double track were removed and now it was going to be 3 laps and 2 miles longer. Craphole...none of this was in my favor. Life is not fair, get over it. The start of this race was challenging as basically they forced us to mash right up a 5.5% grade from the gun. I didn't get a call up, but was still able to get a spot on the outside of the front row. 5 seconds later...Go! and we were off. My goal was to win the initial climb and either be first into the single track or second.
I got the hole shot and then at the top of the climb was passed by Abby. I immediately grabbed her wheel and was second heading into the singletrack We were moving pretty quickly and I wasn't handling my bike all that well and then smack! I hit my handlebars on a tree and had to put a foot down. For the record...I am not counting this as a crash. However I am sure it pissed a few gals behind me off as it let Abby get a bit away from us all. It wasn't how i anticipated the start, but I suppose sh*t happens. I recovered and worked hard to keep my position. I was passed pretty quickly by the Canadian Pro, Sue. I tried to grab her wheel, but her single track skills were much smoother than mine and that was short lived. So here I was in 3rd and racing my ass off. Since this was really the first normal summer day of the year I was feeling super hot! I got passed again by another pro, Lisa on the top of the climb starting the 2nd lap. At this point I was really struggling...
One thing I noticed at these WORS races is how friendly the gals are when they pass. They all talk and really respect each other. It's refreshing. It's basically like "excuse me, if you don't mind I'm gonna pass you on your right". Okay it's not quite that nice, but really I'm sure it's a far cry from the men's races. Lisa is a super nice gal and she was riding really well. But,she passed me and that's never fun. Finally mid way through the 2nd lap I dumped some water on myself and was starting to feel a bit cooler. I had caught a 2nd wind and was able to finish strong and in 4th place! It's not every day that you get to stand on a podium with these amazing chicks!
Today is a rest day which means I'm sitting here drinking a Spotted Cow and my hands smell like Mill Valley Kitchen burger....as usual life is damn good!