I am thoroughly wrecked after racing back to back days at home in Bellingham this weekend.
Friday night I helped Ryan Rickerts setup the cyclocross course for saturday's "Killer Cross" event. Motivation to race the next day was not high, but I figured I should give it a go since I helped put the course together. Plus, Whitney and I were able to ride to the venue from home. It's not often I can be a good hippy and not burn a bunch of gas driving somewhere so that I can race my bike.
The race itself ended up being a lot of fun. The sun was out and the lengthy lap had a lot of variety and funkiness, something Ryan's courses are known for. My favorite part was the "bark chip mountain" run/ride-up. Steve Fisher and I battled for most of the race and were evenly matched, as usual, but he had a bit more snap in his legs than me in the end.
Following Steve up "the grassy knoll." Photo: Ryan Rickerts
Today's race was the Lake Padden mountain bike duathlon sponsored by Klicks Running and Walking(formerly RunningShoes.com and still the best place in town to buy running shoes and apparel). For those who don't know, a duathlon is a triathlon without the swim(I can barely swim without drowning). The order of tri's are: swim, bike, run; but in a duathlon it goes: run, bike, run. I used to run track and cross country for fun back in high school and I still like to get out to some running events every once in a while. I had previously raced the Padden mtb duathlon in 2008 and had a great close race with one of my roommates at the time, Charlie Sunderlage.
The race started out hard, but I used some self control and held a maintainable pace. I'm not a serious runner by any means, but I knew that the strategy of trying to stay with the leaders for as long as possible was not going to get me far like it would in a bike race. The first 2.6 mile lap around the lake went smoothly but I had a lot of time to make up on the half dozen guys in front of me.
I started off on my Noble, legs feeling like lead, and one by one caught and passed people. Now I was in my element. The mtb leg followed the same super-classic course as the Padden Pedal mtb race. Having raced and ridden out there for years, I knew all the secret ninja lines on the descents and exactly where to punch it and where to recover. My F4 felt like an all-mountain rig after riding my cross bike the day before!
I came into the second transition with a healthy lead, but knew that the second run was where it would all go down. The pain of the next 2.6 miles was a foreign feeling after so much bike racing the last few years. At about 400 meters before the finish I glanced over my shoulder and saw someone about twenty seconds back. He came by me with 200 to go and I tucked in behind him and and held on for as long as I could. In the end he finished a couple seconds ahead and set a new course record. Turns out his name is Dusty Caseria and he's a damn good runner! I guess he ran a 1:51 half mile recently in college. Wow.
I really wanted the coveted first-place beer pitcher for winning, but I guess I'll have to train harder next year!
Bellingham Herald article here.