We arrived near noon and checked into the hotel. The plan was for the girls to enjoy the pool while I went to the Ingawanis Boy Scout camp to check out the race course.
I happened to show up as they were starting the time trail. Race Director Jeremy asked me if I was racing, but I told him that I was only looking to pre-ride. I changed and hoped on my bike as the last rider headed out. 30seconds later, I heard "Tom, 1:30 to your start time". I figured I might as well test the legs and lined up with a grand total of 2minutes for a warm-up. I rode at about 90% and enjoyed the course. I ended up with a decent time, but the local hotshot "kids" turned in times near 2min faster. At least the Taco Bell that I had enjoyed 45min before didn't come back up......one more recon lap and I was back to the hotel for dinner.
We enjoyed a pancake breakfast at IHop and went up to the course. I had been talking to the girls about doing the Kids Race, but they were pretty apprehensive. Maddie had decided to do the race, but Hannah was against it. I took them on a pre-ride and it only took Hannah one lap to get into the mood to join in the fun. Holly quickly registered her and we put her number on the bike just in time for the racer's meeting. If you look closely, I think you can see butterflies in their stomachs on the above picture.
At the gun, it was obvious that I need to work with them on their starts. The two Snoop boys left them in the dust. However, they quickly caught back on. They did two laps of a small singletrack course. Maddie finished second and the last climb made it difficult for Hannah to catch up to 3rd place. Overall, I think they had a blast. They seemed to have a good sense of accomplishment after the race.
My race wasn't as strong as I hoped, but it didn't go bad either. We had 11 men and 3 women on the line. I went into the singletrack in 10th place and behind Robin Williams. The pace seemed hard, but doable for the 1st half of the lap. In fact, the top 11 had moved away and were still within 10seconds of each other. Then (for some reason) I decided that I couldn't hold this pace and started to back off. I held what seemed like a decent pace and let the others go. This seems to be typical of my Cat 1 starts. The end of lap 1 and the rest of 2 were at this pace. Lap 3 and most of lap 4 were at a pace equal to the 1st lap. Lap 5 was just looking over my shoulder and maintaining my place to the end. I finished at 8th male and 9th overall. At least I was 1st in the 35+ category.
I'm learning a lot about racing for longer than the Cat 2 races. I also have to have more confidence and just push myself harder. The heart rates don't lie and I haven't really pushed as hard as I am capable of. I'm learning that I don't need to "save" anything in the middle of the race to finish.
Next up is Lake Ahquabi and I've been studying my past results as well as the results from last year at Ahquabi. I've set some higher goals for myself and will have them taped to my stem as a reminder. If I can hit these time goals, then I should be closer to the middle of the pack (that seems to leave me behind).