Saturday the 31st and Sunday the 1st were the back to back dates of the SpookyCross cyclocross
races in Des Moines
. I participated in my first cross race at this venue last year and it was a blast, it was the same this year. Good courses and a good workout.
Saturdays racing was on the north side of Living History Farms. The course started by entering an easy looking field. However, once you entered the field, you find out that it had 4-6 inches of standing water. We are the 1st race of the day and by the end of the race, this section had 4-6" mud holes. The rest of the course alternated between fact MTB
and fast roady
conditions. Overall, I think this course favored a MTB
rider and handling skills. I started near the back but quickly found myself in 4th
position at the end of the mud. I decided to push ahead and wound my way through the field. I felt good during the race and actually worked my way up to 10th
in the cat 3 field (they started 1min ahead of my group). I ended up 4th
for the day in the 45+ category.
Sunday was at the main Living History Farm site. This course was longer than the previous days and appeared to favor a power rider. This time, they started the 35+ and the 45+ fields together. When the gun went off, I took advantage of the majority of the field fumbling for their pedals and took off. I quickly decided to throw caution to the wind and started sprinting. I figured, what the hell, I'll go out front and let the others chase me down. I was 4th
going into the first field and only lost a few spots on that lap. I think that I finished the first lap in 6th
and mostly held it there. I lost a few positions in near the 30 minute mark and ended up 9th
out of the combined group. Another 4th
in the 45+ group.
After these two races I ended up in 2nd overall in the series (45+). However, there were a few other fast guys that just didn't get the minimum number of races done. I'll remember their names for future races and try to pass them in the future to make my overall finish legit.
Cross is a lot of fun and I'll definitely continue to work on it. I need to work on increasing my pain threshold as my perceived pain is higher than the actual heart rate. Still a possibility of two more races. State Championships are 11/14 in Altoona and Jinglecross is the weekend after Thanksgiving.