Friday, July 06, 2007

Twin Sizzler - 7/4/2007

July 4th holiday, and I set my alarm for 5:30... I'm still trying to decide what to do, race or group ride. I figure I need to leave by 6:30 to do the race, and 6:00 to do the group ride. By 6:15, my choices are race, or do my own ride, and by 6:20 I decide to go to the race.

So, I throw stuff in the car and I'm off to Medina for my second Twin Sizzler. It's a short 27 mile race, that will finish by about 9:30. Plenty of time to get home, and get ready for the afternoon picnicing and fireworks. On the way down, I call Dave to find out that we'll have at least 3 in the 19-34 field, and he hasn't heard about who else is coming out. Then Brett tells me he's racing down to be with his team, and my decision is made. I'll race with the younger guys to get some team action.

So, Dave S., Chris B., Pete S., Gary and I line up for the Elite 19-34 field. Brett has 7 Solon guys, with Spin fielding two separate kits to make up the numbers. Jimmy Mac (A&F) and Andy Moskal (Roadhouse) are there as singles, with one RGF. There are a bunch of other ones and twos in this typical mishmash field. We probably had between 30 and 40 lining up together.

At the gun Jimmy goes to the front and starts the pace pretty high out of town. Not crazy high, but enough to get the legs moving on almost no warm up.

Once out of town, Gary gets into a move of 4 that gets a small gap. The group is quickly brought back with some help from us... I think I'll start calling this friendly fire. It's not intentional, but we need to learn that NO MATTER WHAT, if a team mate is in a move with even a small gap, we should let someone else close it down, or pull us across. If you have a mate on the other side of any gap, don't be the one that starts to fill that gap.

Jimmy, Andy and Zak from Spin take off, and I jump onto the move. We're brought back in short order. Probably by a spin rider or two.

As I sit in to recover, Dave goes with the next move. I go to the front to block, and Pete starts to jump across the gap... I tried to call him back, and he sat up... but with a gap, so I tell him to go again instead... I screwed that one up, since Pete would probably have been fine, but I was being over sensitive at this point.

I stayed near the front most of the race... watching for Jimmy, Andy or Zak to try and get away. Being attentive to who was doing what. I saw Jimmy make some hand signal to Andy, then we made the turn and Jimmy took off... with Andy on his wheel, and me tagging along. And we hit the hill... Jimmy was setting pace, Andy and I were hanging on. I'd try to come up, when Andy was flagging back, but I don't think he wanted me to do much work... he did sound worse than I did though. I felt pretty good about that.

Jimmy kept the pace even, watching Andy and I to make sure we were still with. I looked back and couldn't see anyone. I was figure this was good for the three of us. They need to take me with, since my guys should be blocking the field now. It would be nice if we had a Spin and or Solon guy with us, but this could go the distance. Once over the top, I figured I'd commit to this move for sure.

As we came over, we were joined by about 5 others, I have no idea where they came from, but Chris was on the front. So we had two now, with a few Spin guys. They took over pulling duty, and I faded to the back with Andy. Once there, I notice "we still have a gap, let's go!", but it wasn't big enough, and they weren't committed enough, and it was all back together very soon.

I fell through the pack a bit to recover, and noticed it was considerably smaller now. Maybe down to 25 or so, though all of our guys were still in. So was Brett and a collection of his guys.

Next move comes up, and it's Jimmy, Andy, Chris and I. I tell Chris to work, but again it's short lived. Another one, Brett is on the front. Zak makes a move up the right with Jimmy on his wheel. I see it and come up along the left... as I come by Brett, I invite him along. It's four of us going off the front. Brett told me his team mate Ross closed it down. I guess it was one of those days.

Making last turn before the technical finish, I'm near the back with Dave. I'm sure Dave is going to give it a go with about a mile or so to go... the pavement in the last mile is horrible, and this move just might work. Only Dave is leaving it late to get into position. I'm keying off him, if he goes, then I know we're near the finish and have to get to the front. First to block, and second be ready to go into the finish in good position.

Dave goes, and gets a nice gap. I'm on Jimmy's wheel, with Andy right in front of him about 20 back. All the Spin guys start to ramp up in pursuit of Dave... Chris is well positioned right behind them. Then the pavement goes to garbage...

Somehow, I'm right on the yellow line, and realize I need to move up. I'm about 15 back, as the Spin boys start to line it out. Though, I'm just left of center, I look and Brett is on my LEFT! Then Zak is even left of him... we're coming down the main drag wall to wall... I tell Brett, "We are too far back, we need to move up!" I'm cussing like a sailor as the pavement bounces us around... I should be in my element here, as Zak says... "It's like Paris-Roubaix!" Where did Jimmy and Andy go? Up near the front!

So, I start digging in. Dave is pulled back about 100m before the first finishing turn, I'm about 12 back. I end up on the right side somehow. Dive into the first corner, over the tracks... make up some spots, and take the inside of the second turn... now it's straight to the line... Chris is ahead with a few of the Spin guys, and I'm gaining. Andy is about 100M up there now, raising his arms. Jimmy is a few meters back for second, and then the RGF. Chris gets over the Spin guys for fourth, and I'm almost close enough, but pull out 6th.

So, the whole day is dominated by "friendly fire". I guess that's what we get for racing with age groups and not categories. After the race, we had a nice team debreifing about team racing tactics. Each race, we're getting better, and I was very happy to see everyone get into a break attempt. We also did well to put at least 2 into the top 10, with Chris pulling another top 5.

Overall, I was just treating it like a Westlake Worlds. Kind of like a 4 corner crit, where you only did each corner once. What a fun race.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Raccoon Rally 2007 - MTB Race

I decided not to do the short track mtb race on Saturday night. I was still coming to grips with not making the finishing field during the road race, and without any short track experience, I decided to spectate instead. It looks like fun, and I will pre register for it next time, so I'm "forced" to jump in. Basically, it's the same format as a cyclocross race without barriers. The experts go 40 minutes plus one lap, sports do 30, and beginners go 20. The winning expert was one of the first to come off the 1/2 road race, and did 21 laps. I'd do it for "fun", cause I have a weird sense of fun.

Riding around on the MTB after the road race, I notice that my front wheel bearings are a bit loose. I played with it a bit, and they also are a bit crunchy. I'm not liking this much. I haven't ridden the bike much at all this year. In fact this was the first real trail ride of the year, but I wasn't expecting to have this kind of trouble. Brent and I stopped in to the Holly Loft booth and the mechanic adjusted them up for me, but it looks like it's time to invest something in the bike again.

Even though the family in the next site now had some boys to add to the talking, I was so wrecked, that I fell asleep at 10, and didn't stir until 6:30. They were talking again, but I still rolled over and slept till 7.... ahhh, almost 9 hours. Very nice, cause today is the 30 mile expert cross country mountain bike race. Very non-technical, but not a dirt crit.

This is actually, the 7th time I've been here in 10 years. Two years of beginners, two sports, and my third expert. My goal is to better last years time... and enjoy the race.

10:30 start time again. But there are 70 experts. This is a huge field, much larger than in the past. The dry weather must have drawn everyone into the longer race. Dave and Brent are here, and I'd like to finish between them... the best would be in front of both, but we'll see how it goes. The horn blows after a 1 minute rider meeting and we're off!

I picked a bad place to start and ended up about half way back heading into the woods. Dave was a bit behind, and Brent was a bit ahead. I'm not killing it, just settling in for the day. Into the woods, and my legs are feeling OK after yesterdays efforts.

Up the hill heading to the Snow Snake trail. About half way up, Dave passes me, so I tried to jump on his wheel. Not very successfully, as it takes some serious effort to stay on. I'm sure my mad trail skills will get me back to him soon, I'm also sure my legs will come around shortly, once I clear out yesterdays work.

He's got a bit of a gap on me as we turn onto Snow Snake. Last year, this turn was the split between us, so I expected to bring him back in short order. He's riding really well, and I just maintained the gap. I wonder if last years experience has helped his confidence on this course. I'm fine maintaining the gap until the path tilts up, and I just was not climbing well... not terrible, just not as well as Dave.

So, I settled in. It's early, and there is plenty of technical stuff left. First order, get out of Snow Snake. Snow Snake is the worst part of the course, once out of that, the race is easy. The Snake basically takes you down the mountain and back up 4 times... and the trail looks like a snake head on the map. Hence the name.

I was battling two guys the whole way. One guy on a cross bike, that had to walk the climbs the other on a full suspension bike. He had the advantage all over the place, but I would either descend better or climb better at different places, depending on the terrain. The first sport riders caught me at about 20 minutes again. I refrained from screaming at them....whatever.

I left Snow Snake at about 35 minutes, which seemed a reasonable pace for me, then I hit the gas to make up some spots and try again to get back to Dave.

Over the top for the first lap, I'm feeling the trail flow again. Now I remember how to do this, I only came close to overcooking one corner. For some reason, I'm not remembering as much of the course as in the past... but I'm feeling more comfortable, both in the climbs, and the technical stuff. This will work.

As the course starts descending the mountain again, I'm drilling the stuff, the guy on the cross bike is gone, I'm making places, but the guy on the full squish is still with me. He pulls up next to me at one point and says, "Great job on that last section. I figured if you could go that fast, then so could I"... I figured this is going to be my battle for the day then.

I dropped the next section in the big ring, and then had to do a quick shift to climb this wall.... I must of screwed the shift, because half way up, the chain jumped. At first I thought I just over-shifted, then I looked down as the chain came right off the bike. WHAT!!! Broken chain!

I had the tool, so I jumped off the trail, grabbed the chain, and got to work... as the whole world passed me. Lots of comments, and I did a bad enough job that I had to take two links off both sides of the break. 7 minutes later, I was moving again, and my chain was 4 links short.

It was really hard to get moving again. Motivation trouble. I can start picking up places again, cause I know I'm faster than all the experts that passed me. It takes me a little bit, but at leas this is the fun part. I can again rail the descents, and concentrate on pushing the climbs....

There is one section of the course that I've recognized since the first time I came here. The course takes a hard right hander, then drops for a long distance... probably 30-35 mph drop.... My first race ever and a guy goes down hard on his first lap and they had the ambulance come in to take him out. Each year since they've had someone there warning people about this section. This year it was just a "caution" sign. I came up behind a few kids finishing the beginner race, so I wasn't totally killing it, but was passing in the grass... and it felt great. I remember getting passed by the experts in previous races, and how scary it was, so I was trying to be nice. At the end of the descent is another long climb before the last descents of the lap. I wasn't concentrating, and tried to go to the 44/32 combo... not on purpose of course, but the short chain locked up solid!

I managed to NOT break it again, but nothing would turn. It took another 3 minutes to work it off the big rings, and get every thing moving again... That'll teach me to pay attention to my gearing now that I have a short chain... shift the front first, then move up the back.

It was even harder to get moving this time, my race was pretty much done. I was thinking, well, I'll just play now. I finished up the first lap, and started the second.

Let's see who I can out climb. The second lap starts on an abandoned rail bed. Constant grade to the top. Set it in the middle ring and spin the whole way up. Half way there, I caught a group of three guys that were taking it pretty easy. I stayed with them chatting for a few minutes. "I'm not having a great day today... broke my chain, but at least I'm riding in the woods, so how bad can it be?"

I decided in short order that climbing in z1 was just not what I wanted to do... so I asked for space and started climbing at tempo again.

At about 2 hours, I figured the winners were done. I was still working over the top of the mountain. I'd just entered the extra "expert only" loop. I'm not going to beat last years time for sure. For the most part I was alone, then I heard two of the guys that were on the climb coming up behind me. One of them was on a full susp bike, with a rear lock out. He came by me, and I jumped on his wheel. I was out climbing him, but he'd descend faster. OK, my work is cut out, unfortunately it was mostly descending now.

We went back and forth for the remainder of the course. Every time the course tipped up, he'd reach down and lock the suspension, then I'd come around him, and get a gap... I thought I had him as we entered the "caution" section again... then it was obvious how much faster he could drop...he came by me, and had a big enough gap to get most of the way up the last climb before I could get started... I picked off a few more sport riders, but it was over. The guy ended up putting 30 seconds on me by the finish.

Brent ended up 39th at 2:15:28 on a full rigid bike. Good enough for 14th in the 40+ group. Dave finished 43rd a full minute back, 9th in the 19+ age group. Next year he'll be in the older field. My time was 2:33. Not to bad considering I spent 10 minutes with the chain, I figure I lost a good portion of the 5-7 minutes convincing myself to race. I finished 61st out of 70...not last, and 24th out of 28 in the 40+.

For the rest of the Cleveland area, Ross Clark from Solon Bike finished second in the 30+ field with a time of 1:56:59, good enough for 7th overall. The winning time was 1:54:48 for 29 miles.

Full results are at: Heart Rate Up

Not my best outing, but also not my worst. I'm disappointed with the mechanical, but there's always next year. Now I get to shop for some new wheels and get the fork rebuilt. I also need to work off the rest of the ice cream from my vacation.... and work on getting a lot of sleep.

postscript: It turns out I was wrong about my time last year. I had a time last year of 2:29:54, so either the course was that much faster, or I am. I guess I could have beat last years time after all... I'm surprised that the course would be that much faster, as Dave also gained 22 minutes on last year. The winning times were about 10 minutes faster this year also, so that means Dave and I are both super studly mountain bikers this year.

Raccoon Rally 2007 - Road Race

For the last 2 weeks, I have not spent every waking hour slightly hungry, or with that hint of "ugh" every time I walk up the stairs... yes, I went on vacation. So mileage was down, and ice cream consumption was up. Probably not the best time for the ice cream, as I put on 5 pounds before my target event, the Raccoon Rally road race. 48 miles of hilly... dare I say, mountain road race. It's 2 laps of a 7 mile climb, followed by a 7 mile descent, then a 5 mile climb, and a 5 mile descent. There's nothing crazy steep, but it's enough to get 5000 feet of climbing in.

It's also 3 hours away. So I travelled out on Friday night with Thom Dominic from Color-Me-Safe (CMS). On the way out, a crazy raccoon decided it would be a good idea to get a wild hair, and run in front of my van while I was doing 75mph. It was his last idea, and Thom and I were discussing how that could be a good omen, Nailing the Raccoon Rally and all.

We arrived at the camp ground at about 9:30 and set up the tents by lantern light. Thom checked a few mechanical questions for me, and all was good as we turned in by 11:30 for a reasonable amount of sleep before some serious riding... Unfortunately the family in the site next to ours had a group of at least 4 teenage girls... and it must have been slumber party night, as they were talking and giggling all night long. Thom was more bothered by it than I, but when they were still going at 5am, I chalked off the rest of my sleep time, and decided to get up. It's all prep to make you tougher, right?

Race time was 10:30, and Thom lined up with Brent Evans in the 1/2 race... 14 in the field including Torrelli's Batke and Hopkins. They got a five minute head start on the 3/4/masters/womens field.

Snakebite had pretty good representation in the 3/4 race with Dave Steiner, Tom Keller, Chris Bilowich and myself. Since they combined the fields with the 35+ and 45+ masters and women's fields, our group was actually close to 70.

On the gun, the pace is instantly hot, and comments are flying around comparing it to a crit. With the large field the only real way to move up was on the edges. For some reason, every one was on the yellow line, so every time someone was moving up, half the field would scream "Yellow Line!" There were quite a few times I was pushed over the line, as guys came over, with plenty of open space on the curb side... as far as I could see. So it was mostly elbows out and protect the front wheel.

Last year, I lost the front of the race as the field split at mile 6 where there seems to be a little bit of steeper grade. So I'd been telling everyone to be careful there, be near the front and be ready to hold on. The team was doing well. Dave and Tom were up in the front 5-10 range. Chris and I were a bit further back near 20 or so. I had my computer set to watch mileage, waiting for the 6 mile point. I was a little concerned to see Dave and Tom both taking some wind... but I was too far back to bring it up to them. I'm not working for anything except to stay with the front group to the end.

I guess that last year, there was one guy in the front group that was the sargent, screaming at everyone to work. Tom pointed him out at the start line, and he again was ready to drive the troops. As we got to the 6.5 mile, he started shouting to the front guys "Pick it up!", "come on!"... and so they did. It was good for me, as he was also telling me what the plan was. I was encouraging our guys as I moved past them during the accelerations. Hoping that it would give them each enough to hang on.

We all made it over the top, and started the first descent. Sarge was still trying to get everyone to work... though we were in a much larger group than last year. My guess is that the first climb had shelled probably half the field of 70. I stayed near the front 10 and did my best to stay off the front. There was a bit of a rotation going on the front, and I tried to sit on the back of that. As the rest line came back, I'd let a gap open so that the workers could fill them in, and it worked pretty well. The team seemed comfortable, as we made our way to the bottom of the next climb.

The second climb seems more difficult than the first. It doesn't climb quite as much as the first, but the whole climb is a little bit steeper. I shifted down to the small ring as we made the turn at the base to save the legs, and up, up and away we went.... again. I continued to sit in about 10 to 15 back as we head up. We came around one turn, and I can see a group ahead of us. Are we going to catch the A field? Man we are moving. If we catch them, then they haven't really started racing yet.

At about half way up, I'm in the middle of the lane, with Sarge half a length ahead of me to the left. He decides he wants to get to the front, so swings hard to the right to move up the field along the inside. He doesn't look for clearance, he just turns, takes me over with him! I yell, and Chris yells as his front tire hits my right shoe! Damn it!

It takes me a minute or so to settle down... and the Sarge must have been rallying his troops. The pace picks up again. A gap starts to open in front of us. Chris is just ahead, but fading. I pulled up behind him, and encourage him on. "We need to get up there!" It's enough, Chris picks it up before I can come around, and we get across together. I want Chris to get into the field though, not to sit on the back. I told him "move up the right side" as we close in. Then we make contact... "come on, up the right." He doesn't seem to want to, so I encourage again... "come on, like this... follow me up." And I move into the safety of the field. I guess Chris stayed at the back, because it wasn't long before the group was down to about 15... and I was the only one left from the team.

Over the top and the Sarge started up again. Trying to encourage us to work together on the descent. The group was not really interested in working though, so one guy gets to the front, tucks in and just drops the descent. I fall in right behind him and do the same. If anyone wants to come up and work, they are welcome... otherwise, we'll just go at this guys pace. This actually works well, as it gives Dave a chance to bring Tom and Chris back into the field... actually, Dave brings it all back together.

Through the start finish, and some guys start to get antsy. A group of 4 gets a small gap, and I follow wheels to close it. Then a Penn State rider gets a larger gap. A single guy for the rest of the race? The field lets him go a ways and settles into the climb. I'm again watching the mileage and looking for landmarks.

As the climb continues, we pull the lone rider back, and I start to notice that either I've been moving back in the field, or we're loosing people. At about 5 miles, I'm at the back of the group with Chris. Tom is in the field still, but I don't see Dave, who was behind me a short time ago. At six miles, Chris and I are dangling at the back of the field of about 20. There are a couple of others guys with us, and there is a wall of about 5 guys at the front driving the pace..... we dig in a bit and make it back onto the back. I should have taken my own advice here, and moved INTO the field, but I didn't. We dangle again, and this time the other three get back onto the field... but I'm falling backwards.

And I make the fatal mistake.... we're close to the top of the climb, so I convince myself that my superior descending skills will allow me to chase back on once over the top. I really know better than this, but I am a good liar. Usually I lie to myself when the alarm goes off in the morning. I can sleep for another 10 minutes... you know. Soon, it's an hour later than I wanted it to be. You can understand my believing my own lies when I'm asleep, but I guess I can also lie to myself when it gets a little hard on the bike... or I actually fell asleep on the bike for the couple of minutes it took for the field to get 200 feet up the road.

Over the top, and the field is about 200 meters up the road... I can close this, dig in! Then it's 300meters. COME ON! WORK! 500 meters. I need to get up there before we start the next climb. It's about 20 against 1, though I know that only 5-10 may be working... still, I know I will not be able to force myself to climb alone as fast as the group will go... I'm watching my HR, and I'm pushing pretty well in my threshold zone a first. Then as the gap opens, and my pace picks up on the descent, I back it off (why?) to a tempo effort.

I'm continually looking back, but I see nothing. I'm trying to look when there is enough straight road behind me, but it's tough. There is only one point where I think I see some riders, but it's a fleeting glimpse.

At the bottom of the descent, there are a lot of cabin areas. Sure enough with about a mile or so to go to the turn onto the last climb, two cars pull out in front of me. One with a boat on the back.... and I get caught behind them. Shoot! Now the chase is over. I don't really want to fly around the cars, so I sit up for a minute or so.

I make the turn and shift to start my solitary climb. It takes me about another minute to formulate my plan for the remainder of the race. I decide it is now training... so I shift to the cyclocross training mode. I decide I will set my climbing heart rate at threshold and work that for the remaining 4.5 miles to the top of this climb. Then I'll time trial the descent at the same or bigger effort. I have to split it like this, cause the thought of another 10 mile time trial didn't sound that great to me. So off I go.

At about the half way point, I see another solitary rider coming up behind me... OK, Now it's really cross. Work to stay ahead of him. More effort to maintain the gap. Next glance, the gap is MUCH smaller. Woah, this guys is catching me fast. Then, he's next to me.. and it's a woman, and she's flying! I try to grab her wheel, but I don't... and the gap starts opening. More resolve... now I'm in a cross chase mode. Keep her closer! It's actually easier when I'm chasing, the gap keeps opening, but slower. 2.5 miles to the top, 2 miles... counting it down. I can still see the woman up the road, but the gap is getting larger still. Fortunately the top comes earlier than I figured. Hurray. It's all down from here.

I'm still check behind me, but don't see anyone. I figure they are there, but I do not want anyone else to pass me. The woman is gone, and I start pressuring it the whole way down. I'm sure I was going down faster the second time than the first, it certainly took more effort. At the bottom, I still couldn't see anyone behind me, when I come past the camp ground and again get caught behind traffic. This one didn't slow me as much, as the ranger in the corner waved the car over and I was able to come around. The other car sped up and turned off before I was slowed more.

As I came by the lake, I kept looking back, but the traffic obstructed my view. I made the turn onto the main road, and had a pretty good view back... still clear, but I'm not going to relax until I'm over the line. Two more rises to the finish. As I get to the top of the first, I can see a group of 5 or 6 starting to gain on me. I have to get up here before they catch me. I'm sure I can, but where is the finish? As I crest the last climb, there's still 200meters to go, but the group behind hasn't started the last rise yet. So I'm home free.... ugh. I just worked really hard to hold onto 21st place (or so).

Behind me, Dave is in the group, and comes across a couple of guys back. Chris tells me he fell off the field at the top of the last climb. He thought he was over the thing, when the road turned up again, and that was it. He said he finished about 2 minutes in front of me.

The best news of the day was Tom again pulled out a stellar ride, taking third place! This was after he had come next to me during the second lap climb telling me how badly he was suffering.... I'm deciding to not believe a word of it. Or maybe I should treat him like Pettachi... the more he complains, the more I'll work for him. I've said it before, he's got to be the smartest rider on the team. No mater what happens during the race, he is somehow in the mix at the end. Very good job, Tom!

So, I was pretty down about not making the grade. I'm pretty sure I had the stuff to stay with, but convinced myself that I didn't need to do the work then. Coming into this year, I had set the season for learning. I knew about the cat 3 upgrade goal, so results weren't necessarily the target. Learning to ride at the next level was. I did have a goal of finishing with the field here though, since it's the same field I raced in last year. I did make it exactly one lap further into the race before popping off at exactly the spot that I warned everyone to be careful. And I see it as a mental fault, not physical. I just didn't move to the correct place in the field to finish the climb, and then didn't dig in to close the gap when it opened. The game is 90% mental, the other half is physical.

On the up side, during discussions with Dave and Tom, I realized that it wasn't really a cat 3/4 race, it was a master's race. The mixed field again changed the dynamic of the race, as there were more engines to make the race hard. And it was a hard race. According to Tom, the pace on the last climb was hotter than the first lap, so it was tenacity that was required to stay with. This was all verified when the final results were posted 3 hours later....

It turns out Tom was third overall, but 2nd in the 3/4 race. Chris popped at the top of the last climb and rode in to finish in 7th. I popped after the third climb, did a 20 mile time trial (effectively) and finished in 9th. Dave came in with his group right behind me for 11th. Aside from the nice placings in a hard race, Dave and I also feel we did the team thing. Dave by bringing Tom and Chris back in after the second climb, and me by contineing to encourage everyone every time I could.

The front group did catch the A riders we saw on the second climb, but it took an entire lap to do it. That was the second half of the field. It turns out that a group of 6 had gotten away during the first climb including the two Torrellis and Thom. Thom again got worked by team tactics as there were two teams with two, and two singles. Still he managed to make it to the top of the last climb before popping off, then maintained to the end to finish shortly behind the field.

Results are posted (already) at Interestingly, the results indicate that the 3/4 race was a minute faster than the 1/2 race. I'm not sure about the absolute times, though if true it's because the finishing 3/4+ field was larger than the 1/2 field. Now I've got my goals set for next year.

Next up.... the cross country mountain bike race, unless I decide to jump into the short track at 6pm. Hmm.... decisions.