Sunday, May 10, 2009

Race Report: Ontario Cup #2, Albion

The start: nice and clean, sunny skies and eager to get out on the course

The finish: Just happy to be done. Kisses from Tessa who liked the dried Clif Shot stuck to my chin.

Happy Mother's Day first of all. I was lucky enough to get to spend the weekend at my parents' house in Port Elgin. For the first time in a long time, I hand-delivered my mom's card. This was largely enabled by the minivan, as I have had a race on Mother's Day Sunday for years and years, so travelling has always sort of been at other people's mercy.
Anyway, back to the race, my mother always told me that if i didn't have anything nice to say, then I should not say anything at all. Which means this blog will be a short one. Yup, it was that kind of day.

* Saturday (the day before the race) the course was under water ... and Albion doesn't drain well. At all.
* The original course was thrown out, and a rain course adopted instead
* It was qualifier day for Juniors and Cadets hoping to make it to the Canada Summer Games, so our category was nice and full
* It took me a long time to finish the race. Sufferfest.

The first half of the course was tacky and beautiful. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and I started to wonder if the worst of it had been worn-in by the earlier start times. Then reality came crashing down with the first of the mud bogs on the second half of the course. Deep, soupy, poo-smelling mud sucked up our wheels right over the hubs. You come roaring into a “puddle” only to be stopped oh-so-suddenly and then you have to put your feet in it too. The bike weighed more than I could carry, and my feet made sucking sounds that reminded me of cow hooves in the feed pen with every laborious step. The mud collected to gears making shifting a luxury. It got stuck between the frame and the wheels, so they couldn't turn until you dug it out with your gloves. Just before the lap ended, there was one last lake to cross that washed off the mud, but left your feet cold and wet to start your next lap, and the whole muddy process over again.

So ... that's all I have to say about that. My only comment is that I've never wanted to quit a race more. But I didn’t, and that to me is a victory in itself.

Thanks to Liz for the photos above, and for taking care of me in the feed zone!

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