Monday, November 19, 2007

Hillsboro Stadium - Cross Crusade #7

Cross Crusade race #7
November 18, 2007
Hillsboro Stadium, OR
Masters 35+ A race

We asked for rain, We.Got.Rain.

The Portland area finally started getting some rain this week so the ground was fully saturated by race time. I woke up early on Sunday to the patter patter of rain on our roof and new it was going to be a race of epic proportions.
After spending the morning playing with the kids I loaded up the car with the bikes and gear. I arrived at the course at about 12:00 for my 2:00 race. It had continued to rain all afternoon and there was little chance that it would let up.

I set up my trainer and tried to hide under the rear door of my Subaru. Thankfully, a neighbor with a pop up tent invited me under their shelter. I gladly obliged. After setting up my bike under their tent I grabbed my Single Speed (pit bike) and rode over to the vendor area for registration and a cup of coffee courtesy of Chris King.

Before heading back to the car, I watched a bit of the B race and at it's completion I decided to do a preride on the course - Because of the conditions, I opted to ride the pit bike. It was a good thing, because it was so muddy, starting with my A bike covered in mud would have been a bit of a disadvantage. At the completion of 1 lap I was covered in mud. A team mate of mine saw me and asked how my race went... I promptly informed him that I had only prerode the course. Epic.

Back to the car and tent. I warmed up for about 15 minutes then decided to race around the parking lot a bit. Not sure if this was a good idea as I was soaked by the time 2:00 rolled around.

The Hillsboro Stadium course has always been mostly flat. The course designers use the parking lot as well as the periphery areas of the stadium to their fullest potential. There were two sets of double barriers — one set placed before a micro hill and another along a wide open section. There were two - I hesitate to call them puddles, maybe bogs is a better term that were only semi rideable depending on your line and the line of the guys a head of you. I managed to ride both of them some of the time. Towards the end of the race I gave up trying to ride the biggest 'bog' and ended up running through the shin deep 'water'. There were portions of the course where I was scared to blink, as every time I shut my eyes I smeared a glaze of mud over my eyeballs... Yes, that feels as bad as it sounds. There were large portions of the course I raced by braile.
I have no idea how I did - Somewhere between 15th and 20th I think. Apparently the officials are having a hard time determining placement as well as all of us were basically indistinguishable mud men by the end of the race.UPDATE: 11/20/07 Looks like the official results are in and I got 17th place out of 46+ riders. I did 6 laps. The top riders (1=9th place did 7 laps). Next year I need to figure out how to bridge to these guys.

I was VERY cold after the race was over. It took me a good 30 minutes to get out of my muddy clothes, rinse my body off, rinse off my bike (sort of) and get into something warm and dry. Driving home I had the heater on full blast, and my toes and fingers weren't truly warm until I took a hot shower at home.

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