After looking at the predictor I decided to reg for the 45+ race. Figured it would give me a chance for a front row start based on points and would also allow me to watch the singlespeed and the 3/4 race. Cory, Tucker and I had done this race last year and it was a great course. Very little change this year though some of the turns were a bit easier and they removed one rooty section. Very open start leading into multiple grass turns, then around a soccer field, thru fast, flat barriers, up a hill and then down for a tricky 180 degree turn around a tree, back up and onto a paved climb. Climb tops out on pavement for an out and back stretch, then a sweeping paved downhill thru a brief gravel section on to grass for a few tight turns before hitting a good run-up. More up, down, turns and through a rooty section (a little like the upper part of Noho) then to the back section with more wide grassy fast turns to complete the lap.
Lined up in the front row. Botched the start a bit but got into 4th in the
first few turns, was in second when we exited the barriers. Guy in
front of me dumped it around the tree and I was at the front of the
race. Never been there before, kind of a shock. Stayed on the gas for
the remainder of the first lap and remained in the lead. Cory and Dan
urging me on when I hit the run-up for the second time. Heading down
the paved path in the back section of the course I saw a gap between the
stakes and kept going straight - quickly realized that section of tape
was broken and I was off the course! Leapt the tape back onto the course
with one guy behind me, three dudes had passed us when he followed me
off the course. Someone must have busted through that tape on the first
lap and apparently other guys in my race made the same mistake as me.
So now in 4th chasing the three leaders. Went through the finish and
saw 5 to go. If I remember correctly I nearly made contact with the
back of the group after the barriers but then they dumped me on the
climb. Kept chasing for the remainder of the race but the gap to the
three leaders held around 30 seconds, my gap to 5th place about the
same. No matter how hard I tried to close it I just couldn't get back
to them and they ended up increasing the gap and I put a little more
time into the guy in 5th. Finished up just off the podium in 4th. Thanks again to Cory and
Dan for the coaching throughout the race -- kept me steady and on the
gas with that one mishap off course my only mistake.
Submitted by Ken