Tuesday, August 28, 2012

...aaannd we're back

I don't really know where to begin, but let's start with "I'm writing this from my new almost-home in Flagstaff, Arizona." Yep. My lovely girlfriend has taken a new job here, and instead of shredding evening laps in White Park for the past 2.5 weeks - I've been enjoying the brown velcro singletrack of Coconino National Forest, courtesy of the the daily afternoon thunderstorms. Apparently, it's the best time of the year to ride here - the "monsoon season". Although I have no other time of year to compare it to, yet, I'd have to agree. The riding is ridiculously good, comparable to West Virginia with a twist.

Sounds like a vacation, huh? (It's really not)

Somehow I missed a blog post in July, even though I repeatedly reminded myself to get it done. (not out of necessity, but because I really do like to write a blog post once in awhile)

Here's a list of excuses, which will double as my July update:

  • All of a sudden we're moving 2000 miles across the country

Okay then, here's the August update, starting in late June:

  • 6/25: Deep bruise to left calf muscle (result of "falling" into a "sippy hole" at the HillyBilly Roubaix...just off the leaders). Finished, but probably wasn't a good idea to do so. 2 weeks off the bike. 
  • 7/12 to 7/15: "DNF's in Tour of the Valley" - Decent Friday TT. Too much work on the front Saturday plus embarrassing seatpost slippage put me OTB with a lap to go - I was over the whole "riding with my knees hitting my chin" thing, so...DNF #1. Sunday was far worse - physically I just didn't have it. Covered one move for a few laps and was dropped. DNF #2. Probably shouldn't have pedaled for pints the Thursday before the TT. (so much fun, though)
  • Weekend of 7/21: "DFL in the Mapletown Road Race" - I'm pretty sure I was the very last finisher - I mean, at least I was in the running for it. Definitely last in the 3/4 field by a solid 20 minutes. Probably shouldn't have ridden those 80 miles the day before, then to and from the Race (with pit wheels on my back) plus a few extra miles for the weekend double century. (so much fun, though) Whatever, I heard Steevo rode there, too - and probably won.
  • 7/26 to 8/1: "Rain - lots of it" - Moved 1.5 houses into 12' of semi-trailer bound for Arizona.
  • 8/2: "Pedaled for that first pint" - finally
  • 8/5: Deep bruise to left calf muscle. Yes, again (result of stacking it before the last creek crossing at the White Park MTB Race...riding 6th overall). Didn't finish. Bonus injuries: deep bruise to tissue behind left knee, bruised and lacerated right patella. 
  • 8/6: Work a full day then pack car full of "important" items to move. Hang $10000 worth of bikes off the back (their safe passage in the hands of six haggard cam straps and a rack that's "not made for this car"), while other (some may say, perhaps - less worthy) bikes travel securely on the roof because "that's the way they fit the best". (all my own decisions) Drive 28 hours to Albuquerque, NM.
  • 8/8: Drive to Flagstaff, AZ. Moving truck arrives in afternoon. Unload entire moving truck.
  • 8/9-8/24: "Absolute Chaos" - Really tired, unpack, setup, go shopping, coffee, get lost, get found, hot tub, heal, massage, work (remotely), bouldering, publish, coffee, ride, climb, coffee, Raleigh Mountain Tour, singlespeed, Pay 'n Take, beer, SnowBowl, Coconino NF, coffee, trails, lava field techy-tech, Rocky Ridge, Rocky Moto, oatmeal chocolate chip, fish tacos, Ralberto's breakfast burrito...
  • 8/25: "Race" - Ride 10 miles uphill to local MTB race. Manage a 7th out of 16 in the pro/expert field for my age group on a singlespeed. Ride/ghostride 10 miles home by 1pm...absolutely shelled. Family comes to visit at 1:30. Spend rest of day/night as zombie showing them around town.
  • 8/26-present: Recover.
I've had some decent fitness it seems, but some not-so-great luck, etc. Whatever, it's been fun.

Did I mention that I'm getting married in November (in WV), we have two houses to sell, and I have no job in Flagstaff? That I'll be flying and driving back and forth between here and Morgantown at least 8 times before the end of the year? How much fun does that sou.....wait, what?

Did you know that CYCLOCROSS SEASON IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER? I mean it is ALMOST SEPTEMBER!! WHAT WAS I TYPING BEFORE CYCLOCROSS? I CAN'T SEEM TO RECALL...

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IT IS RAD AND YOU WILL DO IT.

I will be back in WV for cyclocross (and ultracross, but that's another post).

The season is almost upon us. Good luck and good fun to all :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bitter Sweet

The final 2012 ABRA Road Race took place this past Saturday which means that the 2012 road racing season is pretty much over for the year.  Although mentally I am not yet ready to quit racing for the year my body is pretty much burn-out right now.  I do not do cyclocross so I will probably take some time off the bike come September / October.  However, if I did do cyclocross you can bet I would be racing all the 2012 Cyclocross Series sponsored by Pro Bikes races. 

On Saturday, August 25th at the Appalachia Visited road race my teammate Derek tore it up in the Category 3/4 race.  While I was getting dropped from the lead group on the final climb Derek was riding to the front taking charge.  I am pretty sure that he took a couple of my Honey Stinger energy gels out of my back pocket before riding to the front on the climb so this is most likely what gave him the turbo boost in those last 10 or so miles.  Maybe I should have been munching on a delicious Honey Stinger waffle at this point, or just throwing a rope around Derek and having him get me over that last climb.  However, I as able to finish the race and my Kenda Kaliente Pro tires kept me upright and the ProGold lube I used on my chain the day before made for quiet and smooth shifting.  After the finish of the race many of the riders cooled off in the Cheat River located in beautiful Rowlesburg, WV.  I instead opted to sit down under a shady pavilion at the very nice Rowlesburg Riverside Park and enjoy a tasty milkshake from the park’s concession stand.

Thank you very much to the town of Rowlesburg, WV for hosting the last 2012 ABRA Road Race and thank you to J.R. Petsko for another great 2012 ABRA Road Race series.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tour of the Valley Recap

This year marked the first time I would compete in the Tour of the Valley omnium as a part of the category 3 team.  Brian knew a few of the guys from the Buffalo team, and assured us those would be the guys to watch out for.  Stage 1 was the individual time trial, an event I felt very confident in going into the race.  during our pre-ride I decided that due to the wind, I would switch from a 90MM front wheel to a 56MM wheel...a good decision.  I rode the entire course at about 60% and felt very good.  At the start, however, I rolled over a bump in the road about a half mile in and my seatpost popped!  I hadn't checked to see if all the bolts were tight and one wasn't!  the nose of my seatpost went straight down, so I was in a very uncomfortable position only a half-mile in.  I spent the next 8 miles pulling up on the nose of the seatpost, while still attempting to put in a respectable time, knowing every second could count.  I finished well down in the overall, disappointed, but knowing I had tried my best.


After the first stage, we were in second place in the overall, trailing The Bike Shop of Buffalo, just like Brian had predicted.
     Stage 2 was the road race, where Billy, Brian and I all felt confident going in to possibly take back some time on the guys from NY.  The new course was a lot less up and down than last year, which was a positive for me, since I was dropped on the second lap on the last climb.  The race was actually very uneventful - everyone seemed to know it would end in a bunch sprint.  Going into the finale, Brian, Billy and I talked and agreed that since Brian had a compact crank, they would lead me out to see how I would fare, but as is normal in racing, anything can happen...I was in the middle of the field with 1K to go, Billy was on the right of the group, and Brian was on the left side.  Brian ended up very well-placed with Billy and I safely in the field.  The only big news was that a Bike Shop rider was relegated to the end of the entire race due to a bad yellow-line infringement, which dropped their team to 3rd in the overall!  We were leading Team Iron City of Pittsburgh now by 10 seconds heading into the stage 3 criterium!
     Going into stage 3, I was a little apprehensive, knowing that they were the better team in criteriums on paper.  We knew that we would have to give it our all to stay in contention, so we did a good warm up and lined up with all the others, eager to see how the final stage would shake out.  The course had a steep little rise before the start-finish line, and we would do 30 laps.  After a few laps, Billy could not hold the pace and was pulled from the race after 2 days of hard racing, covering numerous moves in the road race.  That left Brian and I against 3 Iron City racers.  2 laps later, one of the Iron City racers was pulled and we were now 10 seconds behind in the overall, unbeknownst to us!  Then the rain started and it was a MADHOUSE!  first, there was a pile-up in the third corner...then there was a tour bus on the backside of the course...then there was a car on the backside of the course.  with 2 to go, another of the rival team's riders skidded out in a corner, and I knew that if Brian and I simply finished, we had the overall wrapped up!  The last 2 laps flew by with nobody making any substantial moves and we won!  We were all ticked to death when we went up on the podium, and proudly wear our Team Yellow Jerseys!




Next up is the final round of the road series, the Appalachia Visited road race!  With the amount of climbing, I have a feeling that we will have a few podium finishers, both in the race and the overall!

Thanks for reading,

Ben

Appalachian Road Race Course Pre-ride

Several members of the team enjoyed a great ride of the Appalachian Road Race course today. Looks like there's a lot of new pavement out there. Everyone was riding strong and looking forward to next weekend!

Chris Jones leads the train through the early haze and fog.

Macarons as Motivation

If you happen to be out riding, and you find yourself near Rising Creek Bakery in Mt. Morris, then I recommend you stop in. They are super friendly to cyclists, and they were even a sponsor of an ABRA race early in the season.

I often set up self-management contingencies with myself (I am a behavior analyst after all) during solo road rides when I am riding out of and around Mt. Morris.  An example of such a contingency would be: if I ride 40 miles, then I get to buy some macarons when my ride is over. Highly motivating!

Derek loves peanut butter, so I often buy him one of these when I stop in:
This delicious specimen is a Rising Creek nutter butter.

My personal favorites are the aforementioned macarons. Light, almondy, and delicious. Their breakfasts and lunches are delicious too. My brother raves about their tomato gravy. 

Do some hill repeats then scarf some nutter butters. You deserve it.

*They did not pay me to say any of this. I love those macarons that much.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pushing Boundaries

For the most part, I've spent most of the spring and summer on road racing. Although when the opportunity arises, I've dabbled in the occasional XC race. On Saturday, August 4th, I tried something completely different. That being the Big Bear Ultra (enduro) XC race. For those that don't know, the event is a 50 mile mountain bike race that is almost entirely on singletrack. Since its Big Bear, the singletrack is also very rocky.

In terms of training, I was not even close to being "prepared" for this kind of race. Sure my base fitness from training for 50+ mile road races was there, but I hadn't done a 50+ mile ride since the Mapletown Road Race. Rather, being in contention to win the ABRA crit series, I had decided to go all-in on criterium training, so my training was spent more on short, high intensity efforts, as opposed to long steady miles. In addition, miles on the mountain bike are a completely different animal. Mountain biking makes more use of the upper body, especially on technical terrain. Also, technical skills need to be constantly maintained - Hike-a-bike takes far more energy than riding does. So comparatively speaking, given that my year-to-date time on the mountain bike equaled about 80 miles, I knew this was going to be tough.

Given how difficult I knew this was going to be, I still really wanted to do this race - for a few reasons. Personally, I love riding at Big Bear, and it is my favorite place to ride. Most importantly, I just wanted to say I did the race. Knowing this August might be my last in the area, I wanted to take a shot at it. My goal was to finish in 6 hours. It seemed like a reasonable goal. In 2011 I finished the "lite" version of the race, which is about 23 miles in 3:10:52. I was pretty sure my technical ability, despite my limited riding, had increased enough to shave off a good chunk of that time.

On the morning of the race, I arrived pretty early. Mostly because I hadn't been to Big Bear since April and thought it took a lot longer to get there. After a short pep talk with Todd Latocha, I filled my bottles with CamelBak elixir and ate a Honey Singer waffle and lined up.

Being somewhat familiar with the intro-prologue, I lined up pretty much in the back. I did this because the prologue is pretty technical, and I always feel bad on the mountain bike when I screw up and hold people behind me up. Also it was a long race, so I didn't see any reason to waste any energy early.

Once the race started, with about 75 people all starting at once, the initial bottleneck was pretty laughable. I went into the drop-in starting the prologue maybe 50th-ish wheel. Surprisingly got through it fairly well, definitely better than in the past and set off on "crack trail", which runs for about the first 10 miles and the "crack" for which the trail name is derived, is probably the most difficult feature in all of Big Bear.

Although I had no intention of going fast, right away I quickly found myself stuck behind people who were going slower than the pace I wanted to go. Not being in a hurry, I dealt with it for a little while, until I realized that these riders weren't significantly better at technical than I was and in fact, were really taking some terrible lines. Knowing I probably wouldn't slow them up later if I made an effort to pass, I did so and continued onward at a good steady pace.

Eventually I caught up to two other riders who I could tell were going slow, but they knew what they were doing. So I stayed behind them. They would gain time on me in the tougher parts, but not significantly. We went into the "crack" of crack trail together, and while I normally don't care how slow I go through here, our commotion had infuriated a nearby nest of bees. With me being the last to go through, their anger was directly unleashed on me and I got stung on the left thigh.

"Hey guys, do you mind picking up the pace? I'm getting stung by bees" were the words that immediately came out of my mouth, and fortunately we all got out fairly quickly after that. As I set back on the bike, the sting on the leg really started hurting. Not so much that quitting seemed like an option, but it was painful enough so that I had a hard time focusing and couldn't keep up with the two guys ahead. After maybe 10-15 minutes, I was able to refocus and settled in once more.

The crack trail section ends with a long fire road climb to Aid #1, which is the only fire road section of the course. I was still ok on water and gels, so I skipped the aid station and continued. In between Aid #1 and Aid #2 was a short, steep climb, which for the first time, I successfully completed, while making about 5 passes from people who couldn't make it. Afterwards, it seemed like I was riding the trails a lot better than in the past, which helped build confidence, which I knew I would need for "little Canaan trail".

Little Canaan trail is probably my least favorite trail, mostly because I have no idea how to ride most of it. I also don't have a good track record with it. As can be seen from this video. My time through here was not very good. The combination of being overly weary and not remembering it well made me go slower than I probably needed to. I also took a wrong turn and lost about 5 minutes before noticing something wasn't right. But, I came out unscathed, which was the important part. From here, it was only a short trip to mile 23 and the end of lap 1.

I finished lap 1 in 3:05:36, which I felt pretty good about. I was mostly happy that I shaved time off from a year ago while purposely going slower and losing time from a wrong turn. Knowing the second half was "easier" I was pretty sure I could make or come close to my 6 hour goal. I switched out my empty bottles, ate some food and set off for lap 2.

Lap 2 started with a bunch of trails I was pretty familiar with, and I pushed through these pretty well. However, soon enough the race continued into a trail section I had never done before, and I was not prepared for it. Underestimating the length this trail would run prior to reaching Aid #5 (the first since the start of lap 2), I slowly found myself in a position where water rationing became necessary.

This was not good.

I bonked hard from a similar situation at Tour of Tucker this year, and I didn't want a repeat of the same to happen again. As a result, I started shutting down my pace, but this was only having a limited effect. After being 30 miles into the race, my body was starting to get exhausted more from the terrain rather than the pace. Not before long, I was out of water and just hoping to make it to the aid station.

Eventually, I got to it and I took a much needed break. After resting for probably 10 minutes, I got going, knowing there was about 16-18 miles to go. At this point my time was nearing 4:30:00, and I knew my 6 hour goal was in serious doubt. Although I could still pedal at a reasonable speed, it was't easy to do so. Complicating the matter was that I was riding solo, so finding motivation to push on became increasingly difficult.

As the miles slowly went on, every little rock garden seemed to take more and more effort to get through. Every feature looked just a little bit harder. Every descent became that much more hand-numbing. Yet, just when morale had seemingly reached its lowest point, I hit a stretch of trails that I knew led back to the finish. With finishing being a sole motivator, I found some extra strength and pushed on to the finish, even putting in a little sprint at the end.

Afterwards, I promptly set my bike down and collapsed on the ground. I didn't feel as awful as after Tucker County, but my body was done. While lying on the ground, it wasn't long before I was presented with a "recovery drink", to which I naturally obliged, even though I barely kept it down.

Recovery drink.
In the end, I finished with a time of 6:33:43 and was 16th of 34 in my category (only 19 finished). Even though I didn't meet my goal, this roadie was happy to have finished one of the toughest mountain bike races in the region.



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For the Win: The Book Worm Sprint Triathlon

The Transition Zone after the Race

Couple of weeks ago I decided that I had been doing a lot of cycling racing and wanted to go do something different.  I had had a tough race at the ABRA mapletown race, coming in 13th out of a very small field of only about 25 riders.  It wasn't a course that favored me and I think I was still fatigued from Tour of the Valley the weekend before.  I was feeling a little discouraged, as it dawned on me that USAT Nationals was coming, and it was coming quick.  I started looking at various sport calendars to see what was out there that would get me back on track and sharpen my fitness and skills for nationals.


I found the Book Worm Triathlon in Scottdale, PA. Scottdale is a pretty nice little town only about 50 minutes from Morgantown, so the location was good.  And it was only $40 even if you signed up day of the event (plus it went to the library).  And it was a sprint triathlon, with a pool swim (300 yards), a 12 mile bike, and a 5k run. I debated doing it as I knew I was still feeling the effects of my constant cycling racing with my team.  But the course didn't look too demanding, and the timing was great so I decided I'd do it.

After confirming with the race director that I could sign up day of (who was very courteous and seemed to know what he was doing- said he was a triathlete himself) I set off early saturday morning for Scottdale.

I got there plenty early after getting up at 5am and eating a bagel.  I didn't feel too swell, I will admit.  I was tired.  But my legs didn't feel sore, just general fatigue.  I hadn't backed off on training the week before so it's not surprising that I was feeling a little bit tired.

Upon showing up I immediately ran into fellow area triathlete Bill Ulmer.  I know Bill as he sold me my very first set of aero wheels.  I still use the front, and indeed used it in this race.  We chatted a bit and he told me I had a good shot at winning the race, as he knew everyone there and there wasn't really anyone to challenge me.  Now, that made me feel good, but Bill himself is pretty fast, and not being familiar with who was on the race list, I was still not convinced.

I signed up, and got my body marking.  I gathered my things and headed around the back side of the library to the transition area.  If I have 1 complaint about the race, this is it: no bike racks.  I had to lay my bike on the ground on top of my transition bag.  Bummer.  I also was way way in the back around a corner almost in the parking lot, as far as you could be from the pool exit.  I knew that probably didn't matter, and just went about setting up my area like I always do.

I got a look at the competition, and it was the usual mix of what appeared to be fast, average, and beginner triathletes.  I actually was surprised being such a small race how many really nice bikes there were...but of course there were also some full suspension walmart mountain bikes as well.  In little races (approx. 50 people) like this you always get a good mix.

I set up pretty quickly, and sat and waited for the pre-race briefing.  Being a pool swim, there were heats and so I didn't start until 8am.  The first wave went off at 7:30; I had lots of time to get myself warmed up.

After the meeting, which was pretty standard, I dropped extra stuff off at the car with Carly, and I did a 15 minute jog/run warm up.  I got back to the pool (right next to the library and the transition area) sweaty and thirsty.  Ugh.  I drank some camelbak elixir and had my final honey stinger gel (with caffiene).

The pool area was super hot, and I knew that meant this was going to be a warm pool.  No big deal, the swim was really short I'd be out in a flash anyways- probably a good thing actually as it'd help me warm up more for the bike.

I was in the last lane, with a 30 something guy, and a 13 year old kid.  We had to swim 4 people to lane, which was actually more like 2 people to a normal lane because they took out 1/2 the lane lines.  It looked a little chaotic, but seemed to be working fine.  But because I had signed up day of, I only had 3 people in my lane.

I got to do a full lap before I had to start, which was good.  I felt really great in the water, so maybe my day was going to go well!

At the whistle, I took off like a rocket.  I mean, I went off at 50m pace (probably 32 second pace).  I figured I just wanted to get away from the others in my lane.

Thing was, the 13 year old stuck with me for the whole first 50!  I was surprised.  It made me smile; he was crushing it!

But after another lap he was already falling off.  My pace also, of course, slacked a bit as I can't hold 34-35seconds for more than a 100-150.  I ended up pulling myself out of the pool in just smidge under 4:00.  Not stellar, but totally respectable.

I was the first one out in my heat, and although we can't be sure, I think I also had the fastest swim overall.  We had tried to time the first heat swimmers but missed the first guy exiting the water somehow.  There were no splits in the results so not sure.  It doesn't really matter, but I had wanted to have the fastest splits across the board.

I ran down the deck (carefully) and out the door to the transition area.  They had carpet down on the pavement leading to the transition, very professional.  I was impressed.  I quickly grabbed the roo' and took off back out of the transition area.  I lept onto my bike at the mount line (also a professional little detail) and took off.

The bike course had been on map my ride, so I knew approximately what I was up against.  I thought.

There were lots of volunteers on course to send me the right direction.  The course starts in town and heads out away from it in a loop that ends the same way it starts.  There is a decent climb in the beginning, but it's not until you get out of town a bit that the pitches really start to come.  The profile said that it was basically up on the way out and down on the way back.

 But I had misread the map my ride...and it wasn't 328ft of eleveation gain...it was 328 meters!  Big difference.  This course was much much hillier than I thought.  A couple times I was in 1st gear, and 1 time I even got out of the saddle because I was only going about 10mph.

At 15minutes in I passed some faster looking riders heading back that were from the first heat.  That helped me focus not on the toughness of the course but on being smooth and getting back as quickly as I could, keeping my eye on the win.

The course is really nice, all through farm country and on really quiet roads.  But like I said it's tough!

And, a nice surprise to me again, the course ended up being almost 14 miles- 13.70 miles.  So at 11 miles I was figuring I was already almost back again, but it ended up being almost another 10 minutes! Which wasn't that big a deal, but I'm glad it wasn't much further because I only had 1 small bottle of elixir and it was just about gone.

I got back in 39 minutes, 226 watts average, 20.6mph average.  That's pretty damn good for me.  I was psyched to see my power numbers that high, as my watts have been disappointingly low as of late.  I had major drag feeling on the bike, same thing I've been feeling for the last couple weeks on the bike.  Still trying to figure it out!!!  So frustrating!

Got back and ran into transition, and Carly was yelling at me to hurry.  Gee, thanks Carly :).  She had timed the first few guys, and Bill, who was the first back in heat 1.  She told me that my bike time was about a minute faster than his, plus with transition and my swim I was almost 2 minutes in front already.  I was pretty confident at this stage that I could win, but I was nervous about how the run would go.  I haven't been running nearly enough, like 6-12 miles a week, and I didn't know if maybe there was a super fast runner in the group that could knock out my lead and the win.

I took off out of transition, and realized I had forgot my Garmin!  I had to go back.  I probably lost 30 seconds.  Oh well, I wouldn't do it in a big race, but I wanted it for this course so I could have the data.

The course is pretty much perfectly flat, except for a very short downhill going out, and a short steep up hill on the way back.  I motored down the side streets and across the main road to the rail trail the majority of the 5k of the run was on.

The course goes out to the end of this rail trail, turns around and comes back, takes a detour right about half way back, goes out to a main road and turns right again.  Then you run out that way about a half mile, turn around and come back.  At the fork you turn back the way you came and finish along the route you ran out, except at the very end (last 500m or so) you run straight up a small hill and into a nice little park.

At the first turn I was averaging just over a 6 minute mile.  That was pretty good, but I was struggling to keep my head in the game with no one around me and no one to try and chase down, and no one chasing behind.  I don't have a lot of experience being on the front, and I often find that I start to play mind games.  It's easy to sit here and say that I'm just being silly and I need to harden up and suck it up, etc., but when you're racing you're not the same.

So by the water station at the fork I had started to slow, and the middle mile dropped down to about 6:35.  The next part of the course was a little confusing, but pretty straight forward once I saw the cones leading off into the distance.  The only thing that was surprising on course was at the turn around there was no one telling you to turn around.

YOU FORGOT YOUR GARMIN!
The last mile seemed to drag along, but I glanced at my watch and saw that I could potentially break an hour for my transition, bike, and run time total.  That got me going again, and I ended up doing a 6:20 mile for the last mile.

I crossed the line pretty unceremoniously, Carly screaming for me like usual.  I had no idea where I placed, but I saw my time was about 1:05.  I figured with my solid swim, good bike, and a decent run, I should have clinched the win...

I walked over to a pavilion where they had some water and some food...and some really delicious fruit!  Peaches, plums, cherries...it was all so good!  What a perfect post-race treat!  I had a couple peaches and a plum, and then we walked back to the library and the car.

I gathered up my stuff from transition, and loaded it into the car, changed my clothes and hammered a bottle of elixir, and some whey protein.  I caught the RD and told him that the race was great and that I was impressed with how many volunteers they had.  He said that they got 12 unexpected ones that morning, and he was very happy with how things went.

We then headed back over to the little park for the awards.  The awards were posted up.  I meanered over and as I got close I heard some murmuring, and I got a little nervous.  I looked at the results...I was 3rd.

At first I just stared at the results not really knowing what to think.  But Carly snapped me out of it with "that's impossible- you were two minutes ahead coming back to T2!!!".   But we just walked away for a second and Carly was pretty mad.  I didn't really know what to think; maybe they did beat me, I didn't know who the 2nd place guy was but Bill was in first.  I knew he wasn't slow.  I was surprised though.

But then logic kicked in and I realized that there was probably a mistake, and I asked a racer standing looking at the results if there had been any problems, and he told me that Bill and the 2nd place racer hadn't run the whole course (unintentionally, there was some confusion I guess)!  OOOHHHH...now it makes sense.

Carly then told me she heard Bill talking to a volunteer saying he had turned around because he got confused and so didn't run the whole course.  He's an honest guy, so I was sure he had told the RD.  So then I went back to the results again.

I noticed there was a guy sitting there that looked about the age of the 2nd place guy, 21 years old, so I went over to talk to him.  I asked him if he was the 2nd place guy and he said yes.  I asked him what happened, and he basically said the same thing we already knew.  I told him that was too bad, because he really would have done very well (probably 4th or 5th overall).  But, and I didn't say this, it's always the racers responsibility to know the course; ALWAYS.  I asked him if he wanted to go talk to the RD with me or not, and he declined.

So I went to find the RD.  He was busy carrying some boxes and looked busy but I tried to walk with him and talk to him.

But he already knew what had happened and he told me he was going to have to DQ (disqualify) those first two guys- Bill and the young guy.  Said that Bill asked to be DQ'd, because he hadn't done the whole thing.  Stand up guy.

This made me feel better, but until the RD actually called my name I was a little nervous I wouldn't get the win.

But he did.  And I did.  He called my name and Carly was beaming, and he announced my time and made some kind of comment like "and on this course that is really fast!" or something like that, and in the crowd I heard "oohhh" and "wow" and they all clapped.  I was pretty proud at that moment.

With that we left because we wanted to get home to Gus.  All in all, a good day, at a really nice little race.  It was only their first year, so I was very impressed.  I will likely be back next year, schedule allowing!

Total Time was 1:04:54