Monday, October 29, 2007

Canton Cup

In New England (or New Belgium as Zanc likes to say), Canton has become almost as popular a 'cross race as Gloucester. I really liked this course last year, and I LOVED it this year - I just wish the results showed that enthusiasm ;-).

Mike and I got to to the venue really early, in time to talk to all TWELVE of the NEBC 3/4 women lined up to race, as well as a handful of other women I know. WOW! I have to say, it was so impressive seeing so many teammates and friends on the starting line, and you all had TERRIFIC races! I think I had more fun cheering all of you on than I did in my own race. A special congrats to Libby on her second place finish.

I socialized with the women's team some before watching Mike, Wayne, Jim and Edzo in the Masters 35+ race. Despite what he says was a "bad start" Mike managed to jump from group to group in his race, finishing 23rd in a field of 66 finishers. He looked strong throughout, but I particularly like this picture as he is determined to beat the guy who finished ahead of him the day before at Brockton ;-). Kudos also to Edzo - he wanted (I think) to quit, but hung in to finish the race, and according to the posted results, wasn't last!

After Mike finished his race, I headed over to the car to get warmed up for my race. That meant that I didn't get to see all of Scott's race, but he did well, finishing 10th despite breaking his brand new shoes!

In my race, I desperately wanted to have a good start, after having such a poor one in Brockton the day before. I was focused. I concentrated. I set my HRM one minute before we really started. I was ready. I counted down from 10, and....nothing. I ended up going into the woods DFL. I don't even know what happened, except that I did get somewhat boxed in with racers on the right having to skinny-up. I really need to practice the start - I've had such mixed results with it this year.

So, I sat DFL, trailing Roz P for the entire first lap. Mike cheered. Don cheered. Gewilli cheered. Scott and ML cheered. Kathy, Geoff, Linda and Karin cheered. Other people cheered. And still, I was DFL. But then my legs kicked in. And Roz slowed up in a section. And Susanne faltered on a small uphill. I took advantage and got a bit of a gap. And then I remembered everything I yelled at my teammates earlier in the day - sprint out of the corners! Smooth and steady! Each lap, Mike and our friend Don let me know that my advantage was increasing, so I made sure not to let up, no matter how much it hurt. I sprinted every corner, botched the barriers, and sprinted some more to hold them off. I ended up finishing third from last, but was happy with how I ended up racing in the end.

Yup, racing with the Elites kicks my butt. But it is also helping me to become a stronger racer, and I look forward to getting my butt kicked some more before the season is done ;-).

For additional pics from the Women's 3/4 race, Masters 35+ race, the start of the 2/3 race and the Elite women's race, click here.


claudia said...

Your enthusiasm and love for your racing really shines through these posts. Ride on!

(P.S. was forced onto the trainer yesterday for my earliest basement riding ever.)

Trigirlpink said...

Did you notice the winner's time in the 3/4 race compared with your finishing time? You most definitely should be racing in that catagory. Ah... little fish in a big pond, but I'd put money on it.. not for too long! :-)

My husband says " Cathy looks really strong.. I think what you can try and learn from her is how NOT to be timid… You really have to ATTACK the race like she does."