This year is my fifth season of racing 'cross. I remember back in 2006 when my good friend Cris told me that I needed to "try" a 'cross race to see what it was like. I finished 14 races that season, and have been hooked ever since.
Despite wins on the road and on the MTB between then and now, I haven't been able to get a win on the 'cross bike. Last weekend at Green Mountain, that changed - finally! Of course, I had to race the "old ladies" (W 35+) to get the win, but I'll still take it.
I was excited when I saw that Alan was going to offer a Master's Women's field, and signed up for that category to support the effort, and in the hopes that more promoters would offer a field specifically for Master's Women. The only downside? We raced at the same time as the 3/4 women (same start time - no gap), but had to stage IN THE BACK ROW! DOH! It was a challenge to get past many of the women in front. I pulled a bit of a dicey move, starting in the middle of the last row, taking 3 pedal strokes, and moving immediately to the far right to move my way up the field.
I could see the leaders of the 3/4 race ahead of me, and put my head down to make as much progress as I could. Part way through the third and final lap, I looked and could see the 2nd place woman in my field behind. At that point, the race was mine to lose, and I didn't want her to catch. I buried myself, running scared, to the line - using the 3/4 field as rabbits (I passed my teammate Sam, but she passed me back and I was too gassed to get back by her). I managed to cross the line ahead of the remainder of the 35+ field to take my first ever 'cross win! Wahoo!
Sunday's race wasn't as kind. I got stuck in some 3/4 traffic forcing me to come to a complete stop at one point, and the leaders were gone. Every time I would catch on, they would accelerate and I couldn't respond. I finished just off the podium in 4th place on Sunday, disappointed that I hadn't had a better race.
The next Verge series race is in New Gloucester, ME, and John G has also added a W 35+ field! Looking forward to getting out and trying my hand again. Before then, there is a lot of racing to do - starting with Suckerbrook tomorrow!
*Disclaimer - the grammatically incorrect title was written by an English major ;)