I did have a good start - by design (thanks to Andy Applegate @ Asheville Velosports for drilling this into us at the camp). Based on my (very) limited experience, I can't believe that there is any other single more important thing in a cross race than your start. I got to the first corner in 3rd position and passed #2 after a few corners. #1 and I toggled back and forth a few times on the 2nd lap, and I finished my 3rd lap (and therefore the end of my race) a few bike lengths behind #1, who went on to win the A's, two laps later. I really was cooked, though ... not sure I would have had the goods to hold position #2 for another two laps had I raced with the A's ... my fitness just isn't very deep yet. Nonetheless, I'm thankful for the good start, the win and the schwag that ensued.
I absolutely love them. I will definitely be sporting these pool-side come springtime ... and maybe to a few races. Other goodies included a very cool gold cyclocross medalion (which I may very well attach to a gold chain and wear around) and a very strange hair accessory that I refuse to wear. Ever. Well, unless I dress for an 80's party, that it is -- then I would dig it.
I owe my good result to my very cool Specialized tricross with the best dialed-in fit by Wobble-naught fit doctor Jim Baldesare (even though he won't give me stickers to put on my bike), Tim and the NC CX crew who put on the 'cross clinic at this same venue a few weeks ago (giving me a heads-up on the course), JNK for lending his cx wheels so I could have wheels in the pit and peace-o-mind, and my coach JB for making sure my head was screwed on straight for the race!
The 323i has grown on me over the last couple of months. It's a great go-to-the-races car. Here you can see both my road (driver side) and 'cross bike (passenger side). The best thing about the car? The heated seats, for sure ... I believe its the best pre- and post-race therapy you can give your legs. No matter how hot out it is, I love having the heat on my legs while driving -- even if that means I have to crank up the AC. I also need to give props to John G of The Two Johns Cycling Podcast for gifting the sweet Team Sparkasse pro-issue bag to me ... and thanks to the other John for acquiescing.
Now, I know what you are thinking: What is the deal with the super-huge race number?? I'm advocating for women-specific race number sizing ... because this is rediculous. It's practically 8.5 x 11 .... we might as well pin the New York Times to our backs. I'll bet if you look closely enough you can pick it up on Google satellite imagery. Last week I tried the trick of folding over the 'promo' lines along the top and bottom and pinning on just the number - very svelte - and did I ever get the business at the start line ... little did the official know it only fired me up that much more ...
This was my favorite feature of the course ... uphill barriers. The great thing was that the barriers were mountable - more like steps, really - so I just ran up them like steps instead of trying to jump over them. No, I didn't bunny-hop them like the guy in the first photo ... not yet, at least.