Sara and I drove up from Akron in the morning and arrived at the race. I was amazed by the amount of people that attended. There were 500+ men there. Sara and I warmed up before the race and met up with some of her Grunt Girl team mates. I'm really glad she got on the team as all the girls are really nice women. Before the race, Sara moved up to the front as she wanted to actually compete and the other Grunt girls and I lined up about mid pack. I thought I'd be around them and run a steady pace. The race started I took the first turn and wanted to go. So I went, pushing myself to run a little faster than I had on my other training runs. While running, a girl turned around and told the guy I was running next to "I'll see you later." I turned to him and told him, we could be the guys with girlfriends who are faster than us. I soon dropped him too. The course ended by going around the block. I had secretly wished to do a sub 25 minute 5k. Didn't think it was possible, since the fastest I had run that distance was 28 minutes. When I turned the corner, I saw the clock and it read 23 minutes. I ended up coming in at 24:11 with a 7:55 minute/mile pace. Didn't think that would happen.
Sunday was the Kirtland Park Cross race. Sarah and I arrived at 10:30, well before the noon start. So we were able to walk to course, then do a slow ride to pick out lines, a faster ride to see if the lines would work. Then I took Robert Sroka on a lap to help him out on the lines as well. After signing up we still had almost a half hour to warm up some more. By the time the race started I had a good grasp of the course.
Sara's race was first and she kicked ass. She ended up 13th overall and the first woman by a large margin. She looked strong and was riding really well. I would like to think I've helped her to become a better cross racer, by teaching her some of the skills and showing her lines and how to pace herself, but in truth she's a beast and will kick most people in whatever she puts her mind to.
My race started next, I lined up on the second row. This led to a not so good start for me as the bottle neck lost me some positions. I had planned to be to the inside of the climb on the non-preferred line, to my dismay I got stuck on the preferred line and got bottlenecked and had to walk up the hill. From there on I started picking off positions on the climbs and descents. The first lap I passed someone going down a hill by continuing to pedal. I flew up the climbs but then lost positions on the long flat. It was a great course with lots of climbing and technical descents. The highlight had to be the amphitheater, thanks Robert and Johnny P for putting that in the course.
I ended up finishing in 21st, one place behind my top 20 I had hoped. Over all I had fun. Big Props to Robert Sroka, for his 2nd in B's, Johnny 8th in A's and Sara for her 13th.
Thanks Camba, Bike Authority, Rudy Project, Ritchey products, Kenda and Crank Brothers for helping me race.