Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Race Report- Summerset Shootout

CITA put on the Summerset Shootout just north of Indianola this weekend. The race that was supposed to go down last summer, but had to be postponed due to flooding of epic proportions was well worth the wait. I think the trail crew put the extra year to great use extending and dialing in many sections on the north end and while some trail was lost on the south, I don't think too many people noticed through the haze of pounding hearts.

Quick Stats:
Placing- 8th Men's Cat 2 (9th overall)
Time: 1:23:26
Avg Heart Rate: 184 (max seen 195)

Must be early in the race since I'm still smiling

With the rainy mud race at Sylvan Island and a rainout postponement for Ingawanis, I was predicting a pretty heavy turnout for IMBCS #3 if the sunshine held as predicted. It turned out to be a beautiful day and the racers turned out in what appeared to be excellent numbers as well. Considering I'd ridden a whopping 3 beginner races and the Dirty Du to round out my impressive racing resume, I wasn't quite sure what to expect moving up to the sport class aka "Cat 2" this year. I'm not sure if I made a faux-pas or not, but I wandered my way to the front row as everyone lined up. Having ridden at least a few laps at Summerset, I knew the key was going to be a holeshot into the first section and then work it out from there. Obviously this was a loosely guarded secret as most of the field went for the holeshot.

Woohoo, downhilling

And then locking up the rear

I decided it was best that I not contest for a top spot going into the woods and drifted back somewhere mid-pack as I entered the singletrack. As I expected the first section of the north side was hurry up and wait. I passed a couple people that were having issues with the technical terrain and were kind enough to pull off. I also passed one guy on a run up that I'm not too sure he was entirely happy about as I squeezed him as the trail came back to one, but I never saw him again. After that it was concentrate on trying to keep as much flow going as possible without running over the guys in front of me. I know I went down at least a couple times on the first lap and donated some skin and blood from my elbow on once occasion, but I really couldn't tell you where as I was mostly concentrating on the line and listening to my heart pound in my ears.

Fullers Drop (the easy way)

As the trail opened up to the first section of double track, I put the hammer down and rounded 2 or 3 riders. I also gained another spot from Bruce Brown on the 2nd section of the north side and then promptly fell down a couple more times so I let him have it back. I waited for further passing until we hit the pavement and then hightailed it past another rider or two as I hustled towards Riverside. I really wasn't that worried about Riverside, but in hindsight, I probably should have ridden it one more time before the race. I nearly went down on the first sandy corner and narrowly avoided a stabbing hazard as I started into the sand. At the first deep spot my wheel sank in to a sudden stop and tried to throw me over the bars. Thus far the "easy" section was handling me about as roughly as the north side. I managed to find my way out though and hit the gas again once we were back on the tarmac.

Throughout the 2nd lap I started passing more riders that appeared to have gone out a bit hard and were losing steam. I fell a few more times, let a few riders both in my class and single speeders by, and got my flow a bit more. At the end of the 2nd lap I tossed one empty bottle only to have it wound a spectator as it slid across the grass and bounced off her foot. Sorry! I was starting to feel some signs of cramping on the 3rd lap, but knew it would be over soon enough. I finally managed to not slide off the trail in a spot that had been plaguing me, but still had to run several of the loose rocky climbs after stalling out.

Somewhere in the bikini beach section (I think)

As I hit the next to last section of pavement I had a rider bridge up to me only to set up in my draft. I told him to go ahead and pass, but he said he was a single speed so it didn't matter. It actually turned out to be Matt from down Creston way. I gave him the lead as we hit Riverside and figured he'd be gone. I tailed him all the way through the trail and actually picked up the pace from previous laps on that section. We both pushed each other to race this section rather than using it as recovery. Once we hit the final stretch of pavement I put it in the big ring and gave it all I had left. I was gassed as I shot across the line and happy we weren't doing 4 laps.

Photos stolen from Courtney, Jared, and possibly some others in the flickr pool.

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