Number 3 of the Wisconsin Offroad Racing series brought us to the well kept trail system of CamRock near Cambridge, WI.
Friday prior to the race I decided to go "pre-preride" the trails, as I called it "reinforcement class" since I wasn't very familiar with the park. It was a good idea!
I could take time by myself to do a couple laps and learn more about each section as I am practicing the most I can to develop my technical handling skills on the bike.
It seems still a struggle for me to find a proper fit on my bike (size?) and do not feel very secure with all turns and obstacles. Nevertheless there was quite a good amount of elevation gain and a bit of open double track sections that I like. Going through the course and visualising my race, I promised myself, especially on sections I felt secure, that I would commit to push extra hard each time. I also had some of Nathans advisory sentences such as "make them hurt/they are hurting too", "attack over and over", "make your race" in my mind.
I was honored and looking forward to be able to race a experienced rider and racer, with amazing skills Leia Schneeberger and was also respectful since it is her "home course". Also, other names on the start list showed it would be a competitive race.
The atmosphere on the start line
was incredible easy and joyful. As the current points leader getting the first call up it is an honour to be able to choose my place at the line.
The women lining up are really awesome personalities and athletes and as we have been consistently showing up to the races, getting to know each other is fun. Additionally all Elite Women were trying to communicate and figure out how many laps and what exact course we would be racing. It was because we were told the elite women would race 3 laps of the "Sport course", which is only a little different than the full course that I pre-rode, cutting out a actually pretty fun techy climb followed by twisty descend before re-encountering the main course and passing the lap banner.
The typical "blabla"
My rolled ankle from the last wors race still wasnt completely healed but enough that I felt better on the bike than actually walking. I wasn't feeling super awake or fit, a bit nervous, but as I'm getting used to racing and collecting more experience, I know, once I get going my usually super low blood pressure will come up and the heart rate will be on race mode. So it was.
As the start signal sounds
we rush up the hill, that is a climb of around 1.30 mins until we reach a short flat that is the feedzone then entering the first singletrack and downhill.
I managed to enter the singletrack first, felt a little sketchy at first, but the more the race went on, I kept pushing, getting more comfortable with my bike and telling myself to push hard especially to make up for my shortcomings on certain spots.
I didn't notice that I started dropping the riders behind me
but was rather concentrated in doing my thing. And again, lapped riders of other categories were extremely helpful and polite whenever I asked to pass. I am so impressed by that and so thankful.
On the third part of the first lap I was so close to my limit that, after a climb, even standing up the saddle to go downhill burned in my legs like crazy. But the downhill still provided me with enough time to recover and keep going.
KEEP THE PROMISE
Like I promised myself, I would keep pushing hard and extra hard every time I could. Even when I was close to my limit I would tell myself in my head:
You promised. Go! Sprint!
In this Video you can see the open sections nearby the lap banner and feedzone.
Lap after lap
and section after section, I kept working and rushing my way through. Poor chipmunks must have been annoyed and scared, not knowing where to run (so many of them throughout the course!) and I even met a little snake that was right in the middle of a trail.
they said at the feed-zone, when I passed - without getting a bottle since Nathan said he wasn't expecting me that early (or fast!) which I felt really good about actually *lol*.
I can only remember seeing his shocked face and trying to stand up fast as he saw me rush through! But he handed me a bottle later in the woods which was helpful because it was warm weather.
THE FINISH LINE
was right there and I was so happy with my race. I kept my promise to myself, was so thankful to have family and friends cheering, watching and supporting. I had some tears of thankful and happy emotions.
RESULTS were super satisfactory! I didn't fade at all and stayed consistent, doing the same time for every lap:
Even though often encountering my limits, this race I was able to actually have fun and feel way more confident on the trails.
I enjoy meeting the people and being a part of this racing community. Thanks to the support of family, friends and sponsors! I love hearing the cheering voices out there.
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Congrats all racers out there! 🙌