A Different Kind of Race Day
Race day used to mean countless hours of training and an extended ritual of preparations. There was the carefully planned dinner and breakfast (along with tapering and carbo-loading), plus no alcohol, arrival hours before the start and a thorough warmup on the trainer. There was always some level of familiarity with the course too. Racing is serious business for roadies (and some cx-ers) no matter the category or age. Stomach knots were not uncommon.
Fast forward a few years to now. Team Quirk is arriving at the race course with twenty minutes till the start, toddler in tears because an hour is way too long in the car seat. There’s a ready-to-brew drip cup of coffee still on the kitchen counter, and part two of breakfast is a banana crammed hastily as we roll into Greensboro. It’s a 6-hour enduro mtb race and we’ve decided en route that I should take the first 1-2 laps. Never mind that I’ve never seen the course before, and I’m generally the one who needs more time to warm up. Did I mention my mountain bike was purchased with the intention of goofing around between race seasons?
Armed with the knowledge that this course was full of ascents, descents and roots, and a quick run-down from the race promoter, we tackled the unfamiliar course like pros (still fueled no doubt by a hearty tartiflette at dinner). However, while our co-ed duo competitors were pumping each other up with “You’ve got this, babe” as they swiftly traded off laps, we were just trying to stay near the transition area around the appointed time, and keep our little one from running down to the fishing pier alone.
In the end, we had a successful day. I logged 32 miles of trails, more than I would have done outside a race scenario, and they were quicker than my usual pace. We just missed the podium (and some sweet owl prizes), but both spouses got to ride that day. Plus, the little guy got to throw tons of sticks and say hi to a stuffed, mounted bear more times than we could count.
Special recognition to Sportique Century Cream for keeping the chamois situation controlled, and to Honey Stinger for the quick, easy and super-tasty nutrition.