Women Cat 1 - Pro/Expert - 2nd place
Great, fun, muddy race in South Florida.
So here we are at our local race…
The weekend as per the weather forecast was supposed to be nearly perfect. However during our pre-ride we discovered that parts of the course was flooded and blocked off. To add to it I have been feeling somewhat sick for most of the week culminating just at the evening before the race. I felt awful, lost my voice completely, which I can imagine any husband would find quite appealing and have been kept up at night by the standard flu symptoms. When alarm went off at 6 am all I wanted to do was to crawl even deeper under my covers and stay there for the whole day. Last thing on my mind was getting up and driving to the race site, but I decided to go after making a pact with our beloved “Misty” cat that straight from the race and a nice shower we will all charge back to bed for a well-deserved nap. Misty agreed and it was the only thing that kept me going throughout the rest of the day.
After arriving to the race site we noticed that it rained even more, however the flooded parts of the course had been opened and will be used during the race.
Funny that on the second or third lap of my race I noticed that the muddy trail was named “Swamp Trail”, really, I never noticed that name before but it was definitely appropriate.
Lots of things changed in recent months in Amelia but mostly it was impossible to notice the hilly and heavy carpeted additions in the front of the park and also on the back sections. Some boulders and shipping containers were also implemented on the race track where we had to go under, over and through them. It made the race definitely more costly as far as energy goes and also more interesting in a way but what happened to be a big plus, crowd friendly. Therefore a great amount of people gathered at those sections and were able to cheer us all on.
Even though it was expected that there was going to be less of the competition during the Coconut Cup races I was still hoping for a better turnout in my class. Either way, more ladies to race is always better, but even with having myself and another rider I knew I would still be doing my best no matter what.
Also I knew my best today with being sick was not going to be the best thing out there, but I just really wanted to have great ride and just do what I can.
From the start we were taken right away through the pot holes and straight to the climbs. Shortly after we biked directly to the Swamp Trail… it was slippery there, extremely muddy and it was the most root infested part of the course. The rest of the trail system felt fast with slightly wet and muddy corners to watch out for. After our first and quite fast lap it started to rain… Things changed quickly from bad to worst and the first thing that was off were the totally fogged up glasses. It was so hard to see anything and especially on the slow parts of the course, where I managed to almost run off the trail because of it.
The rain felt good however, and it gave a nice cooling effect. Next thing that come along with it was even more slippery roots, bigger potholes, looser corners and yes mud splattering all over our bikes, bodies and faces… You would think that this made me frustrated seeing my focused face, but really this is when I started to enjoy the race even more and if you could look in I was all smiles on the inside…
I think it was this extra element that after all made this race very different, more fun, enjoyable and challenging. So the second lap was way slower than the first by almost two minutes and this trend did carry across all racing classes. The numerous climbs and descents on the course were great to ride and at the same time very taxing. Like usual the passing scenarios were all interesting and different, from guys being super sweet, funny, jerky or just clumsy with occasional falls right in front of me which would not help with my race progress. For that reason I miss a lot riding in the ladies sport class which starts on the end and doesn’t have to go through all of it during their race.
During the third lap the rain left the building and it became slightly easier to ride, however with not much of a visible time split improvement. I think I finished quite strong with only minute and a half to the leader Kathy.
Having people I don’ t even know giving me complements and telling me how good I’m riding makes me feel that I’m definitely doing what I am supposed to right now.
I have a good time and I’m constantly improving, I could not ask really for more.
Afterwards I decided to go for little run around the lake when the other classes were still racing.
I could glimpse on people riding the hills and see the race site from the opposite side of the lake. I was so close but so far away… It rained again, it was gloomy, and water droplets were landing all over my face and were saturating my clothing. I was tired, very grounded but there was something ethereal about my run. I felt very alive and very connected and it reminded me of myself way back in Poland where I was thriving on moments like this one. The ripples in the water, the music in my ears, the wind around me, ground under my feet, warm breath…
There is something very mysterious about our whole existence and there are those rare times where we can feel in every cell in our body and with all the senses we have the endless energy of the universe.
And this is when our love for life and the feelings that we crave for come together …
|Thanks to Humberto...|
And like usual big Thanks to my husband Pax and all my amazing Sponsors:
Bike Tech Miami, Syntace, Magura USA, Stan’s Notubes, Schwalbe, ESI Grips, Clif, Xpedo, Trainer Road, Garden of Life, Pro Gold, Kuat Racks, Light & Motion, Selle Italia, KT tape and Louis Garneau!