It was a tough pill to swallow when I ended up with flu symptoms Friday afternoon. My wife had picked up something at work Thursday and despite our best efforts, two of my kids and I fell ill as well. Two sleepless nights with a fever isn't really the best lead up to a race.
I drew inspiration from Joshua Weiss, an accomplished cyclocross racer, who recently completed the Chuckanut 50, his first ultra marathon while under the influence of strep throat. Although he likely invested a lot more time preparing for his ultra marathon than I did for Barry's Roubiax, it's hard to let a non-life threatening illness get in the way. The weather was supposed to be pretty good, so I decided I would race.
|Waiting for the Category 3/4 race to start. Then it's our turn!|
A couple of the guys were setting the pace the whole race and they kept trying to wave people through to take a pull and complaining about nobody wanting to work. Despite their complaints, they resumed their pace making duties whenever their offer was declined. I felt there was no need to cooperate as there was no breakaway to close down. Perhaps I was wrong but to me, this is racing and there is no need for me to work for anyone.
Our group was down to 6 riders by the time we got the bell lap. I was sitting on the back just trying to finish things out. As we entered the final kilometre or so, there was a pretty big acceleration and I stuck with the group, bumping elbows with a guy to maintain position. He apologized and I gave him my best "I'm on the rivet at 38 km/h shrug" and said, "That's racing." Shortly after that, another acceleration came and at this point I just didn't have anymore to give. I wasn't mentally able to push myself to keep up and my legs didn't feel like cooperating either.
I finished 5th in the novice men's category. A pretty good result for being sick...except there were only 6 starters in the category.
On the plus side, I was happy with the 35 km/h average speed. Half of the race was on gravel and I was sick. I figured my speed might be a little slower. I've never really sustained much contact while riding the bike, so not going down in a heap when bumping elbows at speed is also a good thing to take away.
Despite the lessons I learned from Joshua's blog, I was pretty much mentally defeated during the race. I spent too much time dwelling on how I couldn't do well because I was sick and how I was tired and had to work that night. Also, I definitely need to work on my cornering. I wasn't ever happy with the line or my speed exiting the gravel dyke and getting back on the roadway. I had to chase back to the group every time. Perhaps my mental state had something to do with that as well.
It was definitely a tough race personally, but I enjoyed the course and the event was run smoothly. One thing that did bother me was even though we had fancy timing chips supplied by Cycling BC, there is no timing data available. I figured I would be able to see my lap times and the time gaps. Perhaps that information will be available in the future?
Doug Brons again took some great pictures of the race, I haven't seen any others posted on the internet yet. Local Ride has a detailed report on the other categories and the full results here.
Thanks for reading!