So this past weekend, I competed in the 9th annual St. Marry's Food bank race, in the Ft. Valley loops of Flagstaff. I got to the Venue around 8am to get ready for my 9 O'Clock start, and I was surprised to see a bigger turn out then i remember in the previous years. I am quickly on the bike warming up around 8:30, and boy was it hot out!! I saw my competitors riding to the line, and they were definitely intimidating for my 16 year old self! I got to the line and there were about 30 Expert/Pros,(they combined Expert and Pro category), We were also going off with all the singlespeed class adding about another 16 guys making our total start line of about 45+ people!
So they gave us the start call and we were off. I knew I had to pace myself for the 32.9 mile race so i decided to just try and get a good start position, where I could just sit in and try and flow with the pack.. I got off the road and onto the singletrack in about 9th position. I quickly learned that the hard tail might have been a bad choice, but i was still crushing it through all the rough sections. I got to pipline and knew I had to make up some time on Lower Moto. I came through the lap zone with a 50:02 minute lap, again through with the second lap at 53:01 minutes, and i was in about 10th position at this time. The second lap was a bit more difficult, our class was faced with the obsticle to pass the sport and beginner riders. Then came lap #3 and my bike decided that It wanted to make me run! Right as I got onto the singletrack i needed my gears but something was stopping me from actually getting into an easier gear, forcing me to run through all the tough sections, which made up about.. well.. all of the climb to pipeline. Once I got to pipeline I cranked in a couple hard pedal strokes and my bike started to shift! It was shifting just not well! I flew down Moto and my legs were just about to fall off, "good thing its downhill" I said. I finished at a time of 2:43:38 and still managed 14 or something?? Overall! I was happy with the race, especially after experiencing the run of a lifetime! That was one long XC race!
Next stop is Tucson for a painful yet I think fun... TT! -Tyler