Friday 13th - a bad omen? possibly!
I think I started the day badly, took the grandparents shopping and they treated me to a full cooked breakfast while we were out, probably not the best decision I've made!
Also had some car problems, MOT tomorrow and the back seats got stuck, as did the rear seatbelt so after much panicking my dad managed to get the seats out (so that I could get the bike in the car!)- hopefully we can fix it early tomorrow morning.
So, to the race.
I arrived nice and early so got in the queue to sign on. even with my hoody over my jumper I was freezing, and it was raining - should have brought a coat. Once I was signed on I went to get the bike, decided that with being told much of the course is on a motor cross track, and remembering some difficult bits last year I decided that the rain was going to make it difficult so put my flat pedals on before doing my practise lap.
I knew during this lap that it wasn't going to be the most enjoyable race, the course just wasn't suiting my style of riding - there were several really tough bits which I knew I'd have to try hard to not crash on during the race (several people crashed in front of me on the warm up lap!). Had about 20 minutes to kill before the start so just rode around near the start to keep warm (yes it really was freezing!)
And we were off, already feeling a bit below par thanks to a cold/ hayfever I didn't hit it as hard at the start as I could have done, this didn't matter because there was a bit of a bottleneck at the first obstacle so everyone was bunched up for the first lap anyway.
I spent the first 1 and a half laps jostling for position with someone that has consistently been a few places ahead of me, and between us we were gaining on someone further ahead. All good then, right? Already I could feel my nose streaming and I was struggling to get my breath as much as I would have liked, but I kept pushing hard, I used the last open stretch on this lap to get a drink - tricky until I get my camelbak sorted as I can't get a bottle in my frame, and bottle is pretty snug in jersey so difficult to get in and out. Faffing about here cost me time but I was sure I could make it up on the next open bit - I can keep up with some of the quick guys on my sprints down the straights!
So I kept pushing and pushing, unfortunately, shortly after starting lap 3 I started to feel really sick (assuming this was a combination of poor race day nutrition, and perhaps making my drink a bit strong today) I tried to push through it but had to ease off a little bit otherwise it might have got messy. My hopes of beating the person who I'd been competing with had gone, I
saw her leaving one of the singletrack sections before I'd even got there.
Nearly got knocked off by one of the fast boys coming through - he got a bit carried away and had over estimated the gap between me and the fence, thankfully we both kept our balance, and he apologised before zooming off.
So for the final lap and a half I was determined to carry on (I've finished every race I've done so far!), a new contender this week had also caught me up. I couldn't lose another place so carried on pushing as much as I could, having not had a bell or call as I started the 4th lap I was unsure if it would be the last lap, but was hoping it was, and thankfully yes, a final sprint at the end to ensure I wasn't caught and i finished.
So potential to do really well, didn't quite achieve expectations but not too bad, definitely beat a couple of people and points are points! results out tomorrow so we'll seee.
Also, lots of professional looking photographers - a couple definitely got me so should be nice to see some pictures!
Next race is next Friday (although may not pre-enter this one as car issues may alter my schedule with coming home from uni), all being well I'll be there and will perform well - if the course is similar to last years it'll be good - some nice singletrack complete with a big grassy climb to kill everyone!