Steve and I spent just about the entire weekend at Burns Park in North Little Rock, AR. It was hot and humid, as usual, but I could think of worse ways to spend a weekend.
Saturday morning, Steve raced the Dog Dayz XTERRA. The top 4 swimmers all arrived at pretty much the same time with Steve first out of the water. Amongst the top four was my friend Jocelyn Wood from Oklahoma. (She puts so much time into her competitors during the swim and bike legs that they don't stand a chance!)
Out of T1, Steve took a wrong turn and entered the single track in 3rd place behind the eventual winner, Chuck Olinger from Texas, and Jocelyn. He caught and passed Jocelyn during the bike leg. Despite a good run leg, Steve never managed to catch Chuck, finishing a few minutes behind. Joey Guajardo of Texas (the winner of XTERRA Eureka Springs) took third after struggling during the swim. Overall, it was a great race for him Now, he's looking forward to the Jonesboro XTERRA. (His chances are good to take the AR series win.)
Saturday afternoon I showed up for the short track events. The women were supposed to have a separate race, but since I was the only female racer, they ran me with the A men. After a Le Mans start, all the men rode away from me and I rode around and around by myself for about 30 minutes. (The A men race 30 minutes plus 2 laps, but shortly before racing I was screwing around and slammed into the ground trying to do a wheelie. The race director kindly shortened my time to 20 min +2. Next time I'll remember to hit that right brake before it's too late.) Just for showing up, I ended up with a pair of wool socks and a box of margarita flavored Shot Bloks. Good stuff!
Sunday morning brought the XC race. Steve took his turn as videographer while I raced against some really tough chicks including Jocelyn, my friend and climbing partner Keshari Thakali and Suzanne Karklins among others. The race was 2.5 laps.
The first half lap and most of the first full lap, the four of us were riding together with Suzanne leading the way. Jocelyn had some chain trouble and fell off the pace for a while, but worked her way up and wasted no time in making a move on the rest of us.
Eventually, Suzanne and I caught back up to Jocelyn and the two of them battled it out some more. I was having a great time watching them race while doing my best to match their pace.
When Suzanne made her final move toward the top of the 2x4 climb and Jocelyn didn't match the effort, I went around and tried my best to get close to Suzanne. At one point, I got within, maybe 15 seconds, but she pulled away again through a techy section and won. I came in second which I am thrilled about. Jocelyn ran her bike across the line for 3rd (more chain trouble) and Keshari was right behind in 4th with no grip under her left hand. Mechanicals suck!
The Fat Tire Festival in Eureka Springs on July 16-17 should bring even more competition and more good racing for us women. Now, if I can motivate myself to get on my bike and train between now and then...