I had a little excitement in my dull life this past weekend. Clara was gracious enough to drive down from Rhode Island to hang out with me for the weekend, and go to a race with me. I took off from work early on Friday, and we drove down to Winchester, VA for the day (a half way point between DC and the Saturday’s race in West Virginia). Cool little city, with some civil war history, and some statues paying tribute to George Washington’s early time there as a lowly surveyor. We stayed in a fantastic hotel and ate at a sweet little wine market/cafe where I got prime rib and brussel sprouts.
Saturday drove out to Mathias, WV for the Lost River road race. Awesome race run by one of the biggest clubs in the nation, and always well done. Here’s my race report:
Saturday afternoon I lined up with a whole crew of Coppi Cat 4′s (Chris, Doug, Geoff, Taylor, Jason, Rich, Skip) for the annual hot and hilly Lost River road race. This year it ended up being a 27 mi Cat 4 race. This race report is going to be fairly brief and/or rambling, as my memory is somewhat lacking. The first two laps were pretty steady. Not a hammer fest, but enough to keep things moving along and shrink the field substantially. Several people tried to get off the front, but we were happy to let them dangle, for the most part. I did my best to stay near the front, but not on a front. Chris Rabadi from Raw Talent Ranch put in about 10 half hearted attacks. At one point a group of 7 of us had a little gap, but we didn’t work well together and were shortly caught. As the third lap was under way, I looked around and noticed Jason right behind me. Awesome, teamwork opportunity. Which came shortly later, when Rabadi and sketchy Route 1 Velo guy (who’s name I forget, lucky him) crashed each other out. I came to a full stop, but didn’t go down. I wove around the wreckage, looked back, and saw Jason coming up quickly behind me. With a quick “let’s go, Pat!”, I was on his wheel and Jason dragged me back to what was left of the pack. At this point we were ~24 miles in and I figured we had 7 miles left, because the race flyer said 31 miles. But then we got to the finishing hill, and I said to myself, “hey, the finishing climb surely isn’t 5 miles long?”. We kept the pace hard up the hill, but nobody wanted to attack too early. I started to fall off, and thought about yelling some encouraging words to Jason to also let him know I wasn’t going to be a factor. But I held off, and clawed back on. At which point Jason put a little dig in, but forgot we had 300m to go to the finish. He sat back in, and I sat on his wheel. With about 150m to go things got going in earnest, and Jason did a great job of following wheels. I did what I could to stay on him, and passed one guy in the mix. He got 4th, and I got 5th. And, on top of that, as soon as grabbed my cold towel from a volunteer and turned around, I saw Geoff roll in for 14th, refusing to let the painful final climb slow him down. Overall it was a great race, and I had a great time hanging out with everyone afterwards in our heat-induced stupor.
I earned myself $20, which I promptly spent on burgers at Foster’s on the way home for Clara and I.