When we got to the race start and started warming up I felt pretty good. That was until after warming up I stopped to put bit of air in my fork aaaaand the valve broke. So I spent the last 20 minutes before the race running around looking for a tool to tighten the inside of my schrader valve of my fork. I didn't even know those came loose! Anyway, Phil Mowatt and the CCN trailer saved the day and I was on the start line moments before the race began. Phew!
The race it's started out pretty smoothly, on a paved road, then on a gravel road, but as the pack thinned out and the switch-backs started I knew I was probably getting in over my head. At one point I remember saying to another racer behind me, "I'm pretty sure we're riding this backwards". He thought that was funny!? One of my favourite parts of the race was when an old(er -don't want to offend anyone) guy passed me in his spandex onesie and a hardtail with a seat higher than my head. As he rode by he kept repeating "Slow and steady, slow and steady..." Haha, I guess it does work. I'm not too sure that he won the race though.
About 2/3rds of the way though the race I had a bit of a crash, which I only vaguely remember. I'm guessing it was because I was getting really tired at that point and was having trouble squeezing my brake levers with adequate force. Anyway I went over the bars descending a rooty section and although my brand new white helmet took the worst of it, my knees started leaking and made for the rather sticky mess pictured below.
Anyway, all's well that ends well. I finished the race in 4 hours flat and finished 3rd in my Senior Women's category. I almost made it to my Acupuncture exam on time, and the grass and dirt stains on my new helmet came off quite nicely with a little Mr Clean Magic Eraser.
Maybe in a few months I'll forget about the switch backs and sign up for another one of these crazy races. To my spandex-clad mountain bike brethren, people say downhilling is crazy, but you guys are bananas.
Pictured below - People lining up for the Sufferfest and me Post-race enjoying sitting on something other than my bike seat.