I kept repeating that phrase over and over in my head after I crossed the finish line on Sunday, after 45 minutes of agony in the mud. I had actually entered a competition, and then come out ahead of all the other competitors. I almost couldn't believe it.
In the midst of all the SSCXWC-related happenings this weekend, it would have been easy to overlook the fact that there was a full day of "normal" CX racing happening on Sunday, out at Pacific Raceways in Kent. In addition to being registered (and qualified) for the SSCXWC race, I signed up for the Cat 4 race as well, since I've really been enjoying racing with that group of guys each week.
The course was another muddy slop-fest, much like the Beverly Park race from a few weeks back, but this one threw in some amazing course elements, like some BMX-style whoops (aka "pump track"), a fly-over, and some steep descents followed immediately by steep run-ups. After pre-riding the course, I was ecstatic to ride it for real, no matter how I ended up placing.
|The fly-over. Photo courtesy of SpotShot Events.|
When the "gun" went off (meaning they yelled "GO!"), I jumped out front with a few other guys from the front row. I made it under the fly-over with no problems, and proceeded to sit on the leader's wheel for a half-lap or so, watching the lines he chose through the muck. Eventually I passed him when he got tripped up on a slow section.
|Passing under the fly-over on the 1st lap. Photo courtesy of SpotShot Events|
|Must have been the first lap; I'm too clean. Photo courtesy of Dennis Crane.|
And I won. I fucking WON! It still feels good to say, some 36 hours later. I'm going to savor this as much as possible, because I'm sure I won't have too many more moments like this. Especially next year, when I jump into the big pool and give the Category 3s a shot. Back of the pack here I come!
I'm just glad I got to taste a tiny bit of victory first. It tasted like mud.