Next came the Hoo Ha. After a long, hectic week at work, I decided to focus my efforts on the XC race rather than trying to tack on the short track and Super D. Arriving in Harrisonburg on Saturday night, my friends and I were treated to a hearty burrito dinner prepared by the infamous Nick Waite. We sat on his lazy front porch, sipping boxed wine as an evening storm rolled in. The following day well ALL lined up at the starting line to race one of the most historic races in the mid-Atlantic. I think it might actually be the longest running mtb race on the East Coast, but I would have to crosscheck that statement before passing it along as fact. Nick was telling me that mtb races used to always include a pond jump as one of the events. Why did that ever die?! We need to bring pond jumping back to the mid-Atlantic.
The mass start proved to be a bit confusing and frustrating, especially for the amateur women who never really know who exactly they are racing or how many ladies are actually in their field. Dry conditions made for great handling over roots and rocks on the climb; however, I felt like I was going to slide out at any moment on the descent. With my hydration blunder still fresh in my mind from the weekend before, I took full advantage of all the neutral feeds, using the cool water to keep my core body temperature down. Unfortunately, two of the fastest girls in our field suffered major damage to their rear derailleurs, opening up an opportunity for me to have a better finish than I originally thought possible. Lindsay Honaker continued to race even after having worked on her bike for over 40 minutes only to race the final lap on her make-shift single speed. What an animal. Sorting through the tangled web of erroneous race results was a test of both patience and manners, but at the end of the day I got to climb to the top of the podium. Yay!
Oh, and in other news, I went home to Miami for my grandmother’s 93rd birthday back in June. She is so freaking cute it breaks my heart.