What do you call a 40 year old woman careening down a steep slope at high speeds on a mountain bike?
You call her an ambulance to take her to the insane asylum! The mid-life crisis has gone too far...
I was all prepared to enjoy a nice run today until a last minute change to my weekend training plan turned me into a registered athlete for the X-Trail Shoot-Out at Comite Park. If you are wondering what a "shoot-out" is, so was I as I was driving to it this morning. Apparently there are groups of mountain bikers who think riding as fast as you can on a 1 mile loop of treacherous trail is cause to compete with others of like mind. Each rider gets three attempts to ride the course for their best time, and that time is ranked against the other participants to determine the top three finishers.
|You're Going Down, Canada|
For the sake of "playing along" we arrive early in order to take a few practice runs on the course. Canada has coerced me into this, but without too much resistance as I figure it will be good training for our adventure races. Having been assured by Koko prior to arrival that there are no other women signed up for the race, I have already mentally taken my trophy home (and was not going to divulge the number of female participants when asked). I even truly thought I had a chance to beat out Canada, as she was dehydrated from tailgating and her feet were tender from walking all day in "cute shoes". Anyway, even without her disabilities, I find she can be a bit hesitant with her mountain bike, and I have No Fear. This surely will give me an advantage. So if anything, I will battle it out with her for first and second place.
|Canada, Coug, Susan, Christine|
And then Susan pulls in. Crap. There went first. And she's got Christine with her. I haven't ridden with her before, so I still think I can take her for second, maybe third. We all decide to take a few runs on the loop. I don't know if it was because I was excited or because I wasn't being timed, but my first run was quite good I thought. No major falls, and I felt like I got a good taste of what the course held. Confidence strong.
Practice loop two. Little shaky. Bit the dirt a few times. Testing out the course. No problem. I do think I will go back to the van and get my inhaler though. And some Gatorade. Man, I'm hot.
The race is male dominated, and there are only 6 women (including one 10 year old little girl). We line up by race number and I find myself behind Canada, but in front of a male rider. We are sent off one at a time with anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes in between each rider, depending on ability. Susan was the first rider in the pack and she has already returned with her super-fast time of 3:54. Canada heads out strong. I am geared to catch up to her and put some woop-ass on her. Finally I will conquer her in something - I am sure of it! Watch out for me! I am COUG! I am YARD GNOME! Beware my wrath!!
|Race Director Jeremy, Race Boss Koko, and Canada figuring splits|
I am confident that she doesn't have the mental skills to rally back on her final loop and age will prevail once and for all. She will crumble to the pressure of besting her time by three seconds! Fifth place is mine! And then it happens. Here she comes flying across the finish line. Seven seconds ahead of my best time. This is almost as bad as losing to the 82 year old relay team in the NOLA 70.3. The worst part is she is gloating about beating someone 30 years older than she is. Where's the respect??
So I went on an adventure today and as you all should know by now, with every adventure comes Lessons Learned:
1. Never judge a book by its cover and never assume a 10 year old won't kick your ass.
2. It hurts to fly over your handlebars and hit the ground going 15 miles an hour.
3. Bruises come in all sorts of shapes and color variations.
4. A one-mile Shoot Out was challenging. I can't even imagine what the Leadville 100 feels like. Hail to you O Susan. You are my hero.
|Showing me how to bow down before her...|
6. Unlike Adventure Racing, there is no good way to secure a camera during a Shoot-Out.
7. Red Bull tastes a bit like Jagermeister, but with a nice caffeine kick.
8. Knee highs make you look like a dork.
|My point being emphasized.|
10. If I don't stop this nonsense soon, someone is going to turn my husband in on suspicion of spousal abuse due to all of the bruising.
|Coug (Last Place) and Canada (Second)|
Name # Heat 1 Heat 2 Heat 3 Championship heat Awards
*S. Hayden 1 3:54 3:56 Fastest Female
C. Flanders 2 4:30 4:54 4:25
A. Sitar 3 3:57 3:49 3:50
B. Way 4 3:56 3:48 3:48
R. Kennedy 5 3:31 3:29 3:32
C. DiMarco 6 3:34 3:28 2:28
*C. Whitlow 7 5:08 4:53 4:50
P. Kelly 8 3:37 3:09 3:07 3:05
P. Moran 9 3:42 3:58 3:40
*A. Shawhan 10 5:02 4:28 4:47
*J. Pearson 11 5:58 5:17
J. St. Romain 12 3:40 3:32 3:32 Mystery Award Winner
R. Clark 13 3:05 3:10 3:04 2
C. Breaux 14 3:34 3:32
L. McBeth 15 3:33 3:30 3:33
M. Yotkois 16 3:20 3:16 3:12
R. Fabre 17 3:33 3:26
B. Decker 18 4:18 4:21 5:50
B. Bolden 19 4:01 3:46 3:50
J. Howe 20 3:27 DNF DNF
*V. Vail 21 5:30 5:20 5:10
J. Anderson 22 4:52 5:08
M. Prince 23 4:12 4:11
C. Rome 24 3:18 3:11 3:11 3:11
C. Bahlinger 25 4:05 4:36
T. Cortez 26 3:06 3:10 3:05 3
J. Vaughan 27 3:56 3:55 3:40
G. Melancon 28 3:32 3:12 3:19
J. Bailey 29 3:24 3:29
T. Haydel 30 3:03 3:12 2:59 2:59 1
E. Heyl 31 3:25 4:21 3:21 3:15
C. Becnel 32 3:16 3:16 3:11
T. Becnel 33 4:51 4:27 4:30
*S. Becnel 34 5:03 4:52 5:28
*P. Buitron 35 5:27 5:01
J. Evans 36 3:35 3:27 3:12
Bill 37 3:32 3:30 3:24
D. Hays 38 3:34 4:02 3:17
J. Roby 39 3:22 3:18 DNF
Evan 40 3:40
G. LeBlanc 41 3:52 3:45
J. Cobb 43 DNF
B. Saucier 64 3:20 3:43
*denotes female racer...yes, we had 7 women race!!! way to represent!!!