Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hell of the South Race Report

I'm growing strawberries and tomatoes on my piano

The first outdoor TBRA race of the season was today, and it was a cold one! It never reached 50*, but we tried to turn up the heat with our racing :-)

The women were the first group to start, at 7:30 am. It was dry, and we had the roads to ourselves, so that part was nice. There were 25 of us, which is a fair number for this race (2012 we had 26; 2011 we had 17). There are more female riders in TN now, but if anyone would skip one race, this would be the one to skip.

Catherine, Amanda, Anna, Shelly, Kiki, Shannon, and I started together, and we were happy with the numbers we had in the group. The first 9 miles were fairly uneventful after a mistake by our lead car caused us to half make a wrong turn...we knew he was turning wrong, but we followed him anyway. Although we quickly turned around, those of us at the front were shuffled around and we had to do a little more work to get a good position again. Plus it caused Shelly to crash, and that was no good. Thankfully she immediately got back up and on the bike, and she finished with only a few scrapes, so it wasn't terrible.

Around mile 9 is a 1-mile gravel section that caused at least 3 flats and forced Shannon and Kiki out of the race. Although they didn't get to finish, they got to watch most of the rest of it from Todd's sag vehicle. Anna, Cath, AJ, and I made it into the lead group that also contained Emma and Jess (I AM Racing), Jes (SVMIC), Shannon and Catherine (HUB), Martha (not sure of her team). We tried to organize a few times (not too successfully) and attacked more (these never caused a break, but they did wear out the other teams), but we all came to the finish line together. Plus one, Katie, who'd caught on to our group after time-trialing back to us after her flat on the gravel section. I really wanted her to not be able to catch us, but we just couldn't keep the pace fast enough and organize.

We weren't exactly organized, either, and I was not in the best position coming into the finish. Basically I let myself get moved to the back and on the inside. As I saw it at that point, my only option was to get out to the front and hopefully take Catherine or AJ with me. Cath came along, and then she and AJ both were able to get free and sprint for the line.

Finishing sprint...go Team Belladium!

In hindsight, I should have 1) been in a better position earlier; 2) been behind Amanda. We have a little to work on with our finish-line communication (my fault today!), but it was so great to have a 1-2 finish with Catherine-Amanda!

Katie, Catherine, and Amanda

Katie made a valiant effort the whole day and finished 3rd. She's strong! I finished at the back of my group and loved watching my girls sprint it out for the win.

HoS Results

2013 race: 1:19:46, 26.57 miles, 20.0 mph (35.0 max), 162 bpm (192 max), 10/25 overall, 5/5 Cat 1/2
2012 race: 2:28:06, 48.78 miles, 19.8 mph (36.3 max), 138 bpm (189 max); 7/26 overall, 4/10 Cat 3
2011 race: 2:45:15, 50.03 miles, 18.2 mph (34.8 max), 173 bpm (196 max); 9/17 overall, 5/9 Cat 1/2/3

Post-race treats

I am super happy with how the race went for me. I would have liked to have finished better, but I worked hard and watched my teammates tear of the finishing sprint.

Quick Publix Run--paid for the paper towels,
got the Luna bars, chocolates, and wipes for free!

No comments: