Yesterday was the Greenbrier Challenge (my one and only shot to qualify for Nationals in July) and to put things mildly I was a little nervous. Not knowing the course was one thing (going in I heard everything from it's no big deal to watch out for everything from Lions Tigers and Bears) but the bigger question was the competition. Who's going to show up, how am I going to fit in and on and on....
The day started EARLY with the wife and I rolling out of the house just after five for the three hour drive down to MD. Luckily we only had one stop on the way....like I said I was nervous.
After watching the start of wifey's race we snuck out to pre ride the course, and let's just say time was on my side. We rolled back in as they were lining up for my race...five minutes later and things would have been over before they started. But it was worth it, I learned a lot about the course in that one lap.
The race started fast, but I entered the single track first. A little over a mile in I came up to Matt on the side of the trail (his group started a minute ahead of mine) and he'd broke off his rear derailleur, day over....so I thought. He ran back out of the trail, changed out the derailleur and restarted the race 45 minutes after he first started. Now boys and girls that's a man, anybody else would have called it a day. Huge props dude, huge.
I lost the lead at the end of the first lap (three laps total) but my goal was just to keep the guy in site...which was tough, dude was smoking it. After getting slowed by traffic on one of the climbs I lost contact mid way thru the second lap, game over I thought.
Starting my final lap I saw the leader 150 meters ahead heading into the woods. I pushed as hard as I could and closed the gap to less then 10 meters, but once we hit the same climb as the earlier lap two things happened. One he started the climb just after passing three slower riders (I got stuck behind them) and two he looked back and saw me. That was it, game over. In that 30-45 seconds I was delayed in traffic he was gone.
So a second place it was, which I'm happy with....but it's still a second and therefore we got work to do.
Was a little muddy out there....
Make sure you get behind those ears too....
So the Silver and Gold you ask?
Wifey won, and therefore pulled in two gold medals (one for wining the race itself and one for being Maryland state champ.) Not sure how we get state champ medals for MD when we don't live there, but I don't make the rules. And with our placing we both qualify for Nat's.
So how does it feel to bring home a couple silver medals? I'll put it this was, as I'm smiling to myself checking out my new hardware the wife walks by and throws out "I can show you what a gold one looks like if you want."
And with that alone I have work to do.