Safari Time

This past weekend saw a return to perhaps the best course on the US Cup schedule – Sagebrush Safari, out near Lake Morena in east San Diego County.  It’s a haul to get out there.  Actually getting there is the easy part – it’s the drive home post-race in Sunday evening traffic which is the daunting part – but the course is worth it!

Last year I was able to place first in my CAT2 race, but the course exacted its toll.  I was so cooked at the end and dehydrated I actually stopped sweating.  Not a good thing.  Learning from my mistakes, I was sure to drink plenty of water before and during this race so post-race I felt fine.  In retrospect, I think I felt too good post race which means I didn’t go hard enough.  I was by myself for large stretches of the race and without the competition of others I think I dialed back my effort.  Knowing I had to race ~30 miles, I think I overestimated how much I had to keep in the tank.  I ended up 5th out of 7 racers in the CAT1 35-39 class.  I’m now 6th overall in the series – but only because I’ve accumulated points.  Perhaps with a good result at the next US Cup race in Big Bear (which is worth 1.5x points) I could crack a top 5!?!

The good news is that my back felt as good as it has this year racing.  A very positive sign!  While it did start to tighten, it wasn’t to the severity as in other races and really wasn’t a factor.  Thanks for all those asking about it and offering suggestions on how to find relief.

I was a bit anxious to see how racing the Ninja (my hardtail Giant XTC) would make my back feel after riding the super luxurious full suspension Trek Superfly so much the past two weeks, but all was great.  I made sure I stood up more often when attacking the trail and my new crankbrother cobalt wheels really are some sick hoops that help the situation!

As for my teammates, many of them did quite well.  A #2 finish in the 50 mile endurance race, several top 5 finishes, and of course the Kasel Ladies taking 1st and 2nd again!  It’s so fun to share stories and commiserate with teammates post race!  Here are some choice photos from this past weekend.  Kudos to Phil Beckman for his awesome photos.

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