Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Festivus Fun and MIA at State

Continuing the theme of my past month of racing of battling sickness, feeling good, battling sickness, feeling good... this time it was feeling really good coming off Ruts N Guts and heading to the MO State race in KC on Saturday.  Solid week of training and then on Friday while out loosening the legs and getting in some openers my front wheel washed out on a quick little decent asphalt turn and nailed my hip hard.  Got back up and will some light pain could pedal, but when I got off to run I knew I was done.  Lots of deep pain and I limped home...

The state race was going to be my last 'focused' race of the year so I was a bit bummed to not participate.  Oh well, there was still plenty of 'fun' racing left in my season as after a handful of light days on the bike I was able to run by Thursday and on to the next events.

Found STL was racing on Sunday at Castlewood State Park at an event called Festivus CX (or something like that).  Drove up solo early Sunday morning and arrived with time to preview the course and catch up with some 'east coast' folks.

Fun interesting course with only one pit per lap (would play a role later on) with the first half being a drivers course with plenty of turns, sand, hoppable logs and the back half total power pedaling.  Temps were in the mid-40's and the turf tacky.  Decent sized combined masters field lined up along with the SS group.  The fast guy of the group was Columbia's Ethan Frose who has a huge motor. 

Lined up, whistle blows, and settled into 2nd place for the first 1/8 of a lap before upping the pace and opening a gap on the field. This held for the first two of five laps; every time we hit the power section I could see Ethan closing the gap.  He made contact with three to go, sat on me for 1 1/2 laps then dropped the hammer in the open section.  Dug deeper than I wanted (knowing both of us were racing the Open later) and heading into the start of the last lap he had a 10 sec gap.  Instantly I closed in the driving portions and figured something wasn't right.  When I reached Ethan he let me know his front was flat.  I cruised around and finished with the win with a healthy gap.  No doubt Ethan would have won, but it was what it was.

Early on with Randy and Ethan breathing down my neck

Ethan biding his time before dropping the hammer
Beach/sand section was good for 'runners' like myself
Rock and I posing with Santa at the Festivus podium pole
Kicked back during the hour gap until the Open race started.  Small (but quality) field and right after the start I knew it was going to be a struggle for the next hour.  Three laps in I was comfortably sitting in 5th when I caught a sharp rock instantly flatting my rear tire pretty far from the pit.  Passed by a couple (including Sunny Gilbert) and by the time I swapped out bikes most everyone was out of sight.  Chased hard for a couple laps, but ran out of gas and finished 6th.  Josh Johnson, Columbia, laid waste to the field.

Solid field in the Open

Singer always takes the best pics

On the 'B' bike after my flat

Course spent plenty of time in the woods

Fun and productive day on the bike; glad I made the trip.  Was also able to knock out some Christmas shopping while in the big city.

Up next is Boxing Day in KC on the 26th. 

***Photo from several different folks including Dan Singer, 2 Timing Guys, Randy Murdick, E'ville Mike...***


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