After my moment of glory I then went back to bike loading and unloading for the practice shuttles and the racers. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to do a practice run today before the race, but I was so damn tired that I think it would have killed me do do more than my race run today.
When my shuttle time was announced I once again loaded bikes and rode up to the top. At the start line things weren't really what they were suppose to be. There wasn't anyone wrangling the riders getting them in their race start order. Basically the start line was calling names out two at a time with a buffer of 2 minutes. Anyone that has raced before knows this is a recipe for disaster and it was stressing the race commissaries to the brink.
Once it was my turn at the start line I felt okay; not good, not great, but okay. My left knee has been swelling on a regular basis and all the stand up pedaling required for this race makes me wince in pain. For this reason, I love the top of the course where there is limited pedaling and it's all about bike handling in the steeper sections. The rain doesn't really affect the top of the course, so it remained in great shape. However once you hit the first gap on the course, things get soupy and the pedaling begins.
In the race I think I hit 50% of the jumps. I just simply couldn't get the speed needed to make the rest. Most corners were super moto rutted and the run ins were slick as snot.
I was able to pass the rider in front of me which made me feel good for a bit, but when I did a 180° powerslide to a complete stop, I knew I wasn't going to make it to the podium.
At the finish line I felt okay. I'd negotiated the course in one piece, though muddy and out of breath. I finished in 12th place.
I then made my way to the concession area where I spoke with a few of the race organizers letting them know that there wasn't a wrangler at the top of the course getting the riders in order. After some discussion I volunteered to do the job. I changed and boarded a shuttle truck to get things in order at the top. When I arrived I grabbed the start list and proceeded to get people in order. With a few minutes I had things in control and the racers were lined up ready to race.
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me my mom and daughter had, come to see me at the race . They saw me ride past in the mud, but I didn't get to see them at the bottom because I took off to volunteer before they could find me.
Once the race was over I helped pack up a few things at the top and then caught a ride to the bottom with Steve in his pick-up. At the bottom I caught up with a few of the B-Team (Darryl and Stan), watched the awards and drove home.
Maybe next year.