I'm posting this at least 3 days after I intended too, so I figured I'd bold the title and make it look like an internet shout in case your attention was waning.
So if you've been reading my blog for, oh say 2 months, you know I raced last weekend and I did my damnest to make sure I didn't look like an insufferable fat carcass with gangrene in my legs (which would explain the stench and slowness).
I can't say enough nice things about this event, the weather was awesome, the course was great for a sprinter (read non-wisp-like marginally overweight guy), and there was a nice TCPC (Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee) contingent on hand. It's always good to see a bunch of familiar faces, although some of these guys I'd never seen before. I guess that's one of the few problems with being on a team with a 50+ member roster. I think I'm 3rd oldest (sorry DanO and Erik)(fact check, there are a handful of guys older than me).
Anyway, on to the race. I rode a prelap to try and mitigate any possible "oh shits" I might have during the race, and I found a few and managed to avoid them every lap. +1 there for me. I got to the line about 3 minutes before go time (-3 points for lining up in the back), and that cost me some spots. I need to really get there about 10 minutes before go time to get a good spot. CX is such a sprint type race, there isn't tons of passing unless your fitness is just through the roof. If that's the case, you shouldn't be racing in Cat 4. CTFU.
So I started in the back of the field, and passed a handful of people through out the race. My cornering felt solid, and barriers were mostly ok, although there was a set of barriers going uphill, and I tried to carry too much speed and dismounted too late. Then on the last lap, 400 meters before the finish, I totally ate it while being lazy/tired and not properly unclipping out of my pedal to hop the barriers. No love lost, as I only bled just a little bit, and most importantly, didn't lose any spots.
As I said before, the course was great. There were a few features that stood out to me. There was a curvy section of the course that had you kind of S turn up and over this dirt "hill", and there was a lot of off-camber bits to keep you honest. There was also a rather steep incline that had you doing an up and over, and you had to make sure to stay off your brakes otherwise you'd stall out and cost yourself a LOT of time. Then there were two sand pits, one through a volleyball court that the Open class just breezed through (see first vid below), and then one down and around junk by the river. There were two sets of barriers as well, so lots of dismount opportunities. I actually found myself passing a lot of people (roadies) through the technical stuff, so that was cool.
I felt strong, but think I need to push harder for Boulevard (next SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY). I still had snot running out of my nose and hard breathing, but this race was 40 minutes instead of the usual 30, so I wasn't so sure how hard I could push it and not blow sky high and lose a bunch of spots while I had to pull over and yak lung butter out.
Here's a few vids from the race, I took the first two, and then Chuong Doan had a great first-person cam of the race too.