ABD Sunrise Park Cyclocross
October 28, 2007 – Bartlett, IL
Masters 30+ – 19th
Yeah! Fall is finally here for CX. ABD had picked a great place for a new course and couldn’t have had nicer fall weather. Heading out to this race, I was actually happy to see temperatures keep falling into the 30s as I got farther from the lake. The sun was out, so it felt much warmer. After being sick for the past 2 weeks with a cold and sinus infection, it was a nice to feel like racing again.
The Sunrise Park course was about 15 minutes off I-90 out in Bartlett. Parking was at a local school and it was a mile to the start and registration area. The CX course was a 1.5 mile loop with lots of tight corners and a few run-ups with barriers. The terrain was primarily an open, rolling field (used as a Frisbee golf course) and small wooded section. The grassy surface was extremely slick at the start due to the frost and running my Grifos at 35 psi made me appreciate tubulars in the turns.
There were about 25 guys in the Masters 30+ race. The pace at the start was pedestrian due to the tight turns and slick grass. Things opened up after the first section of barriers, and got into the normal 30+ race rhythm. I started just behind the Top 10, pushing it right out the gate. I was trying to keep Brian Boyle just in front of me. I could tell he was looking better than his first few races of the year, where he had struggled with choosing the right gearing for his single-speed.
After about 15 minutes, I paid for my lack of warming up. I was feeling great, but my legs started to cramp from too much lactic acid build up. The one advantage to having a HRM in races like CX is that it gives you a good way to compare your heart rate to how your legs feel. My HR was still low, but my legs were going 100%. Much different than my earlier races of the year.
I got lucky having about 4-5 guys right around me to leapfrog over, than get passed again. Things started to fall apart for me with 2 laps to go. My legs couldn’t take it and I just wanted to drop; however, I was feeling good overall and knew I could push my heart a lot more. There were a good number of people cheering and Robert Antinelli was pushing us on before his 40+ race. I dropped from 15th to 19th on the last lap and got passed by the leaders with about 400 m to go.
Coming around for my last lap, I was hoping the USA cycling official would call my race because I had been lapped. Yes, I wanted the pain in my legs to end. As I crossed the line, I looked at him and asked, “Done?” He held up one finger and said, “One to go.” What!? Oh, the humanity. That is the world of CX. Pain controls your world.
Having to go another lap is actually great for training both mentally and physically. I’ve had very few races where my legs gave out before me. Even though this race was a hair under 60 minutes, my legs were feeling more like they had the last few miles of marathon. Ah, what the heck, it’s only another 7 minutes! One lap later, I finished in 19th. Not bad for my legs and my first real race in a few weeks.
I really hope ABD gets to use this course again next year. It was a lot of fun and was friendly for spectators and hard on the riders…just what CX is supposed to be. Thanks again ABD for another great race.