Sunday, June 21, 2009
3 Legged Dog
Finally the series comes to our very own back yard for the annual 3 Legged Dog @ Burns Park. Someone did a lot of trail work to get this course is prime racing shape. They added some new switchbacks across from the BMX track which makes the climb much smoother and a lot of the rocks from the trail mysteriously disappeared. Now the trail flows faster & smoother than ever.
The day before the XC race, there was a huge Mid South XTERRA Cup race going on. Master Michael Haines and I brought some cow bells and a djembe to add a little spice from a spectator perspective. After yelling for Texas Thomas, we headed down towards the finish line which was right down by the AR River. Hunter cut his foot on glass in the river (another good reason to never litter) so I played doctor with the Mourer girls as my nurses. After we fixed up Hunter all the exhausted and cut up triathletes wanted medical attention so we basically wound up running triage and taking care of all the superficial wounds which freed up the medics to handle IVs for the more severely dehydrated athletes. That was pretty cool and made me happy that my 3 yrs of med school could actually come in useful.
Sunday was race day and we had a stacked field. Pros from Colorado, Texas, & Oklahoma all came down to stake their claim as fastest mtn biker around. The race was long & hot (~100 F), but we suited up in our finest racing attire and went to battle. 15 stellar riders took the line in our Cat 1 class, I knew that finishing in the Top 5 would really be an accomplishment for this lineup. We hit the trail fast & furious and within a couple miles we were all in our race grooves. A few guys hit it too hard out of the gate and Ryan AKA The Cookie Monster and I were able to sail around them. My XC fitness was still not quite where it needs to be so I couldn't keep up the pace. As I settled in, Ryan took off to ride with the elite like Noah Singer. Chainwheel's favorite son, Frank Webber, and I teamed up for a bit to renew memories of my 1st races in the Beginner class when we were arch-rivals for a few races. Now we are great friends but it's still fun to see who's faster on any given day, usually it's pretty much a coin toss.
I rode smooth with only a dab or two ~25 singletrack miles and did well dropping the hammer when I could and saving my gas when I had to. In the end I finished a very respectable 6th which was awesome considering the Top 3 were legit pros. My boy Ryan pulled in 5th so we both got to hit podium for pics and a lil $ to help make it rain. Great race for Bell & Co MTN Biking, we had a huge turnout and a very festive tailgaiting atmosphere. We continued to pull ahead in the Team Cup and really represented our home turf. Major shout-out to my boy Big O for his stellar 2nd place finish! That was his best race yet, and he had the whole Williams clan on hand to see.