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Clarkson University Race Report

Race Report by Vince Dunne

Last Saturday, September 14th, I raced in the Mens B Cross Country event. It was my first mountain bike race that i have ever done. It was a long, dark, and rainy from Philly up to Clarkson the night before the race, and the only place open for dinner was a small pizza place in town. Against my better judgement, I decided to have a buffalo chicken pizza roll instead of plain pizza which was far less greasy. The next morning i woke up early, and had a oatmeal power-breakfast in hopes of canceling out the negative effects of my dinner. After breakfast, I registered for Mens B Cross Country, and then went out for a lap to survey the course. It was a very tight, twisty, slippery, and muddy 4.5 mile course, which the B category did 3 laps of. There were 13 racers in my category including me. At the start of the race we sprinted up a short hill, and i positioned myself in 3rd before we entered the course. The person in front of me rode off the trail on the first turn, so i moved into 2nd. A few turns later, the guy in front of me also made the same mistake, which put me in 1st. It being my first race, i wasn't sure if i should ride at an easy pace with the group right on my tail, or if i should just take off. I went with the "take off!" and opened up a substantial gap only to crash off the trail into a swamp (2 feet to the right) and small tree about 3 miles into the first lap. I immediately got right back on my bike, but that gave 2 riders an opportunity to close the gap. At the start of the second lap, i had moved into 2nd with the 3rd place rider sitting on my rear wheel; however, we were well ahead of the rest of the B field. I crashed again during the second lap on a large angled tree root, which left me sprawled across the trail. I hoped right back up and continued the chase for the man in 1st. Going into the final lap, I was still in 2nd with the 3rd place rider still on my rear wheel. We caught and passed two riders in the A category in our chase for the 1st place rider. I started to get a bad cramp half way thru the final lap. I had a lapse in concentration, thinking about my cramp and how I shouldn't have eaten the buffalo chicken roll, and then clipped a tree and hit a large large rock which brought me to a complete stop. The 3rd place rider flew past me, and i was unable to catch him before the finish line. Despite my multiple mistakes and feeling gut wrenchingly sick to my stomach due to my nerves (and the pizza roll) throughout the whole race, I was more than happy to get 3rd place in my first cross country mountain bike race. It was an awesome experience, and I'm really looking forward to the next race this coming saturday at UVM.

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Page last modified on September 23, 2013, at 03:30 PM