I slept most of the way to Fort Ord so when we got to the race parking I was still half asleep. It was about 38 degrees if I remember correctly, so it was really cold. I warmed up for about 20 minutes before the race and then pulled up to the starting line. I was a little nervous because I was sick but other than I felt good.
You could tell it was a little bit disorganized because there wasn’t a actual marked starting line and there was lots of different people telling the riders lots what to do. I was up in the very front until someone told me that the girls started in the far back.
That might sound fine but it meant the the girls were put behind the 45(?) and older and the little kids. Which means I can’t complete with the guys my age which is the bulk of the competition for me. I really didn’t like that.
The race start was fine overall until I started to be challenged by one of the girls. She passed me going into the first turn and then I got stuck behind a little kid and their dad who WOULD NOT let me pass.
With some effort I passed them and could still see the girl(her names Maddy by the way). I kept hitting traffic with over protective fathers and their kids who wouldn’t let me pass to save my life, so I lost sight of Maddy which made me frustrated.
The starting half lap and first lap went just like that, passing little kids around every turn.
The second lap thinned out a lot. This is where I started to feel the effects of being sick. I was coughing and sneezing a lot which didn’t feel good. What did feel good was knowing I was maintaining a second place position in my first unofficial race.
Halfway through the second lap Elizabeth caught up to me for second but she disappeared very soon after. I knew that with Elizabeth catching me other girls would be close so I sped up.
Hearing cowbells and teammates cheering me on was a huge motivator to keep going and after my second lap I had to keep reminding myself that there was only one lap left. The last lap was really hard.
It was getting windier which was picking up dust that was going into my eyes and lungs. I started to develop back pain which made my back ache going up hills. Halfway through the last lap to see who was behind me and it was another girl which really spooked me.
I sprinted for a hot minute to get some distance. That’s when I heard cowbells. I switched into my largest gear and sprinted the last 30 seconds of the race to the finish line. It took up all of my energy. But when I crossed the finish line I felt so accomplished. I knew I came in second and it was all worth it in the end.
I got a medal and a sick t-shirt(which I learned I shouldn’t have gotten but who cares). All the other girls were super nice and it was a really good first race.