Race Report - BuDu Port Gamble

Frederick, my darling mountain bike
So being new and all to competitive bike racing, I signed up for a mountain bike race this weekend thinking it would be a mountain climb and brought my steel road bike... ha! Just kidding - I did sign up for a real mountain bike race this weekend  because... I wanted to push myself and see what are my favorites parts/types of racing :) plus, what else was I supposed to do on my rest day?

From Team Thrive, we had lots of representation - Caryn, Jen, Renae, Hayden, Lisa, and me. Hayden and Lisa respectively killed their races - Cat 1 First place finish for Lisa and Cat 2 1st place finish for Hayden! I wish you all could have seen Lisa's face when she finished - she had the most massive, radiant smile you've ever seen on a completely mud covered lady (no joke there, you could barely recognize Lisa).

On my end, I was nervous going in and felt like I was going to kill it or really not kill it (extreme emotions!) Within 5 minutes of starting and after 15 people had quickly sped by me, I realized it was the latter. Almost the entire course (6 mile loop repeated twice for Cat 2s) was thick with mud... deep, soul sucking mud.  This was the first time I had really ridden on mud, and it was brutal. I need some serious technical work.

Yep. That face summarizes my race... 
After about 10 minutes, I was completely alone (a quick hello from Caryn around 30 minutes though!) -- left alone to navigate the sea of mud, roots, and trees (gah! trees!!!) What were my thoughts? Something like this:

* If I die out here, how long will it take them to find my body?
* Man, I wish that one dude would stop swearing
* I think I'm bad at biking
* I'm literally fording a river right now, Oregon Trail style
* Who invented mud anyway?
* I can't feel anything anymore
* I don't think I can survive another loop... OK but it would be too embarassing to quit (goes back to point 1)
* Where is everyone? Am I even on the course anymore?
* OK I'll sprint really fast at the end and make it look like I tried really hard, oh yeah, I'm so badass!

I had about 6 internal, totally un-noticeable mental break downs on in this race. When I finally finished, there were no more crowds cheering at the end and they were taking down the timing system (I was THAT person!).  The big thing was... Caryn, Renae, Jen, and I all finished (which order? It was all about the same time! :) ) I seriously felt like, at least on my end, that was as good as winning (OK well, it still felt really good). Jen made a great point that even though I finished last in my age group, think about all the women who didn't race today that I beat. Yeah! Take that non-racing females who read this post between the ages of 18-29! Boo yah!

But overall it was great. Except for the constant rain and low temperatures. Oh, and the mud (IMHO). But it was great; why was it great? I had a drive and ferry with Caryn and Jen where we talked about cats, kits, how we got into biking, how much we love food, etc. and then we got to hop on bikes, get muddy, and feel like we challenged ourselves and won today. Love this team, as always <3 

PS the girl who won for my age group, Maura, is awesome. And it was her birthday today - one of the best ones yet, right Maura? :D

PPS More pictures to come when BuDu uploads them somewhere? :) 

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