Weeping Willow Race Report

Nervous! That is probably the best way to describe myself leading up to this race. My first race of the season and my first in the “sport” class.

 I had been training hard and felt I did a good job of tapering off my training leading up to the race. I really wanted to avoid embarrassing myself and set an ambitious goal of a mid pack finish

I woke up Sunday morning feeling great! I was well rested, hydrated and ready to race. I got there early and had a chance to meet most of the NEMBA team. I had never raced on a team before and had no idea what to expect. I can say without a doubt that it was much more fun to be a part of a team vice going solo. Having everyone there to help out and cheer you on was a pretty cool experience.

The “Sport Vet I” class had 41 racers and the start was a bit confusing. I ended up near the front of the line and started out of the gates in good shape. Things cleared up pretty quick and was not as crowded as I thought it would be leading into the first section of single-track. I figured I was in decent shape and continued to push on. I spotted fellow teammate Josh Burgel ahead of me and decided to hang on his wheel a bit. I finally passed Josh after awhile and continued on. I made steady progress for most of the first lap playing leapfrog with a few riders. The course was pretty flat and fast! I was breathing hard but my legs were holding up fine. I finished the first lap feeling good and was happy to see the NEMBA team cheering us on as we rode by.

I kept pushing on an found myself alone for a couple of miles. Ultimately I think it hurt me because I definitely slowed up to catch my breath. I settled into a comfort zone and ended up getting passed by a Riverside guy. He said he was in the 50+ class and was nice enough. Pretty fast too. I could not bear the shame of letting a Riverside rider pass me, so it was just the kick in the ass I needed to pick it up. I stayed on his wheel until we got on the final stretch of double-track. I gave it everything I had left and passed him and two more riders on the way to the finish line.

I ended up with a 17th place finish and was pretty happy with my results. Although I am encouraged by my placing, I am also humbled by how much work is ahead of me if I want to grab a podium. So, it’s back to training this week and time to figure out what race I am going to hit up next. Thinking about the Horror at Harding Hill….again. This time maybe I can finish.



Weeping Willow Race Report — 7 Comments

  1. Great write up. You and the rest of the team are awesome. We are off to a fantastic start. I am sure that better results are in store for you. Keep up the hard work.

  2. Great job Jason! Thank you for taking my marching order to task and refusing to allow a Riverside racer to finish in front of you 😉

    A 17th at Willowdale is worth a top ten at many other venues in the EFTA series. Always stiff competition at Willowdale. Sounds like you’ve got the killer instinct, I bet you make tons of progress this year. If it works with your sched I highly recommend The Pinnacle.

    • I have to second this. The Pinnacle is a great course and well run. 17th is a respectable finish with that crowd and course. Don’t get discouraged.

  3. Pingback: Weeping Willow 2012 « Single-Speed Slogging

  4. Nice work, 40 + in Sport is crazy! I think it might even hurt more than expert at the start. In a race with that many and with that much single-track you need to be in the front pack so nice work. Nice to see some new faces at the tent as well. Great job!

  5. Thanks guys! I checked out the Pinnacle website last night and it looks like a pretty nice race. Gonna try to squeeze that one in if I can. Also, looks like they adjusted some of the race results. They had me listed as 16th today. You might want to check your results again in case they adjusted yours too.