(race photo courtesy of Aaron)
We had a family trip and went to the PAMBA race this weekend. We left Friday night, slept at a Flying J's and got there at about 10 a.m. on Saturday. Christopher had a blast at the park. He is climbing up a metal slide in the first photo. It started lightly raining and I did a pre-lap of the course, a little apprehensive since Rachael had mentioned the tires on my bike are not great for mud. Tom and Christopher went for a hike and then Christopher got to play with two older boys for awhile. Then, Tom did two laps (for about 13 miles) while Christopher had a blast jumping in a mud puddle -- I made him stop in the doorway of the RV so I could take off his muddy boots and clothes and wipe him down. After dinner, I decided to do another lap and things were much better. The last part of the lap had more open sections where girls might catch me and, as I was finishing the lap, the PAMBA guys were marking the course -- showing us riding around the park, an extra 1/2 mile of just grass. I knew that would be where girls would be flying past me.
Race day. Rachael and John showed up with Zoe. Christopher was excited. The two of them played on a big pile of rocks. Slid down the rocks like it was a slide, made snow angels in the dirt, played at the park, used Tom as a jungle gym, we got to explore a cabin built in the 1800's and got to do a kids race where they won water bottles with Snickers inside. Christopher thought the trip absolutely rocked. = )
There were only eight girls that lined up. I was a little disappointed that there were so many less girls than last time and that they had us line up after the Sport guys (although it probably ended up for the best). I went back and forth with Liz Baumgaurdt and Gina Champion throughout the race. I got past them in the single track but Liz got past me right before we lapped and Gina was right behind me as we lapped. I got past Liz in the single track and red lined it trying to get a gap before the end of the lap so they couldn't get past me before the finish. I always make more mistakes that way and made some bobbles in sections I should've rode cleanly but oh well. I did manage to finish without getting caught. I took fourth place, about three minutes behind Rachael. Woot!!!
I lost my gel flask before I even had any, for the second race in a row. I really like the flask so I can water down the gel, otherwise I feel like I'll puke. I have a Nashbar flask holder I've been using. People suggested sticking it in my jersey pocket or pants leg. I think it will bug me in my pants leg, if I don't lose it, and I think it'll be harder to get it out of my pocket. Hammer products makes a flask holder too I'm thinking of buying and am open to other suggestions.