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yo SpecialTater: 1st road race report? nm(5 posts)

yo SpecialTater: 1st road race report? nmJS Haiku Shop
Oct 20, 2003 6:59 AM
well, turns out the 'Tater has more important things going on...JS Haiku Shop
Oct 20, 2003 9:18 AM
like becoming a Daddy for the first time, yesterday. :)

here's my report:

it was a dark and stormy night...oops, wrong report.

found out about marion arkansas "tour de heart" 16-mile road race (short!) on friday night. race was saturday am. location 30 minutes from home. i had to lead the regular saturday am group ride. oh well, no 40 minutes bleeding from my ears saturday am. what's this? fog at 7:30 group ride start thick as campbell's cream of asparagus. called off group ride as nobody had lights. drove home, changed into race face, hauled booty to ark & saw.

race = put on by community folks. not uscf permitted. no sanction, no rules, just race. huh? guys on tri bikes and regular roadies with aero bars lining up for the race. hmm...turns out i think there were 37 starters. organization was done by the local running club, so it was an age-group-only scoring system. administration of the race was good, though. course was 16 miles of pancake flat farm roads with 6 left-hand 90* turns and one right-hand 90* turn. finish stretch = 1/4 mile flat after left 90*, slight bend to right halfway, in town...couldn't see the line until ~300 yards out. we had a police car leadout for the entire race, police and volunteers blocking the roads at turns, and i think a police car chase.

line up with field of all-comers populated by mostly my age group (30-39). oops, i may get a quick OTB--these guys are all tall and skinny. it was not to be, though. within a mile we're strung out in a long thin line. i stayed second place or no farther back than 4th the whole race. SpecialTater and "Memphis Cutter" spent some time on the front. i however tried to stay anonymous, but made some pulls anyhow :).

'bout 5 miles in i tested the waters, only to have a pack of about a dozen swarm me. so, that's how it's gonna be, eh? there were a few accelerations between then and the last third, all of which were covered mostly by "Memphis Cutter" or me, with SpecialTater going forward to settle the pace down a little. about 3 miles from the end, this big muscular guy i was sitting in on decided to light the fuse, and i gave chase. it was a scorchin' attack from second or third in line. after he settled in to his grind, i looked back from the draft and found that we'd put a big gap on the field, who were chasing (i think?). big guy goes around a 90* left, i follow but am gapped by a couple seconds. take stock, pack still not closing, guy not going anywhere, so bridge back up. we talk about our ages (he's <30 and i'm >30), so different finish categories. wasted time talking meant the pack came back, but with only five left (plus us 2) of the 37 starters. couple tri guys, two guys from out of town, and us 3 from elvisville. good odds.

we turn left 90* onto the finishing stretch, which i recognize from warming up before the race. just before we round the gentle right curve, from third in line i spot a handlebar-width between SpecialTater and the other guy pulling, and jam my wheel in there, accelerating through in the saddle and hoping nobody was stupid enough to chase through the gap. out of the saddle in sight of the line and i'm honking on the pedals and bleeding from my ears, but two come around on either side. somewhere just before the line i found another kick and finished third overall, and first in my age group. overall average speed ~23 mph, top speed in sprint ~33 mph. with the flat nature of the course, it could have been faster, but nobody wanted to work.

this was my second road race, and luckily suited for a slow fat guy (flat like a pool table). i'm sure i'd have been OTB pretty quick if it were #1 uscf permitted, and #2 better advertised. i went home with hardware, though, and that's a good motivator to get more serious about racing.

SpecialTater finished 7th overall and 3rd in our age group, and "Memphis Cutter" finished 5th or 4th overall tie, and 2nd in his age group.

fun weekend and first race on eddy
well, turns out the 'Tater has more important things going on...eggshell
Oct 20, 2003 11:50 AM
congrats on your finish!i'm also from elvisville and looking to enter my first road race. anything coming up for the 30+ rider?
kris kross (remember that album? all krossed-up?)JS Haiku Shop
Oct 20, 2003 12:01 PM
so far as i know, 'cross.

have a mtb or 'cross bike?

nov 2, 9, 16

dec 7, 14, 21

jan 3
kris kross (remember that album? all krossed-up?)eggshell
Oct 20, 2003 1:25 PM
yeah, I remember those guys(unfortunately!),shaved eyebrows,droopy clothes. Thanks for the link. I'll get on the mailing list for more info. I've been thinking of converting an old bike to a 'cross bike. This gives me a good reason.