I started out in about the 90's (my race number was 396 and I was in the third to last row starting since I begged my way in to the race the night before at set up) so I wasn't expecting too much out of myself aside from hopefully a solid move up in the final outcome. Since Darren had so enthusiastically encouraged me to race (so he could have a teammate to beat) my single real goal for the race was to beat him. At the line I could see him a number of rows ahead of me but I was still holding on to some hope there.
Race started, I nearly bowled Ryan D over at the top of the first grassy climb after he rolled his second tubular for the day and then settled in to try and pick some folks off. I was going along really well and loving the course, though it'd gotten significantly mushy and slower from all the rain the day before. Still the pre-riding on Saturday was huge as I felt totally comfortable with taking inside lines and sticking to it when I knew I could.
Pretty early on I was chasing Mike S from my team and I yo-yo'd a bit behind him before finally coming up with some pop to get by and away. Right after that I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Darren just a few turns ahead of me. Apparently he'd gone out super hard then blown his back and was going backwards quick. I snuck up on him and coming up the road to the reg area I passed him with a "goochie goochie goo" (I have no idea where that came from...) and got on it to get some seperation. I figured he'd have jumped it and not let me getaway but instead me passing crushed his spirit even more and he fell back quickly. It's ok Darren, I still love ya!
Marc G put himself onto the podium with an awesome effort in the 35+ Masters race! Awesome, oh and was co-promoting the race!
I managed to hold Corey off by just a bit, though had there been another lap he'd certainly have pulled me back in. I did manage to hold off an NCVC guy I'd been back and forth with for most of the race also, with me passing and pulling ahead on the same little technical climb and him getting back a while later through the swampy grass just a bit before the finish. The last lap I didn't let that happen.
Now I'm again pumped to do some more cross. Hopefully next year I can get myself out there and really work it including some actual cross training and practice. That DCCX course is so much FUN!
Oh and to the woman who took the hand up just past the finish... That was awesome!