Monday, July 19, 2010

Canmore Mountain Bike Championships

This past July 17-18th weekend, Canmore and the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club hosted the 2010 Mountain Bike championships at the Canmore Nordic Center. What an awesome venue to hold such an event. Saturday the Elite riders raced under sunny skies. It was pretty cool watching Canada’s top dogs and Olympians give their all on a course that we would be racing the next day.

Thomas Y and I (Shawna) raced under sunny skies yesterday, in the XC National Championships for Master Experts, as well as the categories that fall beneath. Thomas decided to enter in a category above the one he is (Master Expert), and good on him, as he was racing against a very strong field. It was a very tough course with lots of climbing, and not much reward in the descents, at 7km and about 225m of elevation gain per lap with most of the climbing in rooty tight singletrack. Luckily, after you got the brutal climbing out of the way, there was a little recovery through the flat rooty sections, short descents, and false flats (yes they do exist in mtn biking!) Thomas had 5 laps, and these are not go at your own pace laps, these were going as fast as the next guy goes laps, and they were fast. Watching these guys start at the pace they did, and all uphill, made me so glad I finished my race earlier on. As Thomas came through each lap, he would be working with another guy. Something I noticed the guys tend to do that the women do not, because of the number of racers.

My race was earlier, at around 10am. Out of 3 categories, there were only 11 women in total racing, so they had us all start at the same time. I have not done enough XC races which is the only wayto get points for upgrading categories, (the endurance race series does not count) so I was only racing so I could hopefully move up to Sport. With only 3 of us in my category, I wasn’t going to bother racing, since my entry fee was basically buying a podium spot. I was told I would be considered an upgrade after results of this race. Since we were all starting together, and Novice and Sport had the same number of laps to complete (2) I decided to pretend I was racing with the Sport category, which had 7 women, to prove I should be racing in that category. At the advice of others not racing, I decided to give it my all right from the start to get the holeshot, to the point of vomiting and seeing spots. Less than 5 minutes in, I was tasting blood, and seeing spots. Goal # 1 reached. I got behind the girl who was in 1st place of the 2 combined categories, and she became my carrot. I felt like I had a decent lead on the girls behind me until I started climbing the 2nd lap and saw them coming. I realized I was slacking a little, and turned on the hurt. Hurting I did, but I came in 2nd behind the girl who came in 1st in the category above mine so this put me 2nd out of 9 women. Goal #2 reached. This also put me in 1st place in my category, giving me a sweet Gold medal, and some prizes that far exceeded my entry fee. Not only did I get to stand on a cool Nationals podium with a cool medal around my neck, I also got some Sugoi bike shorts, and a Giant bike computer. I think I have also earned my upgrade to Sport, but I will leave that to the judges to decide. The last place finishes in all the road races and WNS is paying off :)

Awesome race, thanks Canmore and RMCC!!


Tom K said...

WHoohoo! Whay to go Shawna. I like the part about seeing spots... Good work!

Jevon Almond said...

Solid Shawna congrats!

Janet said...

Nice work Shawna! Congrats!

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