Sunday June 29th was the 7th round of the South Eastern Regional Championships, located in Chattanooga Tennessee, up on raccoon mountain. Before I get into the race, let me fill you in on the previous few days.
Thursday my Parents and little brother flew in from Haiti for about 12 days to try and finalize some paperwork with the adoption for my little brother. So its been really great getting to see them, and the also brought our grandmother up from south florida with them. Friday Luke Rozanski and I were at the bike shop bothering Ryan while he was at work, trying to figure out how we are gonna car pool up to the race with one civic that has a two bike rack. We then decided that we needed one more person to help balance out the cost of gas and hotels to make it cheap. So jokingly I tell Anthony Hutton that he should skip work this weekend, and come race with us. He took it pretty Seriously, and called his boss and she said sure go ahead. To keep from boring you too much about the prerace, the moral of the story is, we ended up with 5 guys in the race van headed to chattanooga at 8 o clock friday night.(my dad was the 5th) We drove til about 1am and crashed just south of macon. The next morning we got on the road around 9:30 and finished our trek all the way to the course, with a few stops along the way.
Saturday, June 28th The pre ride
This place is awesome! everything about it! the drive just to get to the trails was super cool! Anyways, we slowly got our stuff together and got registered, and hit the trails. the course had a long road start which didn't matter how well your initial start was. The first section of single track is very rocky, rooty, and technical. After that it got pretty flowing with a lot of short rollers that kept you pointed up hill. pre riding this section felt easy, but after three laps it is very deceiving. after a few miles of that you come to a road crossing where it start to point downhill for a little bit, with super fast tight and twisty single track. this course was almost all single track, which was fun but also limited passing and good hard efforts to make time on. the rest of the course only got better with more rocky sections and screaming fast descents, as well as some amazing views. The course length was just over 12 miles, and after guessing our pre ride time we knew it would be a long three lap race.
Sunday June 29th, The Race
The morning of the race. There is nothing like waking up to the alarm clock realizing its race day. Knowing that in a few hours you will be starting your race.
We got up around 8am and got the van packed, and headed to the waffle house. 3 eggs, grits, and whole wheat toast for $3.50. Can't beat that price! after a hardy breakfast, we head to the track with our adrenaline pumping harder and harder the closer you get there. We round the corner and I can see the start and finish line, and the beginner wave all lined up ready to attack the course, my heart rate goes up. No matter how many times you have raced and no matter how big or small the race, it always excites me just thinking about racing! We finally park and I start getting my stuff together, putting on my kit, putting air in the tires, lube on the chain, bottles filled, etc. I get all my stuff done and I am ready to warm up about an hour before the start. "perfect" I have been wanting to get a longer moderate warm up but lately I have run out of time and end up getting about 20 minutes to warm up. We go spin for about 40 minutes and then finish setting up Dad with all the bottles. after getting all that sorted out we head over to the starting line with a few minutes to spare. I had a strategy for this race, and pretty much stuck to it the whole way through. on the last lap, I started to fade about half way through, and then 5 miles from the finish I ran out of fluids. I watched Wes Lamberson ride away from me and onto a strong victory. Congrats Wes! I somehow managed to hold onto second, coming in blurry eyed and about to collapse from dehydration. I was bummed at first that I wasn't able to finish strong, but I am very happy with my result and performance this weekend. my race time was 2 hours and 50 minutes! thats a long race! I would like to thank Mom and Dad for all the support and faith they have in me and my brother, I also Thank God for the chance to do this. Maxxis tires never seize to amaze me, the monorail is by far my favorite tire out , it hooks up on anything! Industry Nine Wheels! the light weight and stiffness propelled me to another good finish. And also First Endurance EFS drink mix is the perfect race formula for long hot races, to keep you performing at your best.
The next race on the schedule is in two weeks at windham mountain, in New York. Its part of the national series, and will be my first race this year at a national level. Can't wait to see what I have!
Thanks for reading!