Fort Cherry Road Race

Today was the Fort Cherry road race, a nice 40 mile affair over an eight mile loop west of the city. It was a fine course, with a short climb, a section of rollers, and lots of scenery. Unfortunately, it was hot (really hot) and I’ve discovered that my body just doesn’t like racing in the heat.

The race began with a neutral start to the first turn, and I made my (usual) mistake of started too far in the back. I then spent the climb jamming through traffic trying to regain contact with the bunch on the narrow road. By the time I made contact, the bunch accelerated, and I was already feeling the heat and watched them disappear. I started with a smaller group, but they made a failed effort to latch back on to the group, and I was promptly left behind. At this point, I was sweating buckets, and only recovering when I seriously scaled back my effort. Thus began the several mile discussion in my head about what I should do.

I knew there were several people (including Robbie) behind me, but repeatedly looking over my shoulder, I couldn’t see them. Looking at what would essentially be a 30 mile time trial, I contemplated simply accepting my failure and bowing out of the race at the end of the lap. I suspected I could avoid being lapped, but I weighed the cost of finishing and being shattered for the rest of the day (for no good reason) and decided to call it a day. As I passed the officials, I found a patch of shade, sat down, and finished two bottles of water.

I was not alone for long. With conditions as they were, the attrition rate was fairly high, and the groups actually contesting each race were fairly small. The takeaways from this race were few:

1. Move up at the start line.
2. 90+ degrees and sun do not make for great conditions.

After resting for nearly four hours (and after only riding about 15 miles) I still feel a bit out of sorts. I’m certainly a bit disappointed, but I know I can’t expect decent results at the Oval to translate into much of anything on the road.