When nationals came to Providence several years ago, I wasn't old enough to do the masters' race (the first year) and too out of shape to attempt it the second year. Ed was old enough the first year and did try to race, but his race was postponed due to extreme weather conditions, and we didn't return after it took us 5+ hours to drive home after which he spent 2 hours clearing knee-deep snow from our driveway so we could park. So I was quite excited to get a chance to race on the former nationals course this past Sunday.
I woke up at 4 to feed Elliot, then started getting ready so I could be on the road at 6. Ouch. I made it out in time to pre-ride before the first race. The course was pretty tough and long. The hardest section (for me) was right by registration and was the first part I saw. Very intimidating! But I managed to get things figured out during the pre-ride and was ready to go for the race. Il Bruce brought me some Fall River-style malasadas, which I saved for post-race nutrition.
I got a good start and then slowly lost places throughout the race. I felt okay though and was riding pretty cleanly, but I got tired the last time leading into the stairs and didn't clip out in time and botched the dismount, which allowed one rider to pass me right away and another to outsprint me at the line. I was still happy with my result (18th out of 67), and was so knackered that I had to sit down right after the finish so I could catch my breath and not boot.
I did a cool-down ride with my friend Aimee V., who is borrowing my old Redline and giving 'cross a try this season. Then I enjoyed my abolutely divine malasada. I was afraid it would be like the one I had many years ago in P-town, which was thin, oily, and a little crispy -- itwas more like fried dough than the malasadas I grew up with. The Fall River-style malasada was very similar to Hawaii-style, but around three times bigger. Amazing. Then I enjoyed a pizza made by my friend Jennyoooo's company, La Strada Wood-Fired Pizza.
I got to see Brad, who was in New England with his family for the weekend. I've known Brad since we were 16, and he accompanied me to the first time trial I ever did, in Mokuleia in 1997. I think I got about 100 pictures of him racing (seriously -- I had 430 pics total at the end of the day) in the 3 race. Here are a couple of my favorites:
The course was pretty solid when I raced -- it was in the 40s and I was having trouble clipping in because it was so cold (numb feet). By the time Brad raced, it was warm and sunny and the course was dusty. Also, do you see what I'm talking about with the size of that malasada? Amazing.
I saved the last two malasadas for Ed and I to enjoy at home. Elliot got a taste too.