Last year, I had my first "good" cross race at Ed Sander. It's a good course for me. I also like the promoters, and have run registration there and feel a small connection with the event. This year, the race's outcome would decide the Masters B series and give me a last shot at a win.
When they handed me the 601 number at the table, I knew something wasn't right. Matt was winning, and unless things went pretty well for me, he'd stay there, so why did I have the 01? Because he upgraded out of Bs, which I have mixed feelings about. Yes, we both need to go at this point, but it's the last race. Having what's been a crazy fun year of duking it out end with my flat at Reston seems wrong, and I don't want the series by default. Since that was a likely outcome, not winning the race but taking the series would have been super fucking lame.
Mellow hole shot, not too worried about leading right away, but I wanted to get to the pointy end before the drop in. Went in second behind Hostetter, who if I can say so without being a patronizing douche, has gotten a lot better this year. By the time we were in the ponds section, he, Kosta, and I were a little clear. Of all the crazy unbelievable things in the world, I sucked wheel and raced smart for 2 whole laps. John drove the bus, and we three were nicely clear after 2.
Early in the third lap, between the pit and the barriers, the other two were struggling with breathing. I felt very good and knew this section favored me. I'd actually envisioned the exact scenario a lot in training, and when I went it felt inevitable. When I got a glimpse back after the drop in, before they'd dropped in, they were separated from one another. That was good. John could make up time in the ponds but I knew the pedal hard parts would favor me. Just tried to be smooth to the finish hill and then went tres hard on that. Making the turn at the top, the view was reassuring.
The rest was just pedal hard where you could and do nothing stupid otherwise. The final trip up the hill was time to zip up the jersey and high five with team mates.
The last point on the race is that at one point during the year when our race seemed to be getting shorter each week, I groused a bit about it. It would have been poor form to do poorly when they gave us an extra lap yesterday.
My wife's office throws pretty much the best year end party you could imagine. I didn't have any sake or go to bed at 345 on Saturday night. One of the three preceding statements is true.
Thanks to everyone in the masters b for a great and fun season, and to the Super 8 team and the promoters and officials for doing an awesome job.