Last evening I raced in Laramie Short Track race #2. What a blast! We rode the course counter-clockwise this time. The course is zippy and keeps you on your toes with variable terrain and sharp turns.
Hammering hard for 45 minutes is tough. That’s going all out for eight laps on the 1.2-mile course. You don’t get any recovery time. If you slack at all, you get passed and the leaders pull away.
Race #2 had 18 men, and I took seventh place. I learned a lesson: I started at the very back of the pack and played catch up the whole time. I got held up behind slower riders and passing them took extra exertion. I methodically gained ground but not enough. Like a criterium road cycling race, if you are behind it’s very difficult to catch the leaders since the pace is so fast and everyone’s cranking as hard as they can. In short track it’s imperative to get the “hole shot” then settle into a groove and hold on. Race and learn.
In the men’s division, first place finisher Kurt Flaig, 47, completed eight laps on the 1.2-mile-long course in 41:58. Meanwhile, 52-year-old Peter Thorsness scored second place. I’m super impressed that these older gentlemen are crushing the competition. Even if I got the hole shot I wouldn’t have caught these two animals.
Athleticism runs in the Thorsness family apparently. Thorsness’ son, Lucas, 14, came in ninth. Lucas is going to be a great racer no doubt. He finished about a minute behind me.
Local mountain biker extraordinaire Sarah Konrad, 44, took first out of seven in the women’s category with a time of 46:29. It was good to see more male and female riders this week. Hopefully the field will grow for the third and final short track race next Wednesday.
The conditions were perfect for race #2 with the temperature at a comfy 68°, clear skies and just a light breeze. Compare that to last week when we raced in cold rain and hail with thunder crackling nearby (we also had snow last Monday morning). The weather is always a crapshoot here.
Racing mountain bikes is addictive. I feel energized for days after a race. Plus I love meeting people in the community who also share a passion for mountain biking.