How exciting to be able to race at Woodland Park. It was a great venue, and a great course. Our first really wet cross race this year, it rained most of the day so the mud was very slippery and challenging. There were a lot of spectators from the local community there, more then most races so far. I even talked to a guy who didn’t even know what cross was and now is thinking about buying a cross bike because it looked like so much fun. That is awesome and what we get from bringing racing into more local and populated area’s. Just wish we could convince the city’s of that!!

It was really cold and wet yesterday so the first challenge was figuring out what to wear to stay warm enough but not over heat in the race. At the start line I was a little cold but luckily we didn’t have to stand to long. Jenni Gaertner came over to finish out the series that she was leading, she is from Id and is a very strong racer. I knew she was going to be my challenge today, going into the race she had 6 points on me for the overall. I wasn’t sure of the point system that MFG was using, as it was kinda difficult to find on the website. So I really didn’t know if I could take the lead overall or not. So I decided to just try to go for the win and see what happened.

They said go and off we went. The start was a long paved road with an up hill section then onto the course. I got the whole shot but Jenni came by me at the top of the paved hill so I got on her wheel. She was riding strong right off the gun so I knew this one was going to hurt! I stayed on her wheel until we hit a little muddy section where I got by her and she then jumped on my wheel. We went back and forth like this for the first 2 laps, then Jenni attacked me on the hillier sections of the course on the back side. I didn’t have enough in my legs with racing the State Champs yesterday to match her so I had to just stay at my pace. She pulled away and got up to a 20 sec gap on me. I thought to myself that I may not be able to get her back but to not give up because with a course like this with all the technical muddy sections anything can happen.

With about 2 laps to go I realized I was starting to pull her back a bit, she was getting a little tired I think. I got within a 10 sec gap to her with one lap to go, and she crashed pretty hard going into the last lap. By the time I got around the turn she was back on her bike, I didn’t know that she crashed, but when I saw her I decided it was my chance to attack and I did. I got up everything I had in me and hit it hard. I tried to ride fast but not crash, by the end of the last lap I had gotten a good gap and was able to come through for the win!! I was so proud of myself for not giving up and riding a hard race from the beginning and staying on my bike and not in the mud.

Like I always say, never give up, anything can happen. And this was a perfect example. Lee Smith had a great day and finished out the podium in 3rd.

So it wasn’t until I got home last night and started doing some math that I realized that I couldn’t take the win overall because of how MFG did the point spread. There is a very tight margin in the points system they use and you only get 2 points on 2nd place by winning. So since I was behind by 6, I would have had to beat her by like 4 or 5 placings to win the series. Oh well, I tried. Congrats to Jenni on a great series!

So it’s not final but I should be in 2nd overall. Now it’s time to switch focus back to the Seattle series where I am undefeated at this point. I hope to keep up this streak for the last 2 races!!

And my husband Chad had a great race as well, he rode super strong and moved up from around 13th in the first lap to 6th by the end. All his training is paying off now!

Now we move up North again finally to Sedro Wolley this Sunday for a very muddy and power course. I will let you know how it ends up.

Kristi