Thursday, April 19, 2012

Michaux Trail Cup

camp trail near finish
photo credit:  Chris Heershap
Wow! What a weekend. I went into it with no definite plans or expectations. The weather looked good so there were many options. It was a nice slow day on Saturday. Got lots of loose ends tied and completed a run and ride according to plan. All was done with no time restrictions or with any sense of urgency. This doesn't happen often for me, so I was enjoying it immensely. Later in the day I was expecting Karen Potter who was traveling from Mass. to race in the Michaux Trail Cup near my home. I was playing host, but had yet decided if I was going to play along on race day with her. I knew it would be a good tune up for what's to come, but I was really enjoying no pre-race thoughts or pressure. Ok, I thought, I'll race, but I'm not going to get worked up over it. I will just let my body do what it does best and not force it. I never felt so calm before a race. It was strange.
powerline climb
photo credit:  Tori Sulewski
I know the area, but I had not done a Michaux race promoted by Zach Adams. Not knowing which trails or what direction he planned to torture us had my curiosity peaked. It turned out to be a good course and very different from the summer race of the Michaux Endurance Series, which is held in the same area. Zach had us riding trails I normally don't ride, trails I ride in a different direction and he also added in some fire roads that I had not ridden in a long time or probably never before. It was refreshing and fun to do something totally different in an area I ride often. Endless possibilities of mountain bike bliss, is what makes Michaux, well Michaux.

The Michaux Trail Cup offered up lots of rocky singletrack that required focus, climbs that challenged your guts, and descents that made it all worthwhile. For not expecting much out of the weekend, I ended up with more than I could have ever conjured up to expect. I felt amazing riding my bike during the race. It all clicked. I was so psyched to be pushing the pace without feeling turned inside out. After a 2 minute separation from the open men, the ladies started together. On the first descent I caught up to some men and started passing. Soon Gerry Pflug came by me and I thought to myself, “I'm gonna hang with him as long as I can”. My grit to hang continued for most of the race. What fun. Another highlight was passing by my son and husband while they were out riding. Lee exclaimed, "Your 4th overall, you’re killing it baby!" Then Levi gave me a fist bump.
creative podium
photo credit:  karen Potter
I had no idea I was that far ahead. I didn't really remember passing that many people. Eventually, I faded a little behind Gerry but he and I had managed to pass one more to come in 2nd and 3rd overall. Gerry was first SS and I was first female. A very exhilarating day for the memory bank!

I encourage everyone to come and enjoy the trails at Michaux state forest.  There are three more mountain bike events scheduled this year that, from experience, will not disappoint.  Check out Race Michaux to learn more about the Michaux Endurance Series.  It is held in the spring (northern michaux), summer (central michaux), and fall (southern michaux).  Each race is unique and is held in a different area of the forest and does not repeat any trails.  Hope to see you out there.

 Till next time.... 

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