August 19, 2009

Race Report: LifeSource Natural Foods Salem Short Track – Race 2

Racers negotiate the quick double up and over in the 2nd Race of the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Salem Short Track Series at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

Racers negotiate the quick double up and over in the 2nd Race of the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Salem Short Track Series at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

Monday night was the 2nd race in the LifeSource Natural Foods MTB Salem Short Track Series, or as I like to call it, the longest named race around! And this week it was even hotter than last week…I think we were in the low 90’s by the time the first race began. The high temps keep hammering racers with a dry, dusty, hot course to race on. We also changed up the course from last week to accommodate all the groups using the grounds the day we’ll be racing during the fair, and the reports were the course was much faster than last week. Photos from the 2nd race are up on Flickr. Matt’s photos are on Flickr too. And Matt made a cool video as well, which is on Vimeo.

Ok, PacificPedaling.com team props out of the way here right off the bat. I was waiting on official OBRA results, but wanted to get the post race up, so I’ll go from the email. James Cloyd, not only took 1st in Cat 2 (again) but then turned around and raced in Cat 1, back to back! Ellen Miller also raced back to back, first as the fastest singlespeed lady around, and then taking 2nd in Cat 1 Women. Martha Paulus put in a solid 4th in Cat 2 Women, and Tyler Jackson knocked out a nice mid 5th spot. So proud of the team! Once they are posted, you can see all the results at the OBRA site.

Im thinking about putting a Great James Race Face photo up each week. Heres one to kick it off...

I'm thinking about putting a "Great James Race Face" photo up each week. Here's one to kick it off...

Now, this was also my very first race of any kind on a bike, and the good news is…I’m still alive! I hadn’t planned on doing any racing until cross season, but couldn’t find any more reasons NOT to, so with borrowed bike in hand, I took my turn around with the Cat 3 men. How was it? Really hard. Brutal. Besides being still way overweight, and not in any kind of race condition at all, it was also stinking hot. But the good news is, I didn’t go down, and I finished in one piece! I started off in the back of the group, figuring it was the safest place for the first time out, and pretty much stayed there. I tried to catch up after a couple laps, but never really made up much ground. Apparently, someone felt bad for me and decided to have a mechanical or just pull out because I wasn’t listed as dead last…just one shy of it though.  I may not ever be a fast racer, but I think I’ll find plenty of enjoyment in the times I get out to do it.

Even better than experiencing my first race though, was the fact that my 12 year old son Aaron decided to get out and give it a go as well…and get this, he won his junior category! He came out with me at 3:30 to help set up the course, and after running around the BMX course with other kids there, he decided to try the short track race. Tyler let him borrow is 24″ cruiser, and he cranked away on the larger BMX with the 10-14 Junior class.

Aaron Lopez, about to negotiate a descent, and rockin the PacificPedaling.com team jersey. At least one Lopez can represent the team kit....

Aaron Lopez, about to negotiate a descent, and rockin' the PacificPedaling.com team jersey. At least one Lopez can represent the team kit....

Since Juniors and Cat 3 raced at the same time, my favorite moments of the race were catching up to Aaron and getting a chance to tell him he was doing a great job and to keep pedaling! At first he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to even complete a lap, but he actually completed just one lap shy of the old man! My buddy Nate snagged photos during the Cat 3 race and got this shot of us together:

Father and son, both racing together for the first time.

Father and son, both racing together for the first time.

Overall a great night, and a continuation of a great series down here in Salem. Even with the heat, there seemed to be more spectators out cheering on the racers. We had the music blasting (sorry about the offensive word in the track…I found it and have removed it! oops!) and the water guns spraying. Next week wraps up with races on Monday and Saturday, during the fair. Hope to see you all soon!

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