Editors Note: This week, the ladies of Pacific Pedaling offered to report on last weekends crazy full schedule of racing. This report is brought to you by Martha Paulus and includes some of my favorite shots from the day. Another hundred and some photos are on the Flickr page – click here for those. Thanks Martha!
Saturday the Oregon State Fairgrounds hosted the last race in the Willamette Valley Cross Series and the event was also for the OBRA Cross Championship . The organizers worked hard and put on a great race. I stopped by Friday to help out and to get a sneak peek at the course. It was a long one, 2.2 miles. It meandered through the fairgrounds horse arena, motocross track, volleyball court, warm-up barn, and out into an open grassy area.
The morning of the race was pleasant and little sunny. I went out to cheer on Paul during his race and was pleased to see the chopped motorcycle track had already been tracked out making for a much easier section. I noticed a medic attending to several people who appeared to have road rash due to slippery spots on pavement no doubt. Note to self, don’t take the corners too fast.
At the 2 pm line up for the woman’s race the weather had taken a turn for the worse. The start was fast as it went down a paved section the length of the motorcycle arena and then a hard left which was slick. As I headed for the first pass through the warm-up barn and out into the open part of the course the rain was coming down pretty hard. The open grassy section was tough, back to back barriers through switch back turns and mud of course. As I remounted and headed back in, the headwind made my bike feel like it weighed a 100 lbs. Ouch! More winding around through grass, water, mud to the sandpit for a mandatory dismount. This wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, however I’m glad the organizers shortened the distance, five more strides would have killed me.
Before entering the warm-up barn again, I struggled through the longest stretch of mud the course had to offer. I could see my team tent at the far end of the barn and got a much needed boost in morale. That headwind nearly crushed me. The horse arena was great, hearing the live band play as I made my way though the loamy dirt helped spirits too. Did I mention that I’m second to last in Women’s Masters 35+ at this point and only 1 lap in? Whatever, I’m having fun out there in spite of the pain. Now on to the motocross track and I feel better and gain some ground on another girl. Yeah! Uh oh, she’s pulling away from me on the flat parts again!
I had a great time doing the Willamette Valley Cross series! Thank you to all the sponsors who made it happen.