I’ve had some of my best races at Mankato, so I was hoping for a little more of the same this year. Julie and I were about 90 minutes into the drive to Mankato the day before the race, when my phone rang. Jesse had called to tell me that the course was closed for pre-riding due to extensive damage from all of the rain. So we drove to Shakopee, dropped our stuff off at Jesse’s and went out for a spin. Later that night, the heavens opened up and dumped about 1 ½” of rain onto an already saturated race course.
We arrived at the course the next day and saw some of the Cat 3 bikes after their race. Most of them had a nice, thick coating of peanut butter all over them. The Cat 2 race was going on and their bikes didn’t look a whole lot better. It did look like the course conditions were improving a little, so I decided to buck up and do the race.
There were only about 35 starters in the Elite field, and like the last Minnesota race, I got off to a really good start and was rolling about 5th most of the way up the initial climb. About halfway through the first lap, I could feel that feeling coming on like I was going to spend the remainder of the race dying a very slow death. I got passed by 4 or 5 others and it got to the point where I intentionally slowed and waved three of them by me. Most of my dying had occurred when going uphill, I felt pretty good on the flats and could hold pace with just about anybody. I even contemplated dropping out, however despite the climbing issues, I was still enjoying most of the course. There probably 4 or 5 places that were really muddy, bad enough that it pretty much coated the bike with sandy mud. Otherwise, the course was damp, very grippy and a lot of fun. Much to my surprise, I salvaged a 10th overall. I thought for sure that I was going to be a lot further back. Jesse had a pretty stellar day and took the win over Brendan by about 10 seconds. Yeah, Brendan raced the Subaru Cup the day before and Jesse didn’t. Put an asterisk by his name if you want, but a win is a win. He’s riding really well this year and it was only a matter of time before he bagged a win.
So you might be asking why I opted to do this race, rather than the Subaru Cup over in Wisconsin… There are a couple of reasons, first, for a reason that I’m still trying to sort out, my form on the mountain bike is considerably less than it had been over the past couple of years. I don’t really feel like I’m worthy to race as a Pro locally, much less amongst national caliber Pros. Second, I would have ended up starting near the back of the field. I’m racing so poorly this year that I probably would have gotten lapped and pulled within a couple of laps. I really hated missing the Subaru Cup, I really love the course and they do such a phenomenal job with the WORS series. Mankato is a lot closer and we ended up spending a lot less money racing in Mankato.
It’s going to be a few weeks before I race again. I’m doing the Marathon Nationals in Breck this weekend, however I’ve decided to do it as a training ride so that I can focus more on getting my fitness turned around and back to where it should be while we’re out in Colorado. If you’re some jack wagon of a thug thinking about breaking into my house while I’m gone…think again dude. I have a bad ass, football coach neighbor who is home 24/7 that’s going to keep an eye on my pad. If you try something stupid, he will grab you, twist you into a pretzel and then deposit you in his curbside garbage can on trash day, shortly thereafter you will get a nice tour of Des Moines in the back a Metro Waste Authority tour bus.
Thanks for reading,