Celtic Cross was this afternoon on the slag heaps in (slightly outside of?) Frick. Heather came along to cheer for me, which was awfully nice of her, especially considering the great trek from the parking lot next to the Irish Center up to the slag heaps. She was the only spectator with a cowbell, and most of the racers had no idea why she kept ringing it.
Tough course. It was about a mile, with a fair amount of loose gravel, two nasty mud bogs, one set of triple barriers, and a really steep run-up. After the second (and easily more punishing) of the bogs, there was this little hill. I think I might have made it up the hill while still on my bike for the first lap. Maybe the second. After that, I got off and slowly trudged up that crappy little hill, too spent to pedal.
The race was an hour long, and the idea was to finish as many laps as possible within that time. I managed eight, which was more than I thought I'd have been able to do. There was one guy who got eleven, four others with ten, not sure of how many with nine and then eight.
Either way, highlights for me were:
- Not wrecking
- Not falling off of the edge of the slag heap in multiple and various places
- Grabbing the mud money from whoever it was from Iron City Bikes who was offering it to whoever was willing to grab it. After the race, I dug it out of my back pocket and realized that it was only $1, but hey, a dollar's a dollar, and no one else seemed to want it. I am not a proud person.
- Gorgeous weather. They had been calling for rain today, but that didn't even come close to happening. The sun was shining all day long.
- Losing my bike computer. It popped off somewhere. I tried keeping an eye out for it after I noticed it had gone missing, but no luck. It's gone and now. Bummer. At least I have a dollar to put toward the cost of the new one.
This was only my second cyclocross race, and I think it was probably more physically draining than the Murrysville 'cross race, although I think that may have only been 45 minutes long. I wasn't crazy about all of the loose gravel, especially after wiping out thanks to some cinders a few weeks ago, but as mentioned earlier, I was able to avoid wrecking, even if it meant a certain measure of caution when approaching some sections.
So much mud.