Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mashel Nisqually Kermesse (MNK)

Today was the second of the Kermesse races for this year. The race was the same course as the Andy Salmon Kermesse but run in the opposite direction and with 12 laps this time instead of 10. This race gave us a chance to climb all of the hills on the dirt section then descend on the tarmac. Again I rode my cross bike with 32mm clincher tires pumped to 32psi. The officials gave us a few jokes about there being a little dirt section on the course then they blew the whistle. My starts are not the best and I scrambled to hold on to the pack. There was a fellow in the pack with what looked like a new Cervelo and as we hit the first section of baby heads I heard him say, "this is insane". Obviously not a crosser. 

After a few laps a little group of four had formed  (John, Larry, David and myself) and we had fun changing positions according to our abilities. I led through the dirt section and the other fellows would lead on the tarmac. With two laps to go, John and I pulled away from the others and then on the last lap just as we were coming to the final stretch of tarmac, John pulled away from me.....I was out of gas. 

The preliminary results showed me at 16th place out of maybe 24 starters (there were lots of DNSs). Sadly, the officials made a mistake and placed Larry in front of me in the results. But, I just learned that Larry contacted the officials and requested a change to the results that would put him in 18th place. How is that for integrity! Thanks Larry!  I will thank you before the next race. The results should now show that I won the 50+ category. It was no big deal since there were only three of us but, what the heck, I'll take it.  

The start of the dirt section

And the finish of the dirt road

The road section

Just a little mud

As a side note, The gravel road was rough enough that during the race it pounded my heart monitor strap from the center of my chest down to my waist. Also, on one of the laps as I was following John, we transitioned to the tarmac and a chunk of mud from his back wheel flipped up and went right into my wide open mouth. I was hopping that the mud was not horse manure. 

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