Thanks to video submissions of CDR, Obra3 and Dr.W., I was inspired to give racing a whirl at the not so young age of 44. I bought my 2008 license in December, intending to do a couple local crits just for the thrill of it. They don’t start until April. 3 weeks ago I noticed a race being held about an hour away on a track with no technical corners. Perfect. But wait, I haven’t lost any of the weight I had planned on losing and I’m only in so-so shape. What the hell, I’ve been married for 14 years, so humiliation is something to which I’ve grown quite accustomed.
I haul my 220 pounds up to the starting line of the Cat 4/5. Aiming as low as possible My goal was to not get lapped more than 3 times. The race was exactly like described here. People going off the front, pack surging to catch. Next person off and the cycle repeats. It took me a few laps to find a decent sized person to draft behind then it wasn’t quite as painful. At 10 laps to go, the pace started picking up and I go anaerobic for the rest of the race. Finished mid pack and not dropped. I call it a victory.
As I am leaving, I notice the race announcer/director is going over the video of the finish and writing down the placings. I stand there looking over his shoulder until I see my number crossing.
Me, “I’m number 50. What place was I?”
He counts, “14th”
Me, “How many were in the field?”
He says “24.”
I think “Fantastic.”
He turns and asks if I’m riding in the next race. I tell him that I’m only a Cat 5 and that it was only my first race. I was thinking it was the Cat 3/4 race. It wasn't. He says it was only 10 dollars more to do the next race and I would be in the 40+ group. I think he may have murmured something about “Masters”, but I didn’t catch that part or it didn’t register in my oxygen deprived state. He says, “Just tell Kris you want to race the next race.”
Count me in!
A quick summary:
An overweight, out of shape 44 year old Cat 5 who has just completed his first race lined up in a Masters 30+/40+ race. Anyone want to guess what happens?
The pace started fairly tame, 2 or 3 guys go off immediately and the pace picks up quickly. After the leaders get a half a lap ahead I see the guy directly in front of me signaling the lead man of the pack to slow down. What the?? After another lap I don’t see the lead guys, they lapped us. After that pace went up exponentially and I went OTB. I continued to watch the race from the high side of the track. I tried to latch back on – two times - then gave up that nonsense.
DFL, not DNF, and probably lapped 6 times. I lost count.
On exiting the track I go by the announcer and say “That was how I expected the first race to go.” As I beamed ear to ear.
What fun to suck so badly.