I. The Day Before: I got out of school early to pre-ride the course. My legs and lungs felt pretty good despite the fact that I didn't eat and drink a whole lot before riding. I took it fairly easy during my 2-lap pre-ride. Later, I had dinner at Louie, and tossed the disc /w/ the boyz. The disc hit a car and set off the alarm when we were tossing it in the Sandcastle Inn parking lot (Oops)! I got to bed sometime before 11 pm, in order to get some solid rest.
II. The Morning Of: I woke at 7:15 am, and we arrived at the course around 8:30 am, to watch the girls' starts and sing the national anthem! I ate a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter whilst doing so. Arriving back at the pit, I consumed 2 hard-boiled eggs, and anxiously waited for the oatmeal to be ready. I loaded up on peanut-butter infused oatmeal (my trademark creation!) and had 2 bananas on the side. I made sure to hydrate and get my stuff and body race-ready, eating 2 light snacks 1.5-2 hrs before go-time. I did my trainer warm-up, got my race-plate on, and nervously pedaled up to staging. I was 1 position short of a call-up, and when we lined up, Tom was like, "Desmond, this is your course!"
III. 5...4...3...2...1...Go!! We were off, and knowing that the gravelly part right before the fire road climb has taken out some racers at the start, I was extra cautious, and felt like I did not have the best start. At this point, I was likely in the middle of the pack or so. I used the steep road climb to pass some riders, catching and sliding past Finn towards the top. I proceeded down the very fun and flowy descent, not far behind Nathan and Conner. I made a pass or 2 on the short little climb in the open singletrack area, and felt like I had decent form as I winded down into couch canyon. During the climb out I caught Nathan and Conner, and the 3 of us rode as a pack for a bit, passing some D1'ers on the way. I lead up hurl hill, and we stayed together through most of the 2nd lap. I took a bottle at the feed, and stuck with Branden, from Clayton Valley Charter, for a bit. Coming into lap 3, I made a pass on the road climb, and made sure to go as fast as I comfortably could on the downhills. I passed some D2 and D1 riders on the 1st pitch of the climb and on hurl hill. Even though I had already taken a bottle at the feed, my dad almost forced me to take another, but I didn't feel like I needed it. Understandably, it was tough going into the 4th lap, but I felt like I stayed strong. Noah passed me on the 1st pitch outta couch canyon. I passed some D1 and one or two D2 at this point. I proceeded to eat my gel, but noticed that it bounced out and was hopelessly lying around somewhere on the trail, prone to being run over by some riders! Even so, I felt like I laid down a solid gap between some riders in my wave! I passed a JV Lightfighter, who I found out was Tristan (I remember some names of riders from prior races.) I made a pass on hurl hill, and did a hard effort on the gradual feedzone climb after. I went hard through the home stretch, but did not hold my line, and so Tristan got me in the final sprint.
IV. Recap: I felt strong on this course, and my lap times were very consistent! (Lap 1: 21:01, Lap 2: 19:51, Lap 3: 19:53, Lap 4: 19:51) This was also my first Norcal League top 10 finish (9th, JV D2), and I'm pretty sure that I will regain a call-up for next race! Very proud of the team(s), y'all killed it yesterday! Shalom!
Desmond Griffith, junior varsity boys, Oakland Tech 9 / 46