I. Day Before: We set of on the very scenic drive up to Lake County, and set up our tent upon arriving at the course. I got in a lap for preride, but would have preferred to do another, to get more familiar with course conditions this year. I had dinner at the spot, with OC Fed, and tossed the disc with the boys. On the way back to the course, we got pulled over, and the Highway Patrol said it was because the car swerved across the median line 3 times. Luckily we got out of that one without a ticket or anything of that sort. I hung around the campfire and listened to Morgan's lovely singing, whilst downing some water. Then, lights out!
II. Leading up to Race: I got a decent amount of sleep and waited a bit to have breakfast. I had peanut butter oatmeal, eggs, and 2 bananas, and 1 or 2 light snacks closer to the start. I lubricated my chain and got my bottle and food situation dialed. I hopped on the trainer and warmed up in the dry heat. I had a 13th place call-up at the line, and I was nervous but ready to go.
III. The Race: GO!! Finn and I stuck close through the culvert section. I passed coming through the finish area, and got behind Conor. Branden from Clayton Valley got past here. I remained behind Conor for the 1st lap, where he encouraged me to stick with him. Going into lap 2, I was already very tired, and I sort of bailed on a feedzone bottle offer from Devin. I let Conor hammer through the course. My new shoes (at least the right one) came a little loose, so my annoyed and fatigued self had to stop for a hot (literally) second to tighten it back up. At this point, Finn caught back up, and we stuck together for the rest of the lap. I was struggling and didn't have the strongest morale; I sorta feel bullied by the course when I race on it, as all the bumps and crazy turns seem to taunt riders. Finn lead at the beginning of the 3rd lap, and I took the lead after. I was very ready to be done. Finn passed on one of the last climbs, and told me to finish strong. I fought my way through the finishing bumps and complained about the course a bit more. The thing is, I like riding the course MUCH more than I do racing on it, cause there's practically no recovery when racing a course like this.
IV. Recap: I was glad when I finished, and satisfied that I still got a top 15 finish on a course that destroyed my morale! What went well: No falls, unlike last year, and still got top 15. What I need to work on: Technical and cornering skills, as well as strengthening my mind, so that the course doesn't get in my head. Send it!
Desmond Griffith, junior varsity boys, Oakland Tech, 13 / 35