Kinder ‘Cross Race Report

4 Nov

Fun times this past weekend.  But first, a message from our sponsors:

The Tacchino Ciclocross is this Sunday at Rosaryville State Park in Upper Marlboro, MD — come on out and race!  I’d try to describe just how much fun this will be but I can’t do it justice.  I’ll let my friend, teammate, and race promoter the Unholy Rouleur do the talking:

We’re working to give you a lot of reasons to join us.  We’ve added a little bit of length to the course with a sweeper section with some off-cambers, some stairs, and more gravel road.

Off the course, there will be a moon bounce where your young’n’s can bounce themselves dizzy.  There will also be a roller race, and a Huffy toss… featuring a truly unique, high end stand-in for Huffy, with prizes for those who rock the rollers and toss the Huffy strongest. Team tents will again line the course, with preferred parking close to the pavilions for teams that request it in advance.  Pineapple Alley Catering – who hit it out of the park last year with Belgian style sausages and pommes frites – will be back with that menu, and will add Belgian desert treats.  And for those adults interested in bouncing themselves dizzy, funk band Gallons to Ounces will be playing again, and our sponsor Duvel/Ommegang has added their prestigious Duvel Green to the draft beers on tap.

Of course, since he wrote that, the prize list has just gone completely off-the-hook crazy.  Over $5000 in prizes and swag being handed out.  First-lap primes.  Mid-race primes.  Best kill ratio (start at the back and catch as many as you can) prizes.  And a prize list for the top placings that makes turning yourself inside out even more appealing (beyond, you know, the love of suffering itself, which is the entire premise of this blog and not something to be taken lightly).  Sponsors including Conte’s of Arlington/Bethesda, the Acorn Inn in Nellysford, VA, Stevil Kinevil of All Hail the Black Market, Duvel/Ommegang, Voler, Well Oiled Wine Co., and the Java Shack of Arlington, VA.

Oh. My. God.  This race will be amazing and you should come DO IT!  Tell your friends.

Online registration is closed, but day-of registration is still available in all races everything but the Men 4 and Masters 3/4 (Promoter Jim helpfully set me straight there).  Info here.

Did I mention the weather forecast is sunny, high in the 50s?  Seriously, if you haven’t cleared your schedule to come out for this, what the heck is wrong with you?

Right, so Kinder ‘Kross (I can’t deal with the misspelling so that is the only time I will write it that way in this post) hosted by ABRT was this past weekend on Halloween, out near Annapolis.  My mom and grandmother were visiting, so the whole family piled into a couple of cars and came out.  Most important detail: the boy finished first in the 3-and-under race.  He was psyched and ready to do it all again immediately.

This was a first-year event and as such a huge contrast to the full fields, noise, and general atmosphere of DCCX.  But the venue, Kinder Farms Park, shows some great potential and the proximity to DC could make this a top event with a bit of refinement.  The lower section was a seemingly endless series of 180s on grass, though they made great use of a few off-camber slopes to spice it up.  The turns do need a little opening up, however — there was really no flow.  And in my ideal world the barriers would be on a flatter section so those with some ‘cross-specific skills can carry a bit more speed into the remount.  Following a slightly uphill barrier with a power climb really negates the barrier a bit.  Or, put the barrier on a steeper hill and make it a true run-up.

I got a great start in the small field, but hesitated and didn’t quite go for the hole shot.  I’ve been turning over since then whether or not this was a mistake; instead I was second into the grass.  We were braking a ton through all the twisty sections, but there was no room to get around and I wasted a bit of energy trying to get past on the second lap.  If I’d just been leading, then I could have been gapping people through those turns rather than blunting my sprint to no good end.

This came back to bite me about halfway through as I started to fade.  I would make up lots of ground in the twisty section, but could never get in front, and would get gapped again on the two bumpy climbs on the course.  I didn’t have the focus I did at DCCX and had a short weak patch, before rallying on the last two laps to regain one lost place and come in sixth.

I was still fairly psyched about this (best placing this season, after all), until the latest points list came out today and confirmed my fears that the small field size would come back to bite me.  Boo.

Upside:  I’m on the home team this Saturday.  It’s a series race.  And I got a good enough workout at Wednesday’s practice to be woozy for hours afterwards.  Perfect.


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