So the horn blows and we are off in the wrong direction. Yup I said it. Headed straight out of the park. Onto the road and out. Well, not exactly out. We made a little detour right back into the familiar trails of waywayanda. As our unfamiliar group pace lined down the road to the trail head some of us at the front had a burst of pass power to take on the singletrack first. I was one of them and yeah ended up first into the turn. What was I thinking.
Mike Merrit fixed this real quick. Went around me and took off never to be seen by me again. Within seconds Brian Shernce passes as well as Kieth Licata , Mike Ahearn,Marco Mora and Jacob Gettier. OK,, Now I am good right. No one is passing me now. Its time to focus and regain some positions. Yeah right. And Utah Joe comes along and rows past me. OK, its a little wet. Slippery and me don't mix. But as it was in Chainstretcher I am not backing down this race either so I press on. By the time I start hitting some of the singletrack I start seeing some familiar wheels. And then Kieth on the side of the trail. Flat tire. Trouble plagues the man again. Soon after I see Jacob and Brian and Mike Ahearn ? I just could not catch them . I saw glimpses of Brian Shernce a few times and by the time we got into to newer singletrack I was slipping all over bouncing off trees and rocks enough that they slowly walked away from me. I made it through the first lap with minimal off bike moves and then came lap two. A whole different animal. The racers splattered enough mud all over the rocks where it was just way too slipperly for me to stay on the bike. Soon on I passed Mike Ahearn on the side of the trail. Chain problems. Thats one down I said. I pressed on and ended up on Cherry Ridge road and said to myself " one more section and I am done " As I enter this ruff section of singletrack I am still bouncing off rocks but I look behind and there is no one. Now I come up to Marco Mora on the side of the trail. He took a bad crash and was getting himself together to finish the race when he looked up at me. We made eye contact and I just knew it was gonna happen. A classic all out race to the finish. I had been in front of Marco by the time he got on his bike so all I had to do was stay upright and beat him to the finish. Up the last hill climb we passed a group of racers. I could not even call a pass. Marco and I passed all over the side of the trail knocking others handlebars. They looked at us but immediately knew what was going on and did not say anything except cheer us on. We had a few hundred feet to go and I made it. I beat Marco to the finish line. I want to say this was my first sprint finish. 5th place overall for me. It was a good race and my mud racing skills are improving.