I participated in two of the three races, which were held in Hutchinson and organized by the Midwest Masters Cycling Team.
February 26, 2011: Carey Park in Hutchinson, KS
This was the first race in the series. Monica (my Specs Racing teammate) and I were the only two women entered. The course was a long, 2-mile loop, more a circuit race than a criterium. We treated the race as a hard training session, and took turns pulling. Although the race was mostly her pulling me. Honestly, I hadn't been training much leading up to this race, and I was woefully out of shape. On the second to last lap, she took off, and put at least half a mile into me in the next two laps. I finished second of two, and got some points for the series.
March 4, 2011: Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, KS
I trained hard during the previous week, and was looking forward to making a much better showing at the second race in the series. I woke up with an upset stomach, though, and proceeded to feel sicker and sicker throughout the morning. The women's race didn't start until 12:45, so I had plenty of time to get up and get ready. I kept waking up every 30 minutes or so, thinking, "Maybe I'll feel well enough to get up and go to the race, now." Then I would get up and move around a bit, and end up hitting the bathroom and then my bed in close succession. The stomach upset didn't last very long, but I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. I stayed home from the race, and took the next day off of work.
March 11, 2011: Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, KS
I had to prove myself, after taking the previous weekend off. So even though the day was cold, windy, and rainy, I packed up with my dad and drove to Hutch for the race. This course was much better, much more like a crit, short and speedy with lots of twists and turns. There was only one other woman entered (not Monica), and she looked pretty green. I thought about staying with her and dropping her at the end, but it became clear from the start that she wasn't going to be able to keep up with me, and I wasn't going to be able to slow down enough for her to try. I blew away from her on the first straight-away, lapped her after about 7 laps, and had almost lapped her a second time by the end of the race. I took first place in fine fashion.
The weekend I was sick, two other women showed up to give Monica a run for her money. One of them ended up edging her out, which means that she got first in the first race and second in the second race. I got second in the first race and first in the third race. Since the series was best two out of three, we tied for first place, and I got an $85 payout! Not bad for the first race of the season!
I'd like to thank my wonderful team sponsors, especially Specs Eyewear in Wichita, and Bicycle X-Change. They make the racing possible!
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