Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lucky Charm's Continued....

We hung around for a little while before the second session started up which included a Keirin and points race. Phil Miller, the chief ref, did a great job of informing the athletes their duties (making it a show) and playing fairly. Dave Mann, the promoter, also thanked everyone for coming out - he did an amazing job!

First up - the Keirin. Thankfully they ran them with semi's so instead of one person qualifying from each heat, 4 would then proceed to a semi-final. Then in the semi's - the top 4 advance. I breezed through both heats and lined up for the final. You could tell each person wanted to win bad. Instead of lining up and playing nicely behind the motor as they sped us up to speed - the ladies were in a double file line - bumping and grinding. I backed off - and once the time the motor pulled and the acceleration happened - was in poor position for the finish. Dead stinking last.

The beauty of track racing? I got to do it again in another race that night. Since the pressure was off for qualifying for Nationals in the pursuit - I decided to have fun and race the points race with gusto. We had a large field - so staying in the front was key. Christine and Liz were both involved and I got a couple of stellar lead outs - it was RAD. I managed to win a sprint and then Kristen King launched a solo flier and held the rest of us off for the win. I was tied for 2nd with Cari Higgins - but she aced me out in the final sprint by placing higher. But I was tickled with a 3rd place finish - more podium time! Can someone please pinch me?

We got home LATE Friday night - poor Liz had to drive back in the early morning for the sprint tournament while Ryan and I slept in until 10:30. I woke up a couple times in the middle of the night - first because I was hungry and then from hacking up a lung thanks to the track hack. Being asthmatic is awesome - NOT! I ended up using some Vick's Vapor rub to calm my chest down.

I headed back to the track around 2 - to meet Christie and get my new fork installed on the Tiemeyer. A quick drive to Redmond Bikes and they had me back in action hours before the evening session. I took a nice nap in the van and the suited up for the Scratch, Miss and Out and Madison races.

Thinking the Scratch race would be fast - I geared up to a 91.8, which jacked the legs in the end. I should have raced a 90! And although I was active and in the front for a lot of the race - when the winning move launched, I had wasted too many matches to bridge up and ended up swarmed in the pack sprint. Oh well - like I said before - the beauty of track is having another race in 20 minutes. Turns out we had 39 women in our Scratch race - a record! How cool is that???!!!

Next up - the Miss and out with 27 starters. Luckily they pull every lap - but we still had 30 laps to go. I played it smart. Settling in and then coming around each lap. I nearly got aced out the lap before the final 5 to go - but somehow stayed in. Shelley Olds made a move - I knew she was coming and jenny trew did a great job of blocking me so I could only contest her for 2nd. And let me tell you - that was the hardest 150m I've had in a LONG time. I whipped out the donkey face for that one!

Last but certainly not least was Marymoor's first all women's Madison. We had one more team than the elite men did! Dave Mann dubbed 2008 as the "Year of the Women." Christine and I managed 4th - not bad considering she hasn't raced one before. A couple more races and she should be good to go for contesting the podium with me! We botched a couple exchanges - which compounded gaps in the end - but did great overall. At one point she jumped the lead ladies and made them chase chase chase her for a sprint. It was rad!

I ended up placing 5th overall - not bad. But it still makes me hungry for next year. And I'm feeling good about going into nationals this year - that's for sure.

It's so fun attending this events - and even better when they're held at your home track. Thanks to all the out of towners who made it out and brought some amazing intensity. I'll see you ladies in LA in October.

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