Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bethlehem Cup. More 'cross adventures.

Warning NON-ECCC Content

Ok, I know that this is supposed to be an ECCC blog and I am well aware of the HPCX and Beancon Cross Races down in New Jersey that occured this weekend. But frankly I've done something around 55 races this year and I just couldn't get myself do to a long drive, as I've been away from campus on the weekends for 9 weeks straight. So, that being said on to this weeks recap.

Bethlehem Cup

The race was held at Elm Ave Park down in Delmar, NY about 30 minutes southeast of Schenectady. I had raced it before, last year in my first 'cross race ever, and I actually knew what to expect.


Ripping the Chicane , Courtesy Barry Koblenz

The course was not particularly hard, but didn't really fit my skill set as it was mostly open grass, road and flat dirt sections with some long mud sections and 2 run-ups. Basically, a power course, and as you may know I am not the most powerfully built person. But anyway I got to the start line with a short warm up and hoped for the best.

From the gun I was in the mix, and stayed near the leaders, which included Eric S (CBRC), Tim (RPI) and Nate (RPI), for most of the first lap. This continued to be true until we hit the first "technical" section where I bunny hopped the log (a small stick really) and shouldered Andrew Bernstein (Skidmore Alum) pretty hard going into the next mud section. I then lost my line a bit and ran into a tree, and needed to stop and take inventory to make sure my shifters and the like were inplace. The leaders then powered away from me and I found my self with some dude mid-pack.

in th mix

On the First Run-up With the Leaders, Courtesy Barry Koblenz

When we came around for lap 2 I was somewhere in the middle and worked with the guy I was chasing. We stuck together for most of the lap and then we caught Eric S (CBRC) and I stayed on his wheel until his crashed into some course tape on a downhill chicane. I then dropped the other guy somewhere in the woods. As I came around for Lap 3 I saw James D (CBRC) just ahead of me and I eventually caught him on a small gravel climb. I rode with him for a while and actually passed him by the time we hit the second run up and then when I reached the top he was right with me, he jumped back on his bike and then put in a big effort and I couln't hold his wheel.

I spent the final lap pretty much by myself still desparately trying to catch James but with no luck. When I crossed the finish line I saw someone behind me but I had enough time to slow down and wheelie across the finish in front of the adoring public.

After checking the results two things stuck out. The first being that I got sixteenth, which was better than expected but not great and the second being that Curtis W (CBRC) had won the race. This is important because Curtis is the son of the Union Crew coach and is only 13. That's right a 13 year old beat the entire Men's 3/4 field. Well done.

After lounging around for a while and watching the sub-par elite race I drove back to Schenectady to do some Solar Energy homework and eat.

This coming weekend I'll be heading down to Bard for the annual ECCC planning meeting where I'm sure to heckle, cowbell and bark at Joe as he pathetically tries to keep a bunch of ECCC hooligans under control. This will also be my first weekend not racing in nine weeks, and maybe I'll actually get to recover for the Whitmore Cup.

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