Written by Jerry Hughes Thursday, 01 October 2015 15:45
The forecast coming up to this race was calling for unprecedented amounts of rain – we are talking Noah’s Ark rain. All morning it poured. My wipers could barely keep up with it when I went home at lunch to feed my dog Dillen and pack the car. The rain stopped around 2pm but I feared the worst for the course and planned on more running than biking.
I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the Ward Hill ski area in Shrewsbury, MA – just a quick 20 mins from my home. The course was 100% rideable and there was no standing water or bad mud bogs. It was actually in amazing shape! I think that due to the fact that it was on a steep angle, all the rain ran off the hill. The ski hill itself is also designed to drain well.
I got a chance to see my friend Todd Anderson grab a silver medal in the Cat5 40+ division. Following that race, I did another warm up lap trying to mental mark the rough spots on the ski trails as there were a few. I was racing in the Cat3 – going off at 6:30pm.
As we lined up in staging, we were told that due to a clerical error, all the race numbers were assigned in alphabetical order vs. points received/tracked on crossresults.com! This definitely made a few angry (especially the dudes with high points but names starting with Z ! I actually got a decent placing by this error and the group started without issues on time. The sun rapidly descended and we found ourselves enjoying the course lighted with ski lights by lap 2.
The course was super fun! The beer tent was extra rowdy and the jumps were right in front of it. For my second race of the year I was OK with how I did. I placed a bit better than the prior week – grabbing 58th out of 88. I was chasing down fellow BIKEMAN.COM rider Christian Baks but he managed to slowly pull away from me and grab a decent 36th. I was humbled by the talent in this Cat3 race.
We stayed around to watch the Cat1 studs battle it out. Ryan Trebon was on fire but only managed to grab a 4th place finish in a very strong field. Watching cross under the lights was a special treat! This was a great way to spend a Wednesday night. I can’t wait to come back next year!
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