Gateway Cross Cup snuck up on me this year. I was out of town at a conference in Chicago the weekend before the race. The Cat 4 race was 40 minutes. I hadn’t ridden a bike for 40 minutes in several weeks, let alone raced. But, whatever.
I took the afternoon off work and went over to Heman Park. It had rained heavily the entire day before the race and the course was ridiculously muddy. I was the last person to register for the race and was unfortunately placed at the very back of the pack for the start (last year I was in the front row). This made things difficult. I spent the entire race going slower than I needed to and trying to find the right place to pass people. I steadily moved up the whole time. I caught up with my teammate Mike with about a lap to go and passed him with half a lap to go. We finished 14th and 15th. I moved up through more than half the field, but I just started too far back to have a chance at a good result.
A couple hours after the bike race was the “5K” cross country run. This year it was only a half mile longer than advertised (last year it was a full mile longer). The turnout was even smaller than last year with just 9 starters. From the gun one guy took off and would never be seen again. I hung back in a small pack but broke free about a mile into the run. I ran the last 2.5 miles alone and finished in 2nd place. Just like last year. There was a payout for finishing 2nd that exactly covered my entry fees for both races, so I broke even on the day. Just like last year. I also received a bottle of Michelob Ultra, which I gave to Melissa.
I stuck around for the Men’s Open race, the Women’s Pro race, and the Men’s Pro race. It was a lot of fun to watch really good riders on the extremely sloppy course. Here’s a bunch of photos.
Quantum Mesa Cycles in the open race: