Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Arizona State MTB Champs - McDowell MTN
Got home from DC and after a couple of recovery training days it was time to hit some good quality workouts again. I was feeling a little unmotivated and happen to notice that the Arizona State mountain bike championship race originally scheduled for Williams (5hr+ drive)had been moved due to extreme fire danger to the McDowell Mountain Competitive Track just outside Phoenix (2hr+ drive. Though I really didn't need to add any more racing to my schedule it seem like a good substitute for a hard ride and with a little moving around it fit pretty well into my training plan.
I drove up Friday afternoon with enough time to enjoy a quick pre-ride of the course. Built specifically for MTB racing, and once host to the Cactus Cup, the track is screaming fast and super flowy. They decided to run the race in reverse to change it up a bit from the first race of the series so unfortunately we had to ride up the half-pipe which wasn't anywhere near as much fun, but it was still great riding. Got to hang out with Phoenix pro-triathlete Katie at Casa Ellis for a bit and catch up with some good local gossip, always lots of fun, then headed to bed dreading the 3:30am alarm.
As bad as it was having to get up that early, moving the start time to 5:30am meant we were able to race without fear of dying out on the course somewhere. Bit disappointed to only have 7 gals line up for the Pro/Cat 1 wave start but managed to put in a good effort nonetheless until the last short lap when the legs decided to start the warm down a little early. All in all great fun, certainly better than intervals on the trainer. Big thanks to MBAA, HUB Events, and all the volunteers and sponsors for relocating and putting on a great race with 3 days notice of a venue change:)
If you have never ridden in the desert, here is a great video clip from the race!! (beware it does seem to take forever to load)