Ok, so I have a confession to make. I have been known, on occasion, to drink some beer. From time to time I have also been know to do this the evening before races. Last night was one such occasion and it would prove the age-old axiom that beer + endurance racing = sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
My evening was enjoyable, filled with sexy violence, schooners and the knowledge that arguing with a lawyer is simply an exercise in futility. Be that as it may, 8 o’clock is an ungodly hour to wake up at after such an evening, but I knew that it would be a fun day and didn’t want to miss out.
The course was another lollipop, much like the Westbrook race. It consisted of 2.3 km sections that seemed to hit all of the very special places that the land offered. Rolling hills, wooded sections that forced you to weave through and even some steep climbing. All in all it looked like an intriguing race and I was more or less ready to roll.
The race itself went out fast with John McAlister gunning it in the first 300 meters, I tried my best to keep close to him, but by the time we both settled down we had spent a fair amount of energy trying to push the pace. Joe Turner took advantage of our foolhardiness and sprinted pass, holding a very solid pace right to the end.
John and I would continue to run together, him in front with me about a meter or two behind. We eventually got passed by another runner, Brian Northan, but I most certainly had nothing in the tank to chase him, so I settle back to rolling along.
It was fun just clipping along the trail, me and John not saying anything to one another, just the crunchy sound of our snowshoes tearing at the crispy snow, both of our feet moving to our own rhythm.
Eventually (mercifully?) we came to the stretch back to the namesake Red Barn. Our pace picked up a bit as we moved into the final few meters. We started to sprint, but we were both pretty spent, we slowed down and walked over the line together for third place.
Joel Turner took the win in just a touch over 40 minutes and put everyone on notice that he will be a person to watch in the future. I know I will keep an eye out for his name on the starting lists. Brian Norhtan took second only a min later and John and I rounded out the podium.
The womans race was won by Joe’s wife Rebecca, who had her own battle with 2nd place Brian’s wife Jessica. Heather McNie rounded out the podium for the women.
As always the post race was superb. Derrick’s nephew played John Prine while his dad stoked a warm fire with food, coffee and laughter. It was a sure sign that the event was a success.
Although I was not at my best, anytime I can race hard, have fun and be surrounded by like-minded people, that is worth an early wake up call. It’s still only a close second to sexy violence though.