Double wow. First, I walk in and the executive assistant to the CEO is in my office, wondering if I were gone already. Now, the CEO himself just stopped by ... gulp!
Anyhoo, on to fun stuff!!!
In case you hadn't heard, this year's Natz not only had the best weather in like a decade (since Baltimore, I heard), but it also had the biggest field -- more than 1,900 registered racers. (OK, 1,898 since I bailed early on Saturday and skipped on Sunday!) The biggest of the big were in the Masters B events -- under 35 with 170 or so racers, and over 35 with 240!!!!
This is what it looked like in the off-camber section after the start ... can you say MOOOOOO!
Local hero Brian Conant once again had a stellar day, not letting 239 other guys get in his way ... here's the start of the 35+ B race, you can see Brian already doing a Kamikazi run to the left of the photo (blue and white: far, far left). By Turn 1, off the pavement and over the curb, he was in about 15th place -- by Turn 3, just 100 meters later, he was in 8th -- by the off-camber, just 100 meters later, he was in 2nd!!!!! Man, do I need to learn how to start FAST if I'm going to compete with him in the 35+ races next year!
Brian was clearly the strongest on the day as a lead group of six established itself. He attacked non-stop, only pausing when he could tell he wasn't going to get away ... at which time one of his breakaway mates would counter ... forcing Brian to react, and ultimately pulll the rest of the group back to the wheel of the front guy ... at which time Brian would go again ... but ... just ... could ... not ... quite ... get ... away ...
Eventually, the group started working it for the win, and Brian put in a lap-and-a-half attack (we're talking like 10 minutes SOLID of riding on the front!!) in his bid to finally win the $andbagger Jersey. Unfortunately, his efforts were for naught, as he got gapped slightly on the downhill behind the ampitheater, and ended up losing a couple of seconds to the eventual winner. The guy with the disk -- who has won something like 1,000 national championships -- pushed Brian to the line for 2nd place, with Brian's sprinting prevailing on the long uphill dreag ... 2nd place, twice in a row. Doesn't that mean an automatic upgrade to Elites?
Elsewhere in the massive field, Dave was out there having fun, as always, only his second or third race on his new 'cross rig ... this is Dave, BIG smile on his face, showing what 'cross is all about!
So that's it for me from Donlen-land ... I'm heading over to Kim's office for free pizza lunch, after a well-earned (and free, since I found a gift certificate as I cleaned out my desk) peppermint mocha from Starbucks. Yummm!
Happy Final Friday everyone! Woo-hoo!
ONLY 359 DAYS TO KC!!