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Amazing Race

by on October 20, 2011

Yes–that’s pretty much how I felt after crossing the finish line last Sunday. The 5th annual Southern Cross event is now history and rumours of my death were, indeed, greatly exaggerated. I didn’t puke, didn’t crash, didn’t cry…but I did get lapped and I did finish last.  It sucks to be so slow.

I know what Johnny S. would say. He was cheering me on, and during the race I heard him say, “you’re doing it!”  True–I could’ve played it safe and worked the registration table (That’s right–I’m talking to you, Krystle), but I wanted to know how cyclocross feels.

Dark Cross looked amazing–such a rock ‘n roll atmosphere and tons of adrenalin. I asked Cheryl, “how did it go?”  She said, “I had fun.”  What???  I saw her pick up her bike and run up the grandstand at least three times!  Sure, the crowd was cheering wildly each time she ran by, but wasn’t it terrifying/exhausting/painful?

MennoCross was a grind. Cold, windy and hilly. I watched closely–Cheryl was struggling. I asked her, “how did it go?” She said, “probably not my best race…but I had fun.” If only she would come clean, but no–I’d have to ride the course at Altona and find out for myself.

Julia and I met up before the race for a little pep talk. “Can’t wait till this is over,” I said. “Well, we’re here–we might as well go through with it,” said she.  Minutes before they called us to the start line, Sandra C. was still figuring out the technical details. “How do you do the re-mount?”

I saw Pastor Dan walk by and I begged him for prayer and the laying on of hands. Must’ve helped, ’cause I was feeling fearless at the start line. Suddenly, we were off and I just couldn’t believe it–I was racing!  I never saw Sandra C. again–probably because she was having the race of her life, and I was at the very back of the pack trying not to panic.

D.F.L.  I was exactly where I didn’t want to be, but I had trained on this course and I thought if I could just keep up, I would use my dazzling technical skills to slowly overtake those smug, fast girls.  Not a chance. (Maybe they’re smug because they’re fast?)

I had to get over myself and remember why I was racing. Not for fame or farmer sausage, but for the sheer joy of moving my body. This old carcass has seen better days, but it still works. There will come a time when my knees won’t carry me or my lungs will quit, and I’ll have to stay on the sidelines. But that day has not yet come.

Clearly, I had a lot of fans around the course–including Cheryl.  As I raced up to the sand pit I heard her say, “great dismount, way to go!” See–cross lab really paid off. To everyone who withstood that ridiculous wind and cheered for the racers–merci!  You helped me make it to the finish line. And the racers! All along the route I heard encouraging words as I was passed with great deference. Best of all, I got to cross the finish line with one of our ABES.  Steve–thanks for making me look good at the end.

My cyclocross season is over, but Cheryl still has a couple of races left.  Now, when she tells me “I had fun,”  I’ll know exactly what she means.

 

Sunday Ride:  October 23rd at 3 p.m.

We’re trying something new–a Sunday afternoon ride. We’ll meet at Cheryl’s house  (31 2nd Street S.E.) and ride around town in the daylight. Plus, Grumpy’s will still be open at the end of our ride–brilliant.

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4 Comments
  1. Anita permalink

    Great race report, Sandra. Very encouraging for us newbies.
    See you at the start line next X season!

    • Athena Bike Club permalink

      Anita–you made the front page of the local paper–newbies rule!
      When you go on-line, click on the photo and you’ll see the rest of their pictures.
      http://www.redrivervalleyecho.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3337829

      Ummm…next X season?!

      • Anita permalink

        Thanks for sharing that! There’s nothing like fame to spur us on.

        Yeah, like…next fall? With a citizen license, maybe?

  2. Cindy permalink

    Inspirational! You rock Sandra!

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