Thursday, July 16, 2009
Campmor H2H Bulldog Rump
photo by gtluke: http://gtluke.smugmug.com/biking/831996
Laura Winberry -3rd Pro/open
Art White - 7th Pro/open
Marianne Santangelo - 1st Cat 1 (40+)
Ellen White - 3rd Cat 1 (40+)
Zach Koop - 4th Cat 1 (19-29)
James Wilbur - 6th Cat 1 (40-49)
Jeff Coneys - 8th Cat 1 (40-49)
Tyler Conlon - 12th Cat 2 (19-29)
Ellen's race report:
The Bulldog Rump race which takes place in small but beautiful Kittatinny Valley State Park is always a fun event. The course varies from year to year, and this year it was similar to the 2005 Running of the Dogs race course. I have very fond memories of that course as it was my first single-speed race, and actually my first single-speed ride. Feeling good about the course, I was so relaxed going into the race, that I forgot my bottle of Heed. Thanks to Art, as he gave me one of his.
As part of my warm up, I set out to find a hill long enough to elevate my heart rate. The Cat 2’s were still on course, so I found one hill off the field that was not in the race. It was last year’s finish, and resembled a ravine with large towering rocks on both sides. After my interval, the climb dead ended, so I turned around to ride back down for another interval. I was taken back by the sight of a family of small bears looking down at me from the rocks above. As cute as they were, they looked a bit confused, as would be expected with hundreds of racers in their home. They were too close for comfort and I did not see any momma, so I got out of there and looked for a new warm up spot. At that time it dawned on me, how cool it is to race mountain bikes, when you get to see bears.
Off the start of the race, I decided to settle in behind Serruto. As we entered the singletrack there was much cheering. If there was one thing about this race that stood out, I would say it was all the cheering around the field. A big thanks to Zach’s family, who have been at nearly every race cheering us on. The cheering on Sunday was a huge help.
The course was slick in spots from showers the night before. I was trying to hold onto Serruto, and Marianne was on my wheel as well. I had a close call when I nearly shot off the course like a ping-pong ball on greased rocks. From there on I had a better idea of were my boundaries should be, and where I needed to push. Within a mile, my stomach cramped and I needed to back off a tad. I let Marianne by and could see she was right on Serruto’s wheel.
My stomach settled down after about 5 or 10 minutes, and just as I was bringing myself back up to race speed, I caught a glimpse of riders ahead of me and across the back field. Now I had a carrot in front of me, and the games began. One by one, I chased carrots. The more I ate, the better I could see. I seemed to get faster as the course became familiar. I dug the three sisters climbs on the back third. That third little stinker hurt all four times, but I tried not to give in to the pain. I envisioned all the cheering people back in the field, which made that moment of pain seem just so brief and worthwhile, and it was over in seconds.
I rolled into the finish feeling strong. I was very surprised to find out I was only 43 seconds behind Serruto. I was also thrilled to find out that Marianne had taken the win. It feels great to have a strong race, but even better when your friend and team mate has that special day as well.