Saturday was another race for the 2015 season. It was IMBCS #10 - Summerset Shootout. Believe it or not, it was actually only the third race in our eleven race series to date that has not had to use a rain delay or was not rescheduled. Ma Nature played nice and provided us with dry weather, sunshine, and temperatures in the 60's - 70's for perfect racing conditions. That's something that would not be hard to imagine during some years here in Iowa, but it is sort of hard to imagine this year with what we have been through in terms of weather, rain, and frustration.
Race Director Rick Blackford and the Rasmussen Mountain Bike Team had everything set up well and hosted a wonderful event.
The early morning crew had Steve Fuller snap one of our local balloons launching over the Banner Pits on Saturday morning...
I drove out and set up the IMBCS banners around 9 am and then headed up to Des Moines to pick up the CITA trailer for the organized trail work day at Lake Ahquabi on Sunday morning. I dropped the trailer off at the house, showered up and then headed back to Summerset State Park for the 2015 Shootout event. It is one of my "home" courses, so I felt comfortable doing the three laps knowing what that feels like on this course. I got registered and went out to warm up on the pavement and hit the section of Riverside we were to do. I ended up doing more chit-chat with various folks than I did warm-up, but that was okay with me. My legs felt pretty rested from the week of recovery I had been through.
The COMP category has proven to be very popular this year and once again, we had 16 toe the line in the COMP category. Although my name was called up to line up front due to the series points, I was happy to stay in the back for the start.
Off we went...
...and I tried to gauge a bit better where I belonged in the line up before heading into the singletrack. I went in about 12th out of the 16 and was comfortable in that position. As we worked our way through the opening Coal Miner's Daughter section, I eventually passed the guy in front of me to put myself into 11th place overall for the group. Lap one was uneventful for me as the trail was in primo shape. Tom Anderson was acting as a course marshal as we came out of Corner Pocket and yelled out some words of encouragement to me.
My legs and overall oompf felt better this race than the previous two because I laid off the trail work and allowed myself to actually recover before this race. Big difference for me and I was glad. Lap two had the top Sport racer catch up to me and pass me in Corner Pocket. Three others caught up to me going into Riverside and they went around me as we headed to Extra Credit. That was it in terms of being passed for the duration. I held my own on lap 3...
I rolled across the finish line feeling pretty good that I did not lose power or speed and turned three consistent laps (all within less than a minute range of each other). I came in 10th out of the 16 and 5th in my age class. Not dead last in either like I was at Seven Oaks.
Fun was had by all with beer and small talk after the race. I was happy to see 84 racers toe the line on a beautiful day at a well run event. The tread was in perfect shape and it was Central Iowa MTB Racing at its best. Kudos to Rick and the Rassy Team - not to mention all that put time into trimming and maintaing the Banner Trails (including yours truly).
Nebraska Pro Brad Auen, Nathan Kulbon, and Ryan Van Houweling took top honors in the CAT I men, while Liz Van Houweling, Jamie Johnson, and Joanne Schmidt took the CAT I Female Podium...
All in all, a great afternoon of racing and hanging out before we all went our separate ways.
Next up is the Solstice Slam race which is on a new trail venue located at Ewing Park in Des Moines this Sunday (my birthday). It is a make up race due to being rained out earlier this year in June.
Photos courtesy of Eric Roccasecca, Jacqueline Maney, Ron Cooney, and Steve Fuller