This past weekend around 200 cyclocross racers arrived in Cornwall for a fun day of racing and hanging out. We were treated to a dry day (stark contrast to the weather in Ottawa) and quite warm temperatures – perfect for the racers, organizers and other volunteers.
I think one of the best aspects I took away from the race this past Sunday in Cornwall is the camaraderie I see developing amongst everyone. Regardless of the category, racers are helping each other out during the pre-rides – looking at good lines, providing advice on how to tackle tricky corners and of course providing a little bit of competitive taunting. During the race, there are so many people watching and cheering us on – friends, family members and folks who either raced earlier or are racing later. Those cheers go a long way when it feels like your lungs are going to come out of your mouth and your legs are screaming at you to ease off on the pedals. After the race, it is so great to hang out with one another and relive the race. This likely only happens after the women’s race but – we are all congratulating one another on our respective races and hugs are even exchanged with those who we have raced with. Once all the races are over, it is very encouraging to see people out taking down the course – making the day so much easier for the volunteer organizers.
Yes, suffice it to say, I think we’ve got something really special here with the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series. A real community has developed and I think it will only continue to grow – especially with the number of kids and entire families coming out to race.
As far as my race? Well, I had a blast. I spent the race chasing Jen and trying not to let her get too far ahead of me on the run-ups. (Must remember to work on my uphill running…) It was a really challenging day out there on a course that did not have many opportunities to recover and lots of sections where we could really open up the legs. A sign that it was a good day on the bike – I was in bed by 8:30!
I won’t be out at the race this weekend in Renfrew but I’ll be out the following weekend in Almonte. It has been a very long time since I’ve raced in Almonte. I really hope the hills have flattened out… Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend – remember to keep pedaling (yes, even the corners) and to look ahead – the bike will go where you’re looking. But most of all – have fun and remember to smile!