Friday, April 28, 2006

Harbison XC

April 23, 2006
"Race to the River" presented by Friends of Harbison SF
Harbison State Forest, Irmo SC

The annual "Race to the River" @ Harbison was a great outing for "Team Harrell's Bicycle World". The team managed 4 of the top 5 spots in Expert & 3 of the top 4 in the Sport field. Even taking overall victory in both fields (Russ - expert / Monty - sport). So overall a good showing for the only local XC race in the midlands. There was a 7 rider field for the experts. Harrell's riders made up 60% of the field, and it was expected to be a conservative start.

Except I was ready to go and stretch the group out. So I gassed it from the start and had the field all stretched out. I'm usually on the other end of this train in most cases, but it felt great being in the front and pushing the pace. In past races I've been stuck in traffic and gaped right away and that wasn't going to happen again. So by the first major hill (the switchback), only Russ (closet trainer) and Gary (Charleston guy) were in tow. I needed to catch my breath. So Russ & Gary took over the lead. Russ immediately started to hit the gas on the switchback then into spider woman trail.

Spider Woman is the most technically challenging trail Harbison SP has to offer the local mountain biker. This short but difficult trail is very reminiscent of Pisgah area riding. This was defiantly going to be the deciding factor of the race. Plus the experts had to complete two passes of Spider Woman. I was told later that this was where Russ dropped the hammer on the rest of the field to seal the deal for victory.

Settling into my own pace staying hydrated and fueled with Hammer gel. Patience paid off, it took me about an hour to make up the minute gap on second place. Now into second place all I wanted was to stay here. Happy that Russ was winning, I had no desire to chase him down. Knowing that my family and friends were all waiting at the finish was inspiring to keep the pace going and challenge myself to keep racing up to the line.

Next race is 4/30 in Clemson SC, for the 4th stop of the South Eastern Regional Championship Series. So hopefully the rain will hold off for the event because it's nothing but red clay in the town of orange.

Till then folks happy trails,

1 comment:

Spokejunky said...

Good job man and Russ..a closet trainer? I just don't see it.