Roger Millikan Memorial Cat 5 – by Alex Robinson

AlexBreaCritAfter the nearly 3 hour break between my first 40+ Cat 4/5 race and the start of the Cat 5 race, I was more concerned about how my body would recover from the long break than the exertion of the previous race which had been a challenging.  I decided to reduce my usual 30 minute warm up on the trainer by about 10 minutes without neglecting the ever important consumption of a bottle of PowerBar Perform Sports Drink and a PowerBar PowerGel Berry Blast to top off the glycogen stores.  I lined up as close to the front as possible at the start line and slurped down one more PowerBar PowerGel Berry Blast for good measure.  I was ready to roll.  Nevertheless, I was still shocked by the initial surge of speed through the first few laps of the race.  I was barely able to claw on to the back of the pack.  But, as usual, things slowed down in the middle of the race and I was able to catch my breath and regain my bearings.  The course was mostly flat except for a slight uphill after third turn that consistently appeared to weaken my competitors with each passing lap.  Surprisingly, as was the case in the 40+ Cat 4/5 race, the little hill didn’t really bother me.  I actually felt pretty spry each time I powered up it.  Still, by the latter stages of the race, I was so warn out that I didn’t even hear the announcer calling out the final few laps until there were only two left to go.  I pushed the pace, leaned hard into the inside of the second turn and hammered out of the saddle to move forward in the pack to at least try to better position myself going into the last lap.  As the bell rang, I found myself on the inside of the middle of the pack.  I didn’t feel like I had much left in the tank, but, as we rounded the third turn for the last time, I jumped out of the saddle on the uphill and, to my surprise, passed several of my competitors who were struggling on the climb.  I rounded the corner out of the saddle and gave one last kick.  I could see our teammate Sean Hall about to cross the line in 5th place and our other teammate, Trevor Johnson, just in front of me in 11th.  I settled for lucky number 13.  Not quite a top 10 but I’ll take it.  Thank you to our sponsors: Empire Bikes, Re/Max (Pete, Lisa, & Eddie), Nancy Bond Insurance, Robert K. Shimasaki DDS, Polsinelli Attorneys, Coach Rick Babington, Kevin Knapp Insurance Agent, Matt Construction, Powerbar for nutrition support, Louise Garneau for Clothing and Gear Support, Centric Bicycles, Franco Bicycles, Carole Neary Integrated Health & Wellness, and Fly6 Cameras.