This was the second MASS cross-country race for those of us that couldn't travel to the Danville race.
Course Highlights: The part where the beginners and the sport/expert/enduro racers went in different directions. That made me sad after the first lap when I realized how much more technical and uphill the part that I had to ride was.
Stats: 2 HZ ladies in the Sport 19-34 race, Ali and myself, Kristine in the enduro and at least 5 HZ men in a variety of categories. Ali and I lined up with 9 other women. Two of whom I found out live in the same zip code as myself.
Weather: Hot and muggy.
Summary: As usual, the start was fast as we all hustled up the road for the wide hole-shot. Ali was screaming fast as were a few other girls. I did my best to keep up with the front group in hopes of passing a bunch of them as the race got more technical. My hopes worked out and I got on the next fire road in a solid 5th position. Through the next few pieces of single track I got within chatting distance of 3rd place, though there wasn't a lot of talking and mostly a lot of quick turns and long uphills. As we came together through the end of the first lap, I knew that I needed to work hard all of the second lap to get past this girl and put enough time in to her so that she wouldn't out-sprint me up the long finishing climb. I did just that. It was just me, looking forward for Ali and behind for this girl, a Spokes racer. I only ever heard of or from Ali twice, once at the end of the first lap as she cheered me on and again in a kind message relayed through my mom that I should go faster. She was hauling and there ended up being 4 minutes between her and 1st, and between her and I. I was pumped to cross the line in 3rd of 11, probably my best finish in a MASS race yet. It was hot though, and it was nice to lay around in the shade afterward. In summary, at least 5 HZers took home plaques and medals for top 5 places in their respective races.