The week leading into this race did not treat me well. On Tuesday after my training session, I dumped my bike hard on some pavement, tearing a hole in both my brand new bib shorts and myself. This left me with a raw patch on my hip roughly the size of my palm, and a bruise considerably larger. It was nowhere near healed by the time I raced on Sunday, but the pain was manageable enough to still race. The one good thing that happened, was that my order from Firehouse Mustache Wax arrived in time for the race.
The day was unseasonably warm, hitting a record high for the day somewhere in the low 80's, which was accompanied by some gnarly humidity. I was happy to hear that they were using crossresults.com points to stage, avoiding the "race to the race" of the year prior. This let me get in a decent warm up without having to worry about being last to stage. I had a really good start from the third row, and was sitting about 12th wheel out of 50 or so starters, by the time we hit the first big bottleneck. I slid a few more spots over the course of the next few laps, but I wasn't too bothered by it, since the guys passing me I knew to be much stronger riders.
Charlie from the Bikes not Bombs/Circle A team even gave me some encouragement as pulled past me. I was feeling pretty good at this point, and then I flatted 100 yards after passing the pit. While I did have my single speed rig in the pit, I knew I had to run almost a whole lap to get it. I knew that I was going to get lapped, so I was about to throw in the towel, but Cindy, one of the nicest women's riders I know in the NECX scene, offered me some encouragement. I really didn't want to get a DNF, so I figured I may as well at least try, so off I "ran". Running in super stiff carbon soled MTB shoes for a mile in 80+ degree heat, while your nasty road rash is bleeding through the bandage, is not what I would call a pleasant experience. All along the way, spectators cheered me on, which kept me going. I made it back around, and finished out the last two laps on my SS, ending up 1 lap down and DFL for my effort. I was proud that I finished, but a little depressed to find out that they didn't count the other people who DNF'ed, which sort of negated my effort a bit.
Talking to folks after the race, I was pleasantly surprised that people appreciated my effort to finish my race. Who knows, maybe I can be the "hardest" slow guy in the 3's. They also seemed to really enjoy my nicely waxed mustache. The wax held up ridiculously well despite the humidity.