Gina Kenny Cross Report: Campton Park & Estabrook

Saturday Sue Semaszczuk, Jim Nowak, Brad Dash and myself raced at the cross race in St. Charles. Sue & I scored free socks, as did all the women racers, which was a nice perk. The course was similar to previous years although the start was a short straight area to some tight turns, to a set of barriers, a ditch-like drop and another set of barriers. I started out fifth and stayed there the whole race. I kept with the lead group 'til after the second set of barriers where there is a short incline on grass to an asphalt climb. Speed not being my strong point, the leaders pulled away at that point and I never recaught them. After the climb, we rode around a baseball diamond with a off cambr part, a very short steep incline, another asphalt area, through a very small sand pit, some dirt to a sharp left turn, a gravel road with wood planks to prevent erosion, some grass and then the last set of barriers before the lap finish. As I mentioned, I took fifth with Sue taking 6th in the Women's 4's. Jim took 8th in the Masters 40+ and then took 9th in the Cat. 3. Very impressive. Brad finished right behind Jim at 10th in the Cat. 3.

On Sunday, I trekked up to Milwaukee for the Estabrook cross race. I got there with more than enough time for my husband & I to get ready when we forgot to set the clocks back an hour. This course was also similar to last year's but with more turns and more barriers -- yea! They have all of the women and juniors start at the same time in one mass start. I had a crappy start as the officials gave no warning and all of sudden just said go. An asphalt section led to a right turn and the first set of barriers and then a bunch of tight turns. A bunch of juniors got ahead of me on the pavement which I then had to get around some of on the barriers and turns. After the tight turns, there were more tight turns then a second set of barriers, immediate tight turn and soon thereafter a third set of barriers. That followed with a long pavement stretch to some singletrack, a big log with a hill runup, a downhill tight turn, out of the singletrack to some more tight turns and another pavement stretch before the lap/finish.

This race was different for me in that I actually rode with three girls the entire race. We traded positions the entire time with them being quicker on the pavement, the one woman being a little faster on the run-up and me being quicker on the turns, singletrack and a little quicker on the barriers. The one girl, who ended up being a junior, just disappeared near the start of the last lap. She later said she was tired and just gave up. That left me and another Cat. 4 woman. I passed her on the second set of barriers and kept her behind me a short period until the long pavement stretch where she sped past me. I passed her in the singletrack and gunned it 'til the log and run up. I could hear her catching up on the run up and I gunned it again for the last bit of singletrack and turns knowing I had to get enough space between her and I so she couldn't sprint for the win. And, I actually managed to do it and got third out of 6, with one DNF. = ) Of course, I should have probably did that sooner and tried to catch the second place girl which I would see occasionally, but I'm new to this whole racing with other people. I'm usually in no man's land out there. I also actually got some compliments on my dismounts and mounts which was quite nice. = )

I had wanted to also do the Men's Masters 30+ for more practice but it was colder today than yesterday and my 15-month-old was getting pretty cold and cranky so I called it a day. (Wow. Long race report. Sorry about that.)

FYI -- They announced at the Estabrook race that there will be a race in Stoughton, WI on Nov. 11. Flyer:
https://www.usacycling.org/events/getflyer.php?permit=2007-2676 I plan on racing the Women's 3/4 race to see how I'd fare since I plan to upgrade to Cat. 3 at the end of the season.
I am sorry to say that I neglected to mention that Eddie Bartley also raced in the 40+ race last Saturday. He placed 18th and would have been the second guy if they had a 50+ division.

There are at least four separate cross events taking place this weekend. There are races in Moline, IL and Stoughton, WI on Sunday. There is also a Bandit Cross on Saturday morning and a winner-take-all cross event going on in Milwaukee on Sunday. I'll be racing the Women's 3/4 race on Sunday in Stoughton.
-Gina Kenny

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