Nowak Report: Chicago Cross Cup Round 2

Welcome to the 2nd installment of the Chicago Cross Cup Series.  Last Sun (10/4) brought over 350 racers to DeKalb for the Hopkins Park Cross sponsered by North Central Cyclery/Half Acre Cyclery.  This was the second year that this race has been hosted here, and the sponsers only made it better.

Hopkins Park is a perfect venue for 'cross in that there is very little flat, lots of area, some nice little hills, sufficient pavement, and awesome facilities.  The course was very similar to last year, with a few mods to make it a bit longer, as well as more challenging.  The 1st 1/4 of the course was run on grass where there were significant numbers of twists and turns, roots, and then a few dips in the ground.  Once off the first section, you briefly were on pavement to a steep hill where the course went up/down on itself a few times.  Traction was good for the most part, but after a few times up it, the legs were burning.  Once up the hill, the course looped back to the same area where there were a few barriers, onto a FAST pavement section, and then back onto the grass to loop around to the Start/Finish.  This particular section was again filled with roots, but with the rain from Friday and Saturday, the ground became very soft and tacky slowing you down and making the false flats even tougher.  Finally you came onto a bike path and finished off in another section of twisting and turning over grass and roots.

Personally, my race was only 1/2 successful.  Unlike at Jackson Park where I had a bad start and had to work my way through the field to finish strong, I started off well, but slowly began to lose spots and dropped back from about 8th to 19th.  A bit disappointing as I really like the course at DeKalb and did well here last year.  However, the good thing is that there will be another race next weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to put together the complete ride.

Besides myself there were a few other ABD'ers out there including; Gina Kenny, Sue S., Brad Dash, Brian Karlow and Walter Stoops.

The amazing thing is the numbers of racers, especially since the Fall Fling was wrapping up and from what I understand the numbers were fairly large on Sunday for the final race there.

Looking forward to improvement the next few races.

Also don't forget to continue to show everyone that ABD is one of the BEST clubs.  We still need volunteers for our 'cross race in Bartlett on 10/25.  Expect an email soon to formally ask for volunteers.

Thanks for reading,

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