Monday, November 30, 2009

State Champs

The state championships at Hales Corners were bound to be good. Beans and Barley gave us three gallons of Grandma’s Thick Pea Soup and three gallons of a vegan chili to give away. Gary was bringing a keg, and we had heard from a few other people that there were some snacks and a few cases of beer coming, too.

Sunday rolled around and we got up early to pack the truck and run to get the goods from Beans. We got to Hales Corners early, snagging a good parking spot and a prime spot for the tent. We set up by the barriers with the My Wife Inc. and Magnus tents, making one super Hooverville the size of a city block. Well, it seemed that way, anyway. Slowly, more people started arriving. Our guys from Chicago showed up and started warming up, and I put the soup on heat.

(Mmmmm, soup!)
MMMM Soup!

It was fun to watch all three of the tables fill up with food. One of the Magnus guys had baked a cheesecake, and lots of people brought cheese and crackers, cookies and other snacks to share. One guy came up from Chicago with his grill and cooked up (it was rumored) about 50 brats! Unfortunately, we didn’t save any brats for the officials, so I’m afraid we won’t be showing up on the results next year.

During the first few races, I ran back and forth from stirring the soup and chili to the barriers to take some photos and then back again, each lap. The morning went really quickly and soon enough it was time for me to race. It had gotten pretty warm, but I pulled on the ol’ lace up stockings anyway. Two years of racing and those things are still going strong! No holes or anything.

I lined up behind the men with maybe… six other women. The women I had battled with from the Kletch Park race weren’t there, but Toni (who recently catted up from a 3, and who had come in ahead of me at the state road race) had lined up with us, so I wasn’t sure how the race would go.

At the start, Toni got out ahead of me. I decided to stalk along behind her for a while. She had raced the women’s 3 race earlier in the day, so I suspected she might be tired. At the barriers by the Pegasus compound, I had a sloppy dismount but managed to get ahead of her.

Photo by Chris/ffonst

I wasn’t feeling too spectacularly strong, so I just kept it at an even pace. Toni would catch up to me a bit on the straights, and then I would get a little space through the corners and barriers, I think. I really pushed myself to take the back part of the course as quickly as I could. There was a lot of slick mud that coated my tires, with some slippery downhills and corners that made me a little nervous. I figured I might have the advantage there, though, so I focused on it.

My favorite parts on the course were the corners up by the pool and the sand pit. The corners by the pool were really fast, so you could keep up your speed and then really bomb down the hill right after.

The sand pit was PERFECT. It was just perfect. Deep, thick sand that you could just kind of plow through. There was a kind of path to one side, but I was having too much fun kicking up sand right through the middle. On one lap, I heard some kids, either making fun of me or the person ahead of me. When I hit the sand pit, though, they both stopped and went “Wooooaaah.” Heheh.

The race wound up pretty much as it had started. I got third in the state championship, because the woman who got second, Holly, is technically from Illinois. Hey, I’ll take it!

Women's 1/2 Podium

Moreover, it was a beautiful day, perfect for hanging around outside. One of my favorite photos from the day is a photo of a few of us reclined in the camp chairs after the races. The course was being taken down and the sun was getting pretty low in the sky. We were all pretty tuckered out from racing and cheering, full up on soup and snacks.

Aforementioned photo! by Nick Holbus.

After the Races

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