Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hills and Heat NCCX #1 Vallejo

This week’s race was in Vallejo, at Dan Foley Park, across a small lake from Six Flags and was the opener for the Nor Cal CX (NCCX) series presented by Superpro Racing.Their race schedule is a bit different from the other Bay Area series, with the B Men finishing off the day of racing with a start time of 3:00pm. Starting late provides extra time to sleep in and for driving, but it doesn’t let me finish racing and relax watching everyone else race before driving home.

Photo By: Ornot Bikes
Men's Elite start
The race started with an abbreviated first lap, cutting off the first half of the course, instead starting on a uphill paved sprint leading to a grassy hill in the middle of the normal lap that had an interesting barrier, read tree, at the top.

Photo By: Ted Katai
Elite Men negotiation the tree barrier
Three ways to pass the tree,either dismount and go over the left side, dismount and go under the right side, or try and ride under the right side. Following the tree was a mound of chipped wood before an off camber winding descent before a short loose steep ridable up pitch. The end of the lap was a fast flat sprint immediately followed by tight off camber switchbacks on a small section of grass leading to the start/finish straight. After the short first lap the first half of the course was revealed with the race line going next to a line of sprinklers and a bunny hop over a tall curb into a loose decently long climb.

Photo By: Jeff Namba,
Rocklobster's Ian Stowe hopping the curb
A fast descent into  a series of sand pits and turns awaited ahead before two hope crushing run ups, the first being concrete stairs, followed shortly by the second, a choice of more stairs, the longer way, or the short but steep loose dirt runup.

Photo By: Jeff Namba
First of two run ups
Before getting to the grass climb from the start was a ride around a baseball diamond and a small off camper grass climb.

Photo By: Ted Ketai
As we lined up for the start at 3:00pm the temperature must of been around 95 degrees or higher with everyone waiting in shade for race promoted Murphy Mack to call open B men to the start line.

Knowing my legs and body were tired from a few days of hopping around Socal at Disneyland, and Magic Mountain,I lined up on the front row hoping to get the holeshot up the hill to the tree because my only chance at doing well was to get out in front and try to hold off as many people as possible.
Photo By: Mark Seymour
Chris Seymour trying to hold hold position

I made it up to the tree first tried to ride under it and got caught up, and had issues not being able to shifter well after it allowing the two racers who would finish first and second go by. For the rest of the short lap and first full lap I held onto third place, but by the hill after bunnyhopping the curb on the second full lap my body was hurting and over heated. For the rest of the race i suffered on this climb, and ended up getting off and walk up it each lap each lap having another racer pass me. I would end the race in 8th place not a bad finish in a field of 47 racers.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Also with the heat and my black race kit my body was overheating the whole race leading me to take unzip my jersey on the second lap, and taking it completely off by the third, finishing the race in my bib. Luckily i had a water handouts arounds the course with one after the second runup, and the other near start/finish along with a friend spraying me down with water. Without the help of these friends I could not of finished the race. Upon finishing the race my body was not functioning, and completely overheated to the point of having to sit down for about 15 minutes with ice  and cold water being pour on me to cool me down, most likely the beginnings of heat stroke.

Photo By: Mark Seymour
Next week is a double weekend with CCCX at Toro Park, and NCCX in Fairfax

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