My first time in Winnipeg! We left rainy BC, to arrive in sunny (!) Winnipeg on October 23-26. My dad, my grandparents and I all went (with the Troublemaker- my bike ;) and arrived there with 2 days before the race. After getting picked up from the airport by a huge bus, we went to the hotel and chilled out before going out for dinner. We hung in the hot tub that night and stood on the corner of Portage and Maine :)
The following day, we went around to see my grandpa's old house and sight see around Winnipeg. Then, it was back to the Farimont and out to the Forks for a pre-ride of the course. My first impression of the course was that it was fast and smooth (tons of flow) but took a really big toll on you with a run up followed by 2 rideable sand pits and stairs. We met up with the Local Ride team, rode the course, then went back to the hotel for dinner and to pin the numbers, as well as a hot tub and steam room session (I lasted 2 minutes! :P).
We got up the next morning, had a bowl of granola and walked (well, my dad walked, I rode) over to the race course. We got there with enough time to chill a bit before in the crisp morning air, and watch some of the early races. Eventually, I got on the trainer and started the legs spinning.
Race time!! I dismounted a couple of times on my way over to the start line and felt more ready than ever. There were 9 u17 girls in my category, which is the most girls of that age group that I have ever raced in cross!! One aspect of the race that had all of the girls upset, was that when we got up to the start line, we were set to start behind the u13 boys on mountain bikes! I mean, a lot of us u17 girls race with the pro-elite women, so that start order was very discriminatory. Also, we were supposed to race for 40 minutes, but on the start line, an official told us that our race time had been changed to 30 minutes because it was easier to keep track of the u17 boys and girls if the boys raced for 40 minutes and the girls for 30 minutes. It was all very frustrating and disrespectful!
Anyway, the whistle blew and the race was off, and right away there was a group of four of us off the front. Within the first lap we caught up to the u13 boys, and one didn't get out of the way right away causing a crash in our race! For the first lap, three of us girls all stuck together, then Sidney McGill started pulling away, leaving Ruby West and I to battle for 2nd place. At the line, I ended up 3rd!
One more frustrating part of the day, was that the u17 girls were the very last category to go up on the podium! Many people had left by that point, so we only had a small audience. Despite that, I got nice little polar bear and was motivated to win the next day!
|u17 women's podium!|
Left to right: Ruby West, Sidney McGill, me!!
We went out for a fun dinner organized by the race and then went back to the hotel, were we hung out with some BC Lions at the pool!
The next day, we got up early, packed up our stuff and walked over to the race for the Manitoba Grand Prix. Same race prep as yesterday. The race, too, played out similarly to the day before (it was the same course) and I ended up in 3rd place once again. It was a great first Nationals for me, and I can't wait to go back again next year and win gold racing Junior girls!
Also, thanks always to Local Ride Racing, Cycles Lambert, CODE Sports, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Giant Bikes Canada, Power2Max and Cycling BC for the continuous support!