Sunday, May 23, 2010

The first MN Series race ( at Harmon Park in Inver Grove Heights was yesterday. Scott, Kiera and I drove down Friday night and stayed with the Swansons so that Stella and Kiera could play the next morning. And play they did! It was fun to watch the two babies interact.

On the way to the race, it was pouring rain, thundering, and intermittent lighting. By the time we got there the Sport race was delayed with our race starting just over and hour later than normal. The Sport riders were finishing with mud caked everywhere. During our warm up, we had our jackets on and I was still a bit was maybe 60 degrees and overcast. By race end an hour later it would climb to 80 degrees and sunny. The expert/pro and comp races were shortened by a lap due to the muddy conditions. The sun came out and the wind picked up just before the start of the race. The open sections were really windy, but the course dried out amazingly quickly. Scott was a bit disappointed the course didn't stay muddy.

Scott was pleased with his race. He started in the third row and with the course narrowing down to singletrack relatively quickly, he was pleased with his 8th place finish. There was a very competitive mens field.

I was also pleased with my race finishing second behind Jenna Z. I was able to race with Jenna the first lap. She gapped me on the second lap and then slowly put a minute on me before the finish. She is fun to race with and I was very glad I got to race with her. It was really good to see so many women racing!

Kiera had a blast hanging out with Kathy, Luke and Ben Raymond. She was just shot from playing on the playground and trying to keep up with the boys! She fell asleep while nursing after the race and took a bit of a cat nap before waking up just in time for the (long) ride home. She kept herself entertained for the most part with her muscical tea pot and books. She loves all the commotion of the race, seeing all the people and animals and there was a fantastic playground right near the start/finish area of the race. She slept very well last night!

We were getting ready for bed that night when we heard a CRASH outside. We go to investigate and there are two black bears wrestling with our garbage! We have also seen near our home one very large black bear, foxes, a wolf cub last summer, a large fisher (also last summer), Todd swears he saw a cougar (I hope he is wrong), a few wolves (one while skiing last winter, another while running a few springs ago while pregnant), lots of deer (large rodents as they like to eat in our garden). We were also lucky enought to see a timberworlf on our honeymoon 12 years ago, another on our way back from Giant's Ridge a few years later and another just a few weeks ago on our way back from Two Harbors.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thanks to Jay Richards of Maplelag Resort for the previous photos. Additional photos of the race/racers can be seen at

Cable is often our first race of the season. This year they put the singletrack back into the race course, with the welcome addition of a bit more than in the past. The course was in fantastic shape with a few additional mud puddles due to the recent rain and a few additional miles due to a necessary road re-route. This summer for next year they plan to add more single track to replace the re-route.

The weather was in stark contrast to last years race conditions of 35 degrees and lightly snowing. At race start it was about 58 degrees; climbing to 70 by race end. It was so nice to feel the warmth of the sun and wear shorts.

Scott raced very well, feeling much better than the two weeks previous at Iola where he did not finish. He ended up third, a good result and he was very pleased.

Sara was pleased with her finish. The race was long and hard. Every uphill felt a lot longer than it should have, but the downhills were fun. The singletrack was really fun.

Gary Crandall was so kind and was passing out water and sports drink at the end of the race. A big thanks to all the volunteers, race promoters, and race director for hosting a great event!