2015 Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross

Today, I returned to race the Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross. This is one of my favorite courses. An 8:30 A.M. start on Saturday morning is kind of rough, but I dealt with it. I don’t mind early starts, but I always struggle with Saturday races after tough work weeks. This week was challenging because after returning from Japan last Saturday, I spent Wednesday in Boston and Thursday in Cincinnati and Chicago, after missing my connecting flight back to Hartford. I didn’t get back until mid-day on Friday and the work week wasn’t over yet with an afternoon full of meetings.

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Anyway, sometimes, the lead in to races isn’t ideal. With so many fun events going on this weekend, including the Hartford Marathon, Grindstone 100, Ironman Louisville, and Ironman World Championships; I wanted to race too. I absolutely love competing at this time year, and October is my favorite month. This is the fifth anniversary of when I raced the Ironman in Hawaii, and Debbie raced Grindstone in 2011, but we were happy to be close to home today This was race number three in the CT Series of Cyclocross and we had a strong turnout from the Horst Engineering Cycling Team. Pat Cunningham continued his stellar 2015 campaign by winning the men’s 50+ race. Paul Nyberg wasn’t far behind him in fourth.

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In the 40+ race, Mike Wonderly was just in front of me in 10th spot. Art Roti wasn’t far behind me. Unfortunately, our teammate, Wade Summers, fell hard after catching his bike on a course stake, and fractured his clavicle. I feel his pain after missing the entire 2014 cyclocross season with a fractured scapula. Wade will be back. I don’t think it is a bad break. He was coming in to good form, and I don’t think his season is over.

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Randall Dutton and Andris Skulte represented us in the 3/4 race. Everyone enjoyed the fantastic fall weather. With the foliage nearing peak, the reservoir views were gorgeous. Ron Manizza and his crew of volunteers lucked out with the fine conditions. I’ve done this race in the snow before! It is one of the longtime New England classics, going back to the mid-1980’s when cross was a much smaller sport.

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Debbie and the kids came up to watch and enjoy the wonderful weather at beautiful Mansfield Hollow State Park. I had a lot of fun. I could race cross every day. Of course, my body couldn’t take that, but my brain wants to do it all of the time, even when I’m tired. I had a nice race long battle with my longtime nemesis (and friend), Ricky Legault. He, Mike, and I swapped spots several times. Ricky is a supreme bike handler. I had more horsepower in the open fields, but he was quicker through the corners, over the telephone pole, and in the sand. I did OK on the barriers today.

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I absolute love riding my Seven Cycles Mudhoney Pro. It’s hard to have a favorite bike because that’s like saying you have a favorite child, but it is one of my favorites. I don’t think I would choose it over my Axiom SL supercomputer, but at least I can say it is my favorite cross bike. It’s nice that proceeds from the race go to the Friends of Mansfield Hollow. It really is a lovely park.

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Race Results (will be posted when available)

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Well that was pretty incredible. Congrats to @trailrunningmom Congrats to ALL the participants whether they finished or not. Mahalo to ALL of the volunteers. More will be written about this ohana when we get home.
@trailrunningmom was holding steady as she departed Nu’uanu for the last time at 92.5 miles. Shepard is having fun but it’s all business now. There is a pitched battle for second place and if they keep pushing, it’s a threat to Debbie’s lead. I’m doing the mental math and she has to keep pushing too. Anna and Mele left the aid station together and are throwing down.
I said I would only post two more times, but I’m posting three. A big shout out to fellow New Englander, our “adopted” runner and Hawaii “housemate” Tim Glickman. I’m pulling for him to persevere. He came through lap four at Nu’uanu at 72.5 miles and was hurting but we agreed he would NOT quit. They will have to make him stop. I told him to just keep moving forward.
We made it to Paradise Park Aid Station (Manoa) just in time to catch @trailrunningmom at mile 87 (or so). Shepard is on pacing duty now and he decided to go from here rather than Nu’uanu. That’s cool. She is up to 7th overall which is also pretty cool. She hasn’t faltered yet and we don’t expect her to. I’ll post after Nu’uanu and then at the finish…and then I’m done!
@trailrunningmom is on the final lap (five) now and back on her own. This images are from our overnight “date.” We ran to Manoa and then to Nu’uanu and then back to the Nature Center. She is hanging tough, just like the sign says. I’ll meet back up with the kids and track down their Mom again soon.
It’s been seven hours since the last report. I joined @trailrunningmom for lap four/the graveyard shift. This sequence includes her return to the Nature Center after lap three and then our trek to Manoa. She is running so well on this gnarly course.
Evening at Pu’una Aid Station. @trailrunningmom is holding on to the lead but Mele DeMille is looking strong and she is chipping away at the gap bit by bit. She was eight minutes behind Debbie coming into 52.5 and picked up a little time with a quick-turn. When Debbie hits the Nature Center at 60, she will have two laps then go.
More afternoon scenes from Nu’uanu Aid Station, including leader Anthony Lee. He was flying. We saw him twice in six hours. He lapped…a lot of folks!
The kids and I did the noon to six volunteer shift at Nu’uanu Aid Station while @trailrunningmom was doing what she loves to do. There was no cell reception so I’m finally sharing highlights from Lap 2. Timmy wasn’t far behind.

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