2021 CCAP Newtown CX

I’ve been on some great form, but knew that my preparation for today’s CCAP Newtown CX was lacking. It’s not that I haven’t trained enough. It’s the opposite. I wasn’t able to rest at all coming in to today’s race. Yesterday, I ended up driving to Windsor, Vermont to join a Boy Scouts Troop 25 hike up and (and down) Mt. Ascutney. This weekend, we had some complex family logistical maneuvers. I took Shepard and his friend (and fellow Scout) Mateo on their trip while Debbie did a separate Scout trip with Dahlia’s troop. Their adventure was via bicycle on the Hop River State Park Trail followed by an overnight campout at Gay City State Park.

Unfortunately for Shepard, Mateo, and me, the six mile trek took longer than expected. We were part of a large group and the decision had been made to stick together. This meant that the stronger hikers did a lot of waiting. Instead of our legs being sore, it was our butts that were sore from sitting on logs and rocks. It took us eight hours to cover the distance that we should have been able to do in three hours. That was a bit frustrating, but it was a lesson in patience and camaraderie for all of us. It was great to be on a beautiful mountain in Vermont, but we were out there longer than planned. I packed enough food and water for six miles, not eight hours, and there is a difference.

We made the best of it. Shepard and I showed Mateo around Brownsville, we stopped at the deli for drinks and snacks, and then headed south. We need more sustenance, so we headed to Northampton and had a late dinner at La Veracruzana. Shepard and I left our house at 7:15 A.M, and we didn’t get home until 10:00 P.M. After five hours of driving and eight hours of walking in the woods, I wasn’t “feeling it” when I got up this morning.

I still wanted to race. Every event can’t be an A event. I figured that even without the best lead in to the race, I could manage a decent result and have some fun while building towards future races. I had a front row start position for the Men’s 50+ race, and made the best of it, leading for part of the first lap before ceding my position to Roger Aspholm. He went on to ride straight through the Men’s 40+ field. They started a minute in front of us, and he was the fastest Masters rider of all.

I was also passed by Ciaran Mangan and Robert Campos. I ended up in 4th and that’s where I finished after riding the rest of the race without much pressure. I didn’t have the same oomph that I had at GP of Beverly or at this week’s CCAP Rocky Hill CX Training Series.

I made one mistake, but it wasn’t too costly.”Riding the edge,” I took one corner way to fast and slid out. I was inspired to test the edge after listening to the Fast Talk Labs podcast with guest Stephen Hyde. This episode is highly recommended. I got a nice raspberry on my right forearm. If this was rec league softball and I was stealing second base, I would have definitely avoided the tag. Unfortunately, this is cyclocross and there is nothing to gain by going head first into the ground. The 40+ rider who was right behind me did a masterful job at not running me over. I got up rather quickly, remounted and took off again.

Falling is part of this game, but it is never fun. Thankfully this wasn’t a bad one. The Newtown course is known for its climbing. It is quite hilly. Today, the grass was longer than usual, so the field sections were lumpy and slow. The weather was fantastic. We had awesome sunshine which boosted spirits. Team HORST Sports and the Team HORST Junior Squad were out in force.

Our Juniors included Boden, Owen W., Lars, Tanner, Owen L., Luke, Luca, and Alexandra. Our Masters/adult included Brett, Andris, Art, John, Wade, Keith, Paul, and Justin. We even had an entrant in the kids race. His name was Eli and he earned himself a contract extension with a dominating performance. Coach Laura was there too, and this was after running 50 miles yesterday!

I made the trip solo. Debbie and Dahlia were still camping when I left. They returned home to get Shepard and then picked up one of Dahlia’s friends so that they could spend part of the day a the Adventure Park in Storrs. That’s what she wanted for her 12th birthday. After that we had a family party. I expect that they will join me at some cross races later in the season. They missed a good one today. The CCAP volunteers were fantastic. Newtown CX has become a staple on my race calendar.

Race Results

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