2022 Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross

The Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross started in 1983. That makes it one of the oldest cyclocross races in the country. I’ve done it 15 times. My first was in 1995, which was the first year I started doing cross. Today was my 240th ever cyclocross race. That’s crazy.

Today I returned and it was my first cross race of the 2022 season. I was joking that it could be my “first and last.” I haven’t felt the cross vibe, but after today’s race, there is a possibility that I will get it back. My 2021 season was my best ever. It was my first in the 50+ age group and I went all in. I did 19 races culminating with the national championships in Chicago. I rode stronger than ever, including my pre-masters years. The accumulation of everything, including wisdom, helped me reach a very high level.

I was planning a down year this year, and didn’t expect the national championships to return to Hartford. For that reason, I’m testing my fitness to see if I can get fast enough to be competitive in either my age group or in the singlespeed division, or both.

Today’s race was a start. I know I can go quicker, but I’m going to need some practice, including technique and intensity. Long distance trail running isn’t the best preparation for cross. Today’s race was long at an hour plus and I really faded with three laps to go. They were long laps between eight and nine minutes. It hurt.

Last year, leading into the cross season, I did nine Winding Trails Tri Series races. Those off-road sprint triathlons are 48 to 52 minutes which is exactly what most cross races are so I had great training going into last season.

This year is quite different and I’m a year older with a bit less motivation. That being said, I had fun today and it was awesome to see all the kids from the Team HORST Junior Squad. They are crushing it! We also had a strong masters team turnout. I won’t name everyone because pretty much the entire team was there. It was also great to see so many friends, some who I haven’t seen since last December.

The course was a bit different, but still excellent. It was a lovely fall day and the foliage is at peak. Mansfield Hollow State Park is a great venue. Kudos to Ron Manizza and the volunteers who have made this race possible for nearly 40 years. Tonight I’m going to look over the calendar and see what race I pick to do next.

Race Results

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Some sights and sounds from yesterday’s Secret Squirrel CX. #cyclocross #teamhorstsports @horstcycling #crossspikes #teamhorstjuniorsquad
Connecticut XC State Open Championships #running #cc #crosscountry #trailrunning
Fantastic day in #hartford at the #aerospacealley trade show. The morning workforce development session included 40+ schools and 1,200+ students. Crossing the #connecticutriver at sunrise and then at sunset was spectacular.
Senior Night at Bolton High School: Bolton vs. Somers vs. Coventry. Made it from the middle school race in time for the boys race. Missed the girls but stayed for the festivities. #xc #running 🏃🏽‍♂️
Fantastic evening for XC at my middle school alma mater. Bolton vs. Vernon vs. Porter. @trailrunningmom is a wonderful coach! #running #xc 🏃🏽‍♀️
From #newyork Sunday for @pearljam at @thegarden to #Chicago on Wednesday for @imtschicago it’s already been a busy week with lots of planes, trains, automobiles, and jet packs! Amazing technology at the show.
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A final @hardrock100run update for now and it’s a bit of a bummer. @trailrunningmom stoped at Animas Forks Aid Station just shy of the 59 mile mark. Persistent nausea and the inability to eat or drink weakened her. She arrived in Ouray in this condition and even a 40 minute nap didn’t improve the situation. She is at peace with her decision to stop and it helps that she finished this beast of a race in 2017 going the other direction. I unexpectedly joined her between Ouray and Animas Forks because I didn’t want to see her go alone. We got to suffer together for eight hours and enjoyed an amazing moonlit night. In our household there is always more to learn when you miss a goal than when you hit one.
@trailrunningmom has quite a crew assembled in Ouray at the @hardrock100run We await her arrival. From the looks of the tracking she was likely suffering in the climb and dealing with the t-storms. She might have had to hunker down because her location didn’t change for a long time. Now she appears to me hammering the six plus mile descent to the LOW point in the course in Ouray at a 7,792 feet.

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