I won the Friends of Tamarancho Invitational Mountain Bike Race today. Well, I won the beginner class. Er, actually, the beginner masters class. So I am the king of the weak, the old and the apathetic. Still, I won a nice pair of socks and a water bottle, and I only had to suffer mightily for 45 minutes to do it. Most categories got to play for 2 hours and 3 times up the unpleasant Dead Heifer climb.
Tamarancho is the only mtb race in Marin, run on the Camp Tamarancho Boy Scout reservation. It features the best legal singletrack in the county, and, except for race day, bikes are required to stay on the singletrack and off the fire roads--no problem.
The most notable feature of the course was the Dead Heifer fire road climb. Short, but very steep, and barely rideable for most (nobody in my group). Why do they call it Dead Heifer? It is too steep for a cow to stand on, much less die on. Maybe they used to push cows off the top of it.
I ran up most of it and was pretty cross-eyed when I got to the top, but I crested in the lead of the beginner class (at the time I did not know they had a masters subcategory). I was pretty excited, but could not rest on my laurels as I was being chased. 15 minutes later I was still hammering in the front, with my pursuer about 15 seconds behind. The training crits in Santa Rosa were definitely paying dividends now.
I managed to crash into a tree in a section that required zigging and zagging at the same time. My watch took the brunch of it, broke off and tumbled down the hill.
ooops.....glad I hit the watch first
I watched my beloved Suunto fall for about 5 seconds while I thought about whether to keep going or go get it. I decided to go get it, and when I got back on my bike, 2nd place was right behind me. I got passed on an uphill section, but figured I would just hang on and then sprint around him. That was a great plan, but he was not playing along. He flew through the last singletrack section and opened a gap that I could not close. I managed 2 more minor crashes thanks to severe oxygen deficit before I decided to slow down and enjoy/survive the ride.
The team did well as always. Scott got 2nd in the Cat 1 masters, which has lots of fast guys, and Ann took 3rd in the ladies' cat 1 masters.