Bad Kitty and the Cougars dominate again!! Okay, so there was only one other all-female team in the traditional course race, and we didn’t make top 20 overall…by a long shot…but The Great Race is always an excellent event with great friends and a fun atmosphere! It was year 4 for our team, but each year only 3/4 of the team remains the same. It’s normally a scramble to find to find that last member, and this year proved to be no different. It wasn’t until Wednesday night that the decision was made that the race was on – and our rowers set out for a warm-up paddle on Friday evening. Amy snagged a good one this year – a super-strong cyclist Natalie who also happened to be a rower for Dartmouth back in her college days. What a perfect complement to our always-dominate canoe star Caryle! So my trip was set – drive up Saturday afternoon, race Sunday morning, then head back to PA.
I was also excited to get a good run in – the last running race I did was Boilermaker, and it was time to see how my training was going. I had a nice relaxing warm-up and then lined up at the start among some tough competition. Fortunately, some of the fast women were racing the short course, but I still had my work cut out for me. It’s always cool to see the doves released during the singing of the national anthem, and then the cannon blasts to make us all jump into action at the start! The first thing I should have noticed is that me and another 10k female were ahead of the 5k females – not a good sign for me. Then when I realized I was playing cat and mouse with Karen Simmonds Brady, I knew I was in trouble. After a 5:42 split at mile 1 it was time to back off. I was passed by another female around the halfway point, and then as I was expecting, super-speedy Lori Kingsley came flying by with her strong finish, passing both myself and the 2nd place female. This put me in 4th place, but my 38:15 was not only 33 seconds faster than last year, but a PR from 2009’s 38:18 finish at The Great Race. So I couldn’t be disappointed with my results.
Just when you think you’re done racing, you still have the transition… Once you cross the finish line you have to run down the alley to find your cyclist and hand off the sexy, sweaty wristband. The cyclists are stacked in line itching to go, making it hard to find a little Bad Kitty in the mix. Before long I could see a little hand waving above a sea of helmets, and Amy was off to chase down those boys while I got to cool down and relax. Less than an hour later I spotted that disc wheel and pink kit coming towards the finish – poor Amy looked quite lonely as I’m used to seeing her arrive with a few guys. Today she had to do all the work by herself over the 19 mile ride, but she had a strong race and was the fastest chic on the bike for the day! The final hand-off was made to Caryle, who dashed down that good 1/4 mile stretch to meet Natalie and the canoe for their 4 mile paddle.
As with every year, we never manage to see the girls out on the water, so we basically wait in anticipation to find them after the race and hear how it went. They were happy to report that at the turnaround, they were told they were the first females – not that we had any doubts 😉 With another successful race in the books it was time to catch up with friends and enjoy the post-race party. Air Guitar Arnie was certainly enjoying himself that day! Such a fun race with great friends – I can’t wait to do it again next year!