Monday, February 21, 2005

That good old FGBC Spirit

See below for an update from a friend of mine in NC about a race called the soupbowl that was held the same day we did Icebike. In NC they think wet and muddy is extreme. That is debatable. But there's no question Cody is extreme. That sort of spirit puts us grizzled buke club veterans to shame. More in keeping is his Dad Alex's take on running, which I'm in full agreement with. Perhaps we should give Cody some sort of honourable title. Cody is 11 years old. Read on.

The day before the soupbowl i was thinking out loud about wether or not there might be some way in which Cody could participate. Prior to that I had told him that it was old school, not family friendly and just generally too difficult and dangerous. he did wipe out in one mtn bike race last year on a course that he had not preridden, so he was willing to accept my censure. However, once i opened the door just a little bit he became determined. so i said he should watch while we run the first 2 miles and then join in at the back of the pack when the ride began. i figured if he was fresh and took it at his own pace, he could probably do the ride, though it was all steep and technical
singletrack. but when we got there we learned that the 2 mile run was really two laps of a one mile loop. so now (after talking to the promoter, who had set the age limit at 12 - cody just turned 11 - but was willing to let cody in)we decided he would do one lap and then ride. after that discussion i was out of the loop as i was racing at the same time. natalie and brandon did show up just before start time though. as i came through on my second running lap i asked where cody was and natalie said he is on his second lap! he felt fine, was ahead of some adults, and wanted to do the entire race, including 2 miles of running after the bike ride!whatever, i had to ride... although i was a
bit concerned about him going into the ride all tired. after the run i was about 20th out of 60-70 in the intermediate division, which was fine by me. there is nothing about running that i enjoy. nevertheless, i thought i would really need to hammer on the bike to move up much. not so. all i had to do was keep a slow and steady pace, no dabs, no dismounts and so many of the rest simply fell
off to one side or the other. either they had no technical skills or were too tired from the run. i caught a few more on the descents, proving to be much smoother than i usually feel when riding with the local shop mechanics. in the end i was in second place at the end of the ride, only a second or two behind first place. quite satisfying, although i still bailed at that point. i had no interest in the
ensuing run, and was a little concerned about my knee and Cody. so i went back into the woods looking for cody. he is now so fast that i cannot catch him on a second lap, so had to shortcut the trail in order to find him. he was plugging along, ahead of 5-10 adults. incredibly he did run two more laps as well. and unfortunately, i had to jog most of one more as Brandon insisted that she was going to jog a mile and wanted me to come with her. i did 4/5ths of a lap and then let her
finish out herself where she sprinted to the finish in order to hold off a guy who was finishing the race.

the whole event was a blast. cody, who was one of only 2 juniors - the other guy was 17 and kicked most people's asses, including mine - and they gave him a big trophy which he has declared the best trrophy he has ever received. cody raced for 2 hours. that;s a long time for an 11 year old to be putting in such a hard effort. amazing. as you say, it won't be too long before he is pushing me instead of vice versa when we ride. teh promoter, who saw that i dnf'ed, made sure to point out
to everyone , when presenting cody's trophy to him, that he kicked his dad's ass. cody laughed, but later said that saying ass was not appropriate. so, now at races i am better known as cody's dad than anything else. not a bad designation.

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