If you haven't heard already the Whiskey Off-Road is an awesome weekend of bike riding and racing and you need to go next year! It's one of the few races of the year where the promoters know what it takes to put on a great event, not just a good bike race. After a bad Sea Otter I was really motivated to put in a good result at Whiskey. The crit Friday night has felt terrible for me every year I've done it and this year was the same. After getting up at 5am and driving 6-7 hours with a toddler in the back seat that's to be expected. It's still fun to see the crowds out for the race and it's a good warm-up for the rest of the weekend.
But that night I came down with a nasty cold and slept terribly. Saturday was a cold rainy one which was fine since I needed to rest. We even ended up going to our 2nd cafe for the day and having a big cinnamon roll instead of doing a pre-ride. I honestly didn't know if I was going to race or not until I woke up Sunday morning. Obviously I wanted to do well, but I was also putting extra pressure on myself because 6 days later would be Marathon Nationals in Georgia and my goal was to go top 5 there. Besides wanting a top 5 at Nationals itself, I was telling myself I should be able to do that if I expected to have a chance to race the Marathon World Championships at the end of June. In hindsight there was no reason to put that extra pressure on myself since there was no automatic qualification for a specific result there anyways.
I ended up feeling ok in the morning and went for it. I was riding well from the get go and got myself into a strong group of guys for the section to skull valley and back. On the main climb a few of them were climbing a little better and the top 20 slipped away from me but I finished strong for a respectable 26th. I was really happy just to feel good racing again!
I don't have any race photos from Whiskey so here's a cool one from Sea Otter thanks to rulesofendurance.com