Well this post is a little delayed, but oh well at least its happening!
So as the Day approached for H2I I was getting nervous as the weather up here was still so snowy and I knew the course would be covered in snow still! That and I haven't ridden mountain bike all winter, and haven't touched my new bike yet! Katlyn was going to bring it up to me to the race, as it was still being built! So to accommodate for the snowy course the organizers pushed the race started ahead to 8:30am as opposed to 11am as it normally is. Coming into the race I was nervous(from the reasons I mentioned already) because I won this race and the XC marathon series last year so I wanted to defend that title this year!
Race Day came and it was nice to live close by in Collingwood, the drive in the am was shorter! But got my bike from Katlyn and it was looking great! so excited to ride it! Set it up quickly to approximately where it should be (should have put the seat up a little higher still and inverted the stem, but oh well). Katlyn and I then went out for a little warm up spin, maybe 10mins, this was the first time for both of us being on these new bikes of ours. Then off to the start, I found myself in the second row. In the start gate I was looking around for my buddy Chris who was suppose to come to this race too, but he was nowhere to be seen! I thought that was strange. And then the gun went off, its go time! I tried working my way to the front, putting in a solid effort (with little to no warm up this proved to be tough :P). When I got there I settled for a minute to catch my breath and next thing I new everyone else was there too! This was way different then last years start where I was off the front on my own right away. Got into the first single track climb in second and first place was just ahead of me, so I attacked and closed the gap. In one of the snowy double tracks soon after I fell into some deep snow and then he got away. I tried closing the gap but was really struggling with the snow! But I kept the pace high because I knew everyone else was still close behind. When we got to the road section a group of guys were working together and caught up to me, so I jumped into the group and made sure I was always first or second wheel. Then we hit the trails and I was able to get away again, until the hike a bike section. this was through snow that was almost knee deep!! it was probably the hardest part of the race :P a couple guys got away after this section as they were able to mount their bikes faster then me and we were near the end of the lap, but they were half marathoners so I wasn't worried.
Second lap I rode with a singlespeed guy form Cycle Solutions and it was a game of stay upright on the bike! I didn't always succeed. When we got to the road section another guy caught up to us, but I put in a big attack and got away and cruised across the finish line in second (and first in my category: open men 40 and under). Katlyn did amazingly as well, she finished second female overall not far off the leader! she's going to be strong this year that woman :) Oh and going with the title (better late then never) Chris showed up at 11 for the race, what a guy!! but he had an awesome race in the worst conditions of the day, well done buddy!
Overall good race, and I am in the right direction for defending my title!! looking forward to the next one and the ocups to start soon!!