5th - Charles Watkins - 1:35:58.43
Living and learning. It happens so subtly at times. Learning that if i would have pre-ridden the course i could have been more competitive. Learning that if i would have warmed up i could have shaved something like 10 minutes off my time... and got 4th place. Learning that truly these things though valuable to me, aren't thepoint of my racing this year. The point lies beyond these quantifialbes, these statistics, these performance enhancing notes. It lies within the experience.
I woke up at 3:15 to start race day. My family met me at my house at 3:45 and we road tripped in the blackened twighlight for 2.5 hours. Arriving at Nathrop brought a moody backlit sunrise and a near miss blizzard. After the snows passed the race began and finished in a whirlwind. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying my family's company in Beautiful Buenie. A big thanks to them for making the journey with me.
Something else important I learned: that I can do this. That I can be a mountain bike racer. Moab was so simple and straightforward that I hadn't really counted it. A 2 mile/30 minute hill climb is so quick if you just keep your balance and focus. However, in Nathrop - the 1.5 hours and group started mass of riders tumbling over all terrains, I realized this goal is attainable. That i'm not quite crazy for trying this out after all.