First NorCal race of 2019 – More Racers’ Stories!

The NorCal high school racing season is officially underway! We’ve actually had two League races now, but are a bit behind on the reporting. On February 23, we raced at Fort Ord and finished second overall as a team! Here are dispatches directly from the racers, in their own words.

As with our non-League warm-up race last time, we’ve collected stories, observations, and other tidbits and strung them all together in one big mashup, without any bylines. In no particular order, here are the odds and bobs contributed by our Cougars about Race #1, Fun at the Fort! (If you don’t feel like reading, scroll down for some photos … it’s said they’re worth thousands of words.)

“It was freezing, but my discomfort distracted from my anxiety a bit and that was nice.”

“I saw people I met over the summer at camp for the first time since then!”

“It was so cold in the morning, there was frost on the windshield of the car and all over the grass.”

“I forgot to bring my leg warmers but my dad let me borrow his arm warmers, which I managed to stretch onto my legs. I doubt they will ever work as arm warmers again. Sorry Dad…”

“For some reason my water tasted like dirt, even before my bottle got all spattered with mud.”

“I pre-rode the course a second time in the morning, and had a really good sense of it going into the race, which made pacing a lot easier.”

“I heard a spectator’s dog’s collar clink and thought it was someone behind me shifting so I freaked out and hammered it because I try to never look back. I realized what happened when no one sped up to match me, and felt relieved.”

“I felt really proud standing on the podium with my team, and hope next time to stand higher up!”

“The announcer had this cool Australian accent that made him seem legit.”

“I can’t believe how fast this sport has grown – way more racers than last year.”

“The hot cocoa afterwards hit the spot.”

“I love racing NorCal because whenever I pass someone I try to be extra polite and give them some encouragement (you got this! Hammer it! You’re doing amazing!), and sometimes they take a breath through the pain and gasp an encouragement back at me, which always inspires me to give a little more.”

“I thought I was gonna hurl toward the end there. That would have been kind of spectacular, actually.”

“Granite Bay was one of the funnest races I have been to! A huge thank you to the coaches and parents for cheering us on as well as helping out in the team tent. A special thank you to Coach Andrew, Pat, Alison Seevak and Anna for coming even though none of them were racing. I look forward to the upcoming races of this season.”

“Bill the announcer is a god among men. ”

“Everyone on the start line was nervous but we gave each other fist bumps and reassured each other that we’d do great.”

“I thought the hills would really hurt but they were over faster than I expected.”

“I think we managed well despite the trailer hitch (no pun intended).”

“I was breathing so hard my throat got all raw and I could taste blood in my mouth. Well, not blood exactly, but like iron. My coach says this is normal.”

“I had ‘Carol of the Bells’ stuck in my head the whole time on 2x speed. Very inspiring!”

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