Thursday, June 25, 2009
photo credit: Dan Elavsky
I've never raced Winghaven. This year wasn't any different. I did, however, try something new...
Sunday June 21 was Phil's BIG 4-0! His race filled up quickly, without him. Instead of trying to race AND be the best wife ever, I opted for the later.
I put on a nice dress,loaded the car up with tent, chairs, cooler, cake and cookie and we headed off for a day of Spectating (with a Capital S!)
We barely made it in time for the first race. We wouldn't have made it if they hadn't started over 30 minutes late! Those poor guys had to stand in the sweltering heat forever. They all raced a good race though. We tried to stay cool as we watched the Masters take to the line. That was a great race too. Phil's new peer group (40+) didn't let the heat keep them from putting the hammer down. Jeff Kloha took 11th!
The excitement (and heat) continued to build as the women lined up. What a huge and strong field. In the end, "our" Chris gave an awesome show and won by what seemed like a mile. My amazing "coach" Jamie was 11th and my kick-ass team mate, Alice, took 13th (and some cash!).
Not long after the women's race started, Phil realized that the camera that was rented from Bad Dog Pictures to shoot the races from the media vehicle was on lock down at a corner. Phil found himself volunteering to shoot the Pro/1 race, but was quick to inform them that he has "eyes of a sound guy." To make sure everything was up to speed well before the Pro race, we loaded up in the Media vehicle with Jessi at the wheel for the 2/3 race. It took several laps before I figured out how to power up the "live anywhere" box that would feed the signal the the guys in the "control room." Once we were up and shooting, we took off on the course to catch the action. We pretty quickly realized that the best looking shots were stationary, from various vantage points around the course. We spent the rest of the race moving from point to point, to set up and catch the guys as they came around. There were some great spots along the back of the course that quickly became favorites.
Once we started to feel like we knew what we were doing, we took a break, ate a little and readied for the Pro race. I talked Dan Elavsky to join us to get some of the still shots he needed from around the course (see them here).
Pretty soon, we were standing in the median, to get the shot as the peleton split to go around us at the round-about. We found the perfect down hill shot and down hill into a turn shot. We found a few that didn't work so well too.
As the day and heat wore on, we discovered that we could hang out of the sunroof to capture what we wanted. Also,it was just fun to hang out of the sunroof.
Also, we forgave Jessi for texting while driving (Just watch out for her when you are on the roads in St. Louis).
After all of this, I was cooked. The cake/cookie were demolished. Tent, chairs and junk were torn down and loaded up. Chris collected her winnings on the podium as Phil and I drove off into the still raging hot sun...and promptly got lost in Winghaven.