I wanted to go to a race in the New Orleans.I imagined that's where they'd have a race called "The Big Easy." Instead, I participated in Tulsa Tough 2010.
My racing continues to be mediocre at best, so I won't go into details about the race. I won't pick apart every missed moment and failed attempt. I stunk it up pretty good in the mid 90 degree heat on Saturday and again on Sunday on "Cry baby Hill."
Despite my lack of racing ability at this time, Tulsa Tough was excellent! The courses were fun and challenging. The fields were HUGE. The crowds were even bigger and full of excitement even during our women's III/IV races.
We arrived Friday night just in time to watch the Cat III men's race, featuring Hubbers - Chris, Drew and Dave! Chris finished in the money! Next up was the Pro, I,II Women. What an awesome race! Carrie took the first prime!
Our accommodations (The Doubletree) were excellent, humongously welcoming of the crowd of cyclists and centrally located among all three race courses! They even let us ride right into the lobby on Saturday.
Tulsa Tough does it right! There were huge jumbo trons all over the place with cameras to capture nearly every piece of the race. On Saturday, at one point when I was off the back (go figure!) I could see the breakaway group's finishing sprint on the screen on the back side of the course. Very cool! Despite being far from home, I had some awesome cheerleaders on the course. I could hear Carrie, Jessi, Courtney and Justin cheering for me on each lap. Justin even tossed a wave of cool water on me toward the end! (THANK YOU!)
My teammate Alice did well on Saturday. My teammate from another team, Suzanne (Big Shark) did well too. She took a $50 prime on Saturday in the chase group. The three of us successful avoided two crashes.
Jamie (Momentum), Teresa (Big Shark) and Allison (Momentum) weren't as lucky on Saturday - crashing both times. The second of which caused Jamie to DNF. Overall, they were ok but I'm convinced Allison's bike is cursed (2 crashes in 2008 right after she got it. Cracked from after Belleville, crashed again in Tulsa and then after the race some guy just fell over into her bike!) Fortunately, I hear she has her eye on a Project One!
Sunday's course wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. Crybaby hill is short but steep, reaching 16% before a right hand turn and a little more climbing. The crowd there was awesome and I hear they got even more outrageous as the day went on!
The descent was a little scary, sharp, off camber turn. My legs and heart just weren't in it, so I didn't have to worry about being in a crowd as I descending.
Unfortunately, judging from the Cat 5 race, I knew it was just a matter of time before I was pulled. They were pulling anyone who was not in contact with the field.
In the end, only Jamie was not pulled. She won the QOM and took 5th!
I was sad to leave after our race. Although I was disappointed with my standings, I was having a great time and wanted to watch Carrie and Team VBF tear it up on this challenging course. Their race was not until afternoon and the 6.5 hour drive was beckoning. We showered up, loaded up, grabbed some lunch and headed home.
Tulsa, I am tougher having experienced you!