It's no secret that Mr. Craik and I have a healthy and amicable rivalry between us when it comes to racing. Pretty much all of our training is done together (except for a 2month secret training stint this time last year by Mr. Craik). Our training is intense, but full of laughs and we keep each other motivated.
But when the gun goes off so go the gloves, and not one inch is given up ... not for pity nor friendship. We wouldn't have it any other way.
And so it was without the slightest concern this last Saturday, that I beat him over the head with a chair and shoved a hornet's nest down his shorts, before delivering the coup de grace by sticking a knife in him and giving it a little twist for good measure.
Oh don't worry ... he's ok. I'm speaking in metaphors. It was the first of the 5Peaks series at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge. Since the area has a bit of a wild west reputation I decided to go with the theme and call it our "dust up in the Ridge!" So the seemingly violent preceding paragraph just means that I beat him. ; )
When the young, spring chickens are givin' us old coots a can of whoop-ass, we have to get wiley and devious. So all that stuff about the chairs and knives, is just me saying that I used the element of surprise to lay him out on the saloon floor by blasting off the start line, and holding a pretty hard pace down the opening 3 or 4km stretch. As expected he did the smart thing and didn't follow - holding to his own pace and strategy and reasonably thinking that i'd probably blow up.
However, this wiley old coot was firing on all 3 brain cells this day and I knew i could hold that pace for a while and still only have to back off the pace a little to recover... instead of die. Which is what I did: after opening a good gap I just eased the pace a bit and started my recovery up the lake access road while maintaining a good clip.
The rest of the race went to plan as I dashed through the deluge and mud, feeling good all the way through to the finish in just under an hour, for a 9th place finish overall and 1st in age group!
Four more peaks to go in the series and the problem with surprises is that they tend to only work once before the other person wises up and shuts that avenue down. Since Craiky is a pretty wise ass with a newer and zippier set of wheels than me, I know that eating humble pie in the next few races is a very real prospect ..... which is why i'm gonna be a cocky little bastard today while I can be! =D
Shoes For the Day: Salomon Speed Cross
These shoes were perfect for the wet, muddy conditions. The Speed Cross are essentially racing shoes for the trails. They're extremely light with a heavily lugged sole to grip the trail. Like a well-built German car, the faster you go the more stable they become because you get up off the soft heels and on to your forefoot.