rickey here. just finished throwing back five pounds of pasta and double that in magic hat #9. matt erholtz has put back only half that for the record.
i raced both carpenter and joseph gray two weeks ago and was able to see a similar drive. they both have a fire that isn't so much fuled by a desire to win but rather on the hatred of losing (and by losing i mean second or beyond). joe came in third at mt. washington. from the finish of that race to the finish of today's race at mt. cranmore in new hampshire (serving as the national mtn. running championships, world championship selection race and north american, central american championships) i knew that he was going to be the man to beat. when he told me that he ran a speed workout on tuesday, while the rest of us were tapering, i knew it for sure.
the two lap course was an improvement from the one that paul kirsch put together a couple years ago... which is to say less masochistic and more competitive.
the field started off at a decent pace, many of the leaders dropping off after a couple kilometers. by the top of the first of two laps all the usual suspects were present. simon g., eric blake, joe gray, shiloh mielke, myself, zac freudenburg and matt byrne. joe led the downhill followed by zac, simon and myself. shiloh displayed the downhill running skills that earned him a top 30 spot at the world trophy two years ago in switzerland by passing me and several others. i can say, without hesitation, that he is the fastest runner on any tretcherous downhill that i have ever seen.
going into the second lap i was able to reel in shiloh, simon and matt but not zack or joe. joe had the race won by this point and i was concentrating on a top-three spot that would secure a spot on the u.s. mtn. running team for the world championships in italy on september 6th. i wanted to put as much distance on shiloh as possible as i knew that the gap between us would only shrink from the top to the finish - it was only a matter of turning it into gap large enough that he wouldn't be able to close it in time. matt and i ran the descent together for sometime before he pulled away.
i was able to maintain my fourth place position through the finish (winning a watch for finishing closest to my bib number - 5), missing a secure spot on the team to matt byrne by 4 seconds. overall, i was pleased with how the race played out. i felt a little flat going in to the race, i think as a result of the amount of racing i've been doing in the past month and the heavy training i was doing before that. i was especially surprised and pleased with the results of both zac f. and matt b. as they were the fifth and sixth men on the team last year in switzerland. closet trainers.
the fourth and fifth members will be selected at the Cheyenne Canon Mountain Race in Colorado Springs on july 26th. the sixth spot will be selected by team managers with input from the team itself. whether i get selected for that spot or not i will either be in italy to cheer the team on or to race. either way it's gonna be a good time.
great event!! i hope to put up some photos of the event in the next week.
we need more race reports from the women!
for more reports check out:
and... and... props to the western states organizers for up-to-the-minute updates. congrats to anita ortiz!