Race report by Allison Snooks
I’ve been doing more thinking and evaluating about myself in the last 6 months
than I have done in my entire life. It’s hard work. It’s quite often that I
take a look in the mirror and smile. My hard work has paid off. I am a happy
human being who has much to be thankful for. Life will always throw curveballs,
sliders, knuckleballs, and heaters right at your face. The test of your
strength is how they react. Last year I raced the 3/4 race and the Elite race.
In the Elite race I finished dead last. Needless to say, the race this Sunday
at Suckerbrook was a bit of a test.
It was a beautiful day for cross. The
course was a synergistic mix of turns, woods, sand, pavement and dusty dirt. We
had 3 women from LF line up at the start on the first row. Anna, Ann, and I
owned the first turn onto the gravel. Being on either of these 2 wheels is
exciting for me because I have the opportunity to follow their lines. We held
strong for 2 laps creating a 30 second gap or so between the next rider. I was
yo-yoing a bit at certain portions of the course but got back on, until I made a
mistake, actually, a series of mistakes. Mistake one: I didn’t ride the small
log cleanly and put a foot down. Mistake Two: On my ensuing chase back onto the
group into the sand, I made an error dismounting and my knee went into my fancy
schmancy rear Zipp wheel and I broke 2 spokes. I’m not sure wether the lack of
oxygen caused these mistakes or my excitement of being in the lead group caused
the mental errors, but they happened nonetheless. Mistake Three, after pit bike
exchange, I crashed into the stairs after my cleat did not release from my
pedal……ouch. I was now sitting in 5th place, bloody legs/knees and all.
Mirror, mirror, shouldn’t I just give up? Hell, no. Inside, I was smiling.
Hard work on the trainer, hard work at communicating effectively with peers and
family, hard work believing in oneself, hard work just living, made me turn
those pedals over and over. I crossed the line in 5th position. Yet, despite
my hard work, if I didn’t have the support of my teammates encouraging me to get
back on the LF train, support from the Lf support crew (you know who you are),
and everyone else that gave me a shout, my result may not have been possible.
When eveything clicks, when you have done the work, it’s not just you in the
mirror, but the legion of support that stand beside you.