by JJ Schmidt
I wanted to do this race last year but decided not to because I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready this year but decided to do it anyway. Buzz, Jimmy, Michael, Gary and Greg were registered for masters cat 4/5 35+. I signed up for the cat 5 race thinking that would be my best chance of staying with the group as long as possible.
We started with the Collegiate C group and the pace was not that bad. Half way up Old Spanish Trail I heard a guy say, "this is going to be a roll out for the first 35 miles." Not a minute later, some one attacked and the group took off. I was not prepared and found myself off the back. After the hill I started working with Burt and Matt, a couple of U of A guys. Matt and I took a couple of pulls on Loma Alta, and then Burt carried us around the corner and took a good pull on OST.
We caught another collegiate guy from New Mexico, Josef but lost Burt, who I found out later got sick and couldn't finish. I didn't realize it, but we lost Matt on OST also. I worked with Josef for the next four laps. On the third lap I saw Buzz walking his bike and offered him mine thinking that would get me out of finishing the race. No such luck. It was a tough race, but I had a good time and was grateful to Josef for working with me. After the race I had some great fellowship with my team mates and some wonderful food thanks to Ray and Diana.