Saturday, Mike Gaherty and I took a ride up to Des Moines (that's in Iowa) for the Oakley Night Cap Cross race.
The race was held at Mullets Bar and Restaurant, which is across from the Principal Park, where the Iowa Cubs play, and right at the point where the Raccoon River meets the Des Moines River. (It's amazing what you can learn from Google Maps)
The course was set-up along the levee and grassy area near the Raccoon River, and in a small field outside of Mullets. The course was fairly short - only about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per lap - but it was a wide layout with lots of room to ride and pass. There were three obstacles, two full barriers, one on the river levee, and one on a sharp uphill back to the Mullets field, and one railroad tie, which, depending on the race, about 50% to 80% of the racers hopped (I don't have to tell you I was one of the 20% to 50% who ran it, but in the end, hopping it or running it was about the same time wise)
Mike and I lined up in the Masters 35+, starting at 5:00pm and went for 40 minutes, which turned out to be 11 laps for the leaders, and 10 for me. On such a short course, I felt good about only getting lapped once. I had a good start by my standards, coming down the levee about 11th. I passed one guy at the first barrier/run-up, then spent the next two laps chasing a couple of guys, and I had caught and passed them by about the third of fourth lap. I raced back and forth with a couple of the 45+ guys for the rest of the race, and finished 8th out of 14, +1 lap. Mike finished 2nd, and scored a bunch of Miller Lite and Oakley swag, and a gift certificate to Mullets, which we took advantage of before we left.
The guys at Bike Iowa put on an awesome race at a great, spectator friendly venue, with a live band, a bunch of light plants to light up the whole course since the last race didn't start until 10:00pm, food and drink specials at the restaurant, and tons of spectators who got more rowdy as the night went on - a perfect urban cyclocross race. Mike and I both said we'll be back again.
Next week I'm staying local for the Epic Bike and Sport "Shawnee Rescue Radcross" in Shawnee (obviously.)
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