Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It's On Like Donkey Kong! Opening Ceremonies and Middle Distance

It has officially begun! All the teams are here (29 countries), the heatwave has broken, and the rain has officially saturated Team USA.


Yesterday, August 17th, was the Opening Ceremonies held at the Arena here in Liberec, home of the White Tigers Hockey Team.  A little different from previous years, we as the team got to sit down and enjoy the show.  Two team members, Rachel Furman and Justin Bakken were our chosen representatives to be the flag and country name carrier as they joined the other countries flag carriers to walk on stage as they announced the teams to competition.  The presentation of a clock countdown got me a little nervous since it felt like the beginning of a race - it was nice to not have to pedal away as the clock reached :00 seconds, but instead listen to some amazing drumming and watch the light show and a short video of Mountain Bike Orienteering.


This short video pretty much sums up what the weather was like today for the Middle Distance Event, probably don't need to dwell too much more on that topic.  But... it was a lot more pleasant than what I was expecting, not that cold and the trails weren't as slippery as I thought they would be.  FUN!!!

COMPETITION - I was really happy how today played out.  I feel like I haven't had a solid Middle Course Race for the past 4 years I've attended the World Championships. Today's course was filled with multiple route choice options and many, many hills.  I played this game conservatively today making sure I was on the right path before making any big descents - did I mention it was hilly?  It's a bummer I had to try two different trails before choosing the third (the correct trail) on my way to the first control.  But on the positive side, I did recover from this error and  carried on with my race.  No major errors, just a bunch of tiny ones.  Yes, I do know tiny errors add up to quite a bit of time but honestly, with the limited MTBO we have in the states, I'll take my solid 43rd place!  I've learned quite a bit this past year from the help of fellow MTBO friends and it feels great to be able to apply all that I've learned to today's race, thanks!

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