The final Freezeroo race managed to live up to its name. While it was not nearly as cold as some of the other races in the series, it was just as snowy and windier by far than any of them. There was not a lot left riding on the series for most of us. Jeff had already wrapped up the series win but did have a chance to remove the blemish of his lost to Chanse at the Hearnish 10k. Chanse and I were still close enough in scores that I could catch him for 2nd overall with a 15 second or so victory, but lets face it… no one races for second place.
The final Freezeroo is a 10k out and back course over rolling hills. The course basically makes an L. We run 2 miles East turn left and run 1 mile north before turning around and heading back. On Saturday the wind was a steady 20 mph out of the west northwest and gusting to well over 40 mph. Everyone had the same basic plan. Get out as fast and you possibly could then survive on the way back, everyone except for Matt, but I’ll get to that later. The Churchville road crews did an amazing job on the 2 mile stretch of road we started and ended on. When we first arrived for our warm ups it was completely snow covered, but they went back and forth over it several times before the start of the race. Once we got started there was always a wet peice of road to put your foot on and by the time we returned from the later part of the L the road was basically clear. For some reason however, they didn’t touch the shorter 1 mile stretch of the L.
Jeff sporting some very stylish lady tights took his usually early lead. In this picture he appears to be laughing at our slowness as he runs by the camera about 2.5 miles into the race.
You wouldn’t know it from the way Chanse is flying along in this picture but the road was actually fairly slippery. He was about 20 seconds ahead of me and I watched him slide and flail his arms a few times before I slipped once, steadied then took a nice tumble. After two rolls I managed to pop right back up and keep running. It wasn’t until later that I really felt the pain from my fall and by that point I was running into a 40 mph head wind and a little hip pain was the least of my problems.
After my fall I was a bit more cautious. I resolved to just stay upright until we got back to the plowed section of the race.
Matt was laying low at this point, but getting ready for his insane charge to the finish.
Ryan is having his beer and mileage meticulously tracked by Matt and it appears to be paying off as he has improved his position ever race this series.
Our newest member Blake looks entirely too happy in this picture. Then again Jeff was also smiling and running faster than everyone else, so maybe he is on to something.
As we made our turn around and headed back up the hill toward the better traction of the home stretch I formulated my plan to beat Chanse. I would sneak up behind him running silently on the snow, then cut way inside next to the on coming runnings as we made the right turn into the wind. The combination of being suddenly overtaken and blasted by a 40 mph wind would surely take the heart from him and I could cruise to second place glory (I think Jeff had already finished the race by this point). My plan worked perfectly right up to the point where Chanse was suppose to give up. In the last 400 meters before the turn I caught him and moved to the other side of the road. I passed him as we made the turn and I made a hard push into the wind. For a moment I was pulling ahead and then he was drafting off me. I then decided to change tactics and let him pass me and attempted to draft off him. Unfortunately he was holding tight against the side of the road and the wind was coming at such an angle that I would have had to run in the slush to really draft off him. I resolved to just trudge along behind him and hope he wore down more than me running into the wind.
In the end he wore down exactly the same amount as me and stayed a few seconds ahead of me until the finish. One man did not wear down. Matt came storming by me with a little more than a mile to go, and promptly ran down Chanse as well. Not being satisfied with merely beating us he had to show off and crush us in the final mile of the race. How Matt ran that fast uphill into a howling wind to grab second place I have no idea, but it was damn impressive. What was almost as impressive was his bringing along victory beer. While we waited for the awards to be handed out we got to enjoy a nice Saranac sampler pack. That act alone is enough for Matt to win MVP honors for the series, sorry Jeff but winning 4 out 5 races is good but bringing beer is truly great.
There was a nice pizza and awards party following the race, and Roadkill Racing did rather well. We grabbed the top 3 spots in the series Jeff 1st Chanse 2nd and Me 3rd. Matt finished 5th overall but first in his age group. The best part about the awards? Straigth cash money to the winners. No silly t-shirts, medals or gift certificates, just an envelope of cash for the 4 of us. Did the winners share cover the expense of running the series? No of course not, but that is hardly the point. I am eagerly awaiting Roadkill Racings 10% cut from the other winners, and expect that to arrive in the mail any day now.