Driving out to Eastern PA I wasn't sure what to expect for this race. I heard about some hill and knew that earlier in the week it monsooned so it could be quite nasty on the course. As I got there it was obvious the hill that they were talking about. Not super steep but long enough to be painful and switchbacked enough to keep you dizzy while attacking it.
The race went off and it did so without my legs. I put the first couple pedal strokes down and there wasn't much there. I was a little tentative since the last time I did a CX race I was on the pavement in the first 50 feet so maybe that was part of it. Anyway it starts right into the dreaded hill so I just stay steady and try to pick off racers when I could. The climbing was steady and the downhill was sketchy but I made up my time in the mud and the greasy corners. I was able to find lines that others couldn't work and ride past many lap after lap. I got into the flowing knowing this and about 3 laps in my legs started to come around.
By this point I was probably in 10th or 11th of 25 and saw a couple riders not too far in front of me. So I kept it steady and worked my strengths. Uphill was good, downhill was good, but through the mud I attacked and worked my edges and the lines that were hooking up. It worked. I picked off one rider each of the last couple of laps and somehow worked my way up through a few guys I've never beaten before. That made my ride feel really good. I was happy with how I did and really had a solid race.
I finished 8th of 25 and was happy to do that well given that I was just coming off of the Vermont 50 the week prior which really kicked my butt. I was extremely happy as well that both of my tires stayed on this week. No bike changes were necessary but my front tire was deflating on me. So that needs attention. Hopefully I can build on this and keep the momentum going into a great cross season.