It’s 7:30 am in Brogue, PA (the middle of nowhere) and I am warming up on my trainer. These are my thoughts:
“You lost your cold weather gloves and had to stop at Walmart and by gardening gloves to keep your hands warm, though it likely won’t help.”
“Jason, what the hell are you doing: Last night you stayed in a shady motel on the side of an interstate, according to the owner the previous guest only rented it for 3 hours, and the room wasn’t completely cleaned!”
“You slept maybe five hours.”
“You couldn’t find a decent breakfast and decided something was better than nothing: 3 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts would work.”
“And now you are here, its 40 degrees, your freezing, and, well, now it just started raining.”
Jason Luttrell takes off with the Men’s 4/5 Field
Suffice it to say, for once in my life, I beat my inner conscience and lined up for the race, despite the misery I felt on the inside. The 4/5 field was the first to roll off and we were a bit unsure as to the conditions of the roads so we took it pretty easy for the first two laps. This of course didn’t keep me from wanting to call it quits after two laps. Two months ago forty degrees felt like heaven, on this day it was anything but! I kept running through my head reasons I could give people for abandoning the race….(glad I didn’t)
By the time we completed the 3rd lap the field was whittled down to thirty or so rides. The course was conducive to this as it consisted of a nice steep decline of about .5 mile, after a right hand turn the course was fast before hitting a nice long false flat, before hitting an 11% short climb to finish. Surprisingly, most everyone fell off the back on the false flat!
Lap 6 or so is when the pace started to pick up to at least something bit more difficult. I just sat in waiting to see how things unfolded. In my impatience, I finally arrived at the front of the group with this nice fella from Villanova cycling. We both put in some hard pulls but no one would pull through, I mean no one. So he looked at me and I at him and we slowed the pace down to a crawl. We refused to sit on the front of pack and drag everyone else along for a nice stroll.
On the 8th lap (of 10) Mr. Villanova and I began discussing how we could go off the front. Unfortunately, we misunderstood one-another and it never happened. I decided to head a little further back in the pack, of now 20 or so riders, to get some rest and see how others were feeling. Right as I went to the back, the fella behind me went off the front. I wasn’t too worried given the fact I could hear him suffering behind my fairly easy pace.
Jason move up toward the front of the pack
On the final lap the intensity doubled. I made my way to the front(ish) and sat in. We caught the guy off the front on the false flat. Going into the final turn I was on 7th wheel or so which was not ideal. I went through the corner wide and hit the short steep hill in 5th position. I powered to the finish and ended up 3rd, a meager two seconds behind the winner.
Jason coming in for his 3rd Place Finish