ECEA Hare Scramble Race Report by…me
I’ve heard good things from my buddy Amanda about the race series she follows… ECEA – I have been wanting to try one just simply because its fun to line up with your buddies and ride a prepped race course. Its been a challenge trying to make one of them because the race schedule conflicts with my guys race schedule and we usually don’t race up north which is where these are basically located.
Anyone that knows us, knows we tend to make plans last minute and this weekend was clearly that! Friday the decision was made – my guy would race his first JDay Sprint Enduro on Saturday at Southwick, Massachusetts and I would start my birthday week off with my first ECEA in Millville, New Jersey on Sunday! There was a mad dash after work to pick up a trailer and some scrambling to pack up for the 7 hour trip…but we made it happen arriving in the area late Friday night.
My guy, Billy was excited to race the JDay… he was eager to try something new and the JDay Sprint Enduro format would deliver that – he had planned to race the Camp Coker GNCC in Society Hills, South Carolina this particular weekend but he hasn’t really been pumped up about racing for 3 hours… so we find ourselves at Southwick for the first round of the JDay! He had a pretty good race day… a late one (I think he was still on the track at 6:30!) He won his class and placed 7th overall so I’d say it was a great Saturday! We didn’t leave the track until after 7pm and then needed to grab dinner – by the time we were done it was 9…we were exhausted and still had a 4 hour drive to my race in the morning! We made the decision to grab a hotel for the night and get an early start – which ended up being 5 hours of sleep and then a 3 hour drive to the track…he was exhausted and I was a bit tired as well but I had made up my mind I would finally after a couple years of procrastination I would finally race an ECEA Hare Scramble!
Arriving at the track a quarter to 9 was perfect! I met Amanda and she gave me the tour and filled me in on getting signed up – Jersey has a lot of special rules too, which she filled me in on… its actually quite crazy! I had left Billy at the trailer with my bike – he had to change my air filter – my bike has been running horribly and we thought it was the filter so once that was done I geared up and headed through tech inspection – caught up with my pal Amanda and we headed to the start.
Our race is in the C Division and starts at 10 am… Our class is Womens Amateur and is the last starting row in that group. That is really nice for someone like myself – I don’t like to be pressured 30 seconds after I start my first lap…it takes me a little bit to get rippy… lol
With some quick pointers from Billy… and Amanda filling me in on what to expect from the course that I have never laid eyes on before I tried to focus on my start. I grabbed an inside line and felt lots of nervous energy filling in… 10 seconds and the drop of the green flag – my bike fired up and I raced to that first turn (not really a turn more like a slight angle…lol) and I definitely held myself back with the throttle… I just wanted to relax and ride – I know I’m in a race but really I’m just excited to ride!
On my fist lap I probably had a huge smile on my face… the course was pretty much exactly what I needed it to be… The dirt was perfect – it had rained there the day before which had created the most perfect traction. The course had minor elevation changes – a few of the hills were insane fun to me – I wished I could have made a practice loop and rode them all day! The “rock” section was childs play… and the course provided many areas to pull over to let faster racers by. My second lap was really fun because I felt like I now knew the course and what to expect – I was relieved and started trying to ride better. I have had a real issue with fear of holding faster racers up… I don’t want to be that person – but it is incredibly difficult to get out of peoples way when there is no line but the race line – lucky for me when other racers came up on me there were areas that I could move to – my challenge was not to stop like I had in the past…just keep riding and I definitely improved on this – yet I am nowhere near where I’d like to be…a couple times I did stop because there was a single line area and about 15 racers single file approaching me… there is just no way I could safely get through with that pressure on my rear wheel – but these races can only improve me. Third lap I felt like my knees were going to implode.. I could hardly stand up anymore and this course was very whooped out – you really had to stand – today my old knees feel like they have no bend in them and they need a squirt of wd40! When I saw the checkered flag I was mildly disappointed – yes I was tired and stiff but I was having a blast and didn’t want it to end! I pulled off the track and waited for Amanda to arrive – about 5 minutes she arrived at the checkers and had completed her 4th lap – if we had another lap she may have lapped me!!! Eeek…. thank goodness I enjoy this sport and don’t shy away from my competition!
Looks like I ended up racing for 1 hr and 36 min … only getting in 3 laps before the checkered flag – and took 9th out of 12 but it was quality! I really enjoy this type of racing – I like the 2 hour Harescramble because for me I get warmed up and used to my bike – I never just jump on my bike and feel bonded I have to ride a bit and get loosened up – the downfall to that for me is I’m not in shape…quite a bit out of shape so when I start to get feeling more confident on the bike my energy decreases and my muscles are screaming at me. There is no doubt that if I could keep racing this type of format and get used to people on the trail I would get faster and more competitive – hopefully I’ll get to some more of these soon!
Love My Life!
This week I will be turning 47! I swear I don’t feel like that on the inside – I still feel like a 20 year old. I know everyone says age is just a number and I agree with that to a degree… but when your body is feeling its age, yet in your mind you have so much more you want to accomplish and you feel like time is slipping…well it can be frustrating. All I can do is do my best and I hope that when people see me on the track they are laughing with me not at me because I am having a blast out there and just enjoying this ride I call my life!
Special Thanks to my guy for being my pit-tootsie for the day and taking me to this race…he makes this all possible and I can’t imagine my life without him!
Thanks to my special and good friend Amanda for her constant encouragement and friendship.
And Thanks to my sponsors for their continued support! Trail Pros, Ride On Moto, Fly Racing, Limited Decal, Scott Goggles, Task Racing
Shout Out to the Bombshells that couldn’t make this race – Girls you were there in spirit We shall do some rippin soon!