Friday, March 09, 2007

Bulldawg'n - March 3 Race Review

by Raja Lahti

You ever have one of those weekends when one side of yourself
says, "I really shouldn't be doing this. Really." And the other side
say, "What the hell, do it. Really." During the week sometime I
developed this cute little upper sinus/respiratory thang. You know
the kind that makes your nose raw, your throat raw, and everyone
takes a step back from you cause you may just have the plague.
Needless to say it all looks & sounds much worse than I felt. I felt
remarkably good. My sinus suck all the time.. now's no difference.
Big deal... Sound like I was reminded. Ok, I really do sound
pretty bad.

Saturday morning I drive out to Oceanside for the Bulldog Road Race
with fellow Bella, Stacy Bruner. "You ok?". "Let's go before I change
my mind." I was stoked to see so many VBellas come to the race. A
good group where everybody had somebody they could team-up with
ability wise. Stacy Bruner, Whitney DeSpain, Jess Motyl, Helena
Prieto, Stacy Schlocker... .cough cough.. and me. I didnt' see any
others.. but there may have been. I recognized some of the other
women from Boulevard. Then we're approached by a woman with legs to
my ears "One of you isn't by any chance Raa-jaa?". "Yes, that would
be me." :-D So it turns out that all our Bellalicious- Velo-Happiness
is spreading and one of the new galas inquiring into Velo Bella-Kona
San Diego and I got to put a face to a new soon-to-be-or- already-is-
member, Beth Callahan I'm telling you.. the kit's addicting!

Focus Raja.. back to racing.. just a little Bella-detour. ..

For everyone else in the group, this was their first Road Race.. most
of the women I know from Triathlon.. so this was a great first road
race for the newbies. The race started in usual fashion. Slow, easy,
nice little group ride. A couple little surges up some small rollers.
Then WHAAMO! We hit the one and only significant hill at 10.5%
grade.. it instantly grabs your attention and rips your lungs out.
The field goes nuts. Five girls get off the front, one of which is a
multiple Bulldog winner, another is Amanda Felder. She looks like a
bigger Samantha McGlone. (Sam's so small it doesn't take much to be
bigger). For all those that have never heard of Sam.. she's Ironman
70.3 World Champion. So Amanda is one fit, beautiful.. and nice..
athlete. Gezeummm Raja.. focus!

So by the time we get down and head back the chase group is about 10
of us. At this point I'm finding it difficult to breath and the fire
in my throat is not pacified by any of my drink mix. Just then Stacy
comes to my rescue and joyfully says "Hello", turns to me with a
smile and jumps in front of me and begins to pull the train. I've
been trying to get Stacy to race with me but our timing has always
been off. I learned that if Stacy gets pissed and the words "I'm done
with this" come out of her mouth.. hold on to your hats &
glasses.. 'cause she's about to rip everyones legs off.

A DeWalt Racing girl and I had been rotating, but now I was in need
of help. So Stacy the Goddess shows up. Feeling good, she hammered it
for as long as she could - for about 8 miles before she got some help
from another team. There are some attacks and I have no idea how, but
I managed to jump to the break. The DeWalt girl is just pounding it
down. I hug her wheel as if death himself is chasing me down with his
hands on my throat. Finally she signals she's done. I try to pull
again and just have nothing left. Then at that moment Joe appears.
He's passing us and somehow I muster the energy to find his wheel and
the small group latches on. We pass a straggler from the lead group.
DeWalt girl has recovered and in the last mile passes Joe and I jump
on her wheel. We take the left to the finish area. Then out of
nowhere.. confusion.

The man that was supposed to direct us to the finish shoot just
stands there and watched us pass him.. instead of take the right. As
this race is located in a military base, anyone who's ever been on a
base knows that random acts of driveways is common.. so we didn't
know where the finishing shoot was. "Uh, guys, COME BACK, TURN
AROUND." comes the yell from behind. All 5 of us left in front yell a
simultaneous F***!! and each us flips a U-ie and thus finish in
reverse order... oh well... it was a fun race anyway. I was 8th
overall and won my division. I was still happy.. it's just amazing
the adrenaline that rushes around and captures you in a moment of
competitive drive.

Yeah - and no pics.. none of us brought a camera.... and all the
fellas that came were out racing as well... so I'll have to find
links from the race photographer. .

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the doc I go... get me some better meds...
cause tomorra is Fiesta Island TT.. which I paid for.. so I'm racing!

Congrats to all the Bellas racing Bulldog!!
FEMALE 30-34 1 275 3593 RAJA LAHTI 30 5 1:21:57
FEMALE 30-34 2 295 3705 STACY BRUNER 30 5 1:22:51
FEMALE 30-34 4 319 3471 STACY SCHLOCKER 30 5 1:24:26
FEMALE 30-34 5 401 3252 HELENA PRIETO 30 5 1:29:14
FEMALE 25-29 7 404 3788 JESSICA MOTYL 27 5 1:29:26

new bella to be:
FEMALE 35-39 4 365 3044 ELIZABETH J CALLAHAN 38 5 1:27:10


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