Monday, May 16, 2011

Mississippi Senior Olympics
Thursday May 12, 2011
The day started out a little cool with some cloud cover and little sun. The 20K and 40K road races were set to roll first, with the 10K, 5K and 1 mile timed trials to follow. After a good warm up, all of the contestants headed to the start line to begin the races. The course is a 10K loop with 3 right hand turns, a few rolling hills and good pavement. We started out in a double pace line with myself and the other 50-54 year old rider, Fred McLaughlin from Florida, on the front. About 2 miles into the race, we went single file with Fred taking the first pull. After we made the first turn we picked up the speed a little as I settled into a long pull. When I rolled off the front the group was still together but starting to gap a little on the back so I slipped in about 4 wheels back to keep an eye on Fred. When Fred took his turn pulling again he opened a little gap so I had to move around a couple of riders to get his wheel again. After the second turn and several riders taking their turn on the front, I moved to the front as we approached the largest hill on the course. I kept the speed up around 20 mph and split the field up. Now it was just 4 of us in the lead group, Fred, Robert, James and I. We continued to work together and slowly pick the pace up as we motored through the second loop. As we rounded the last turn headed to the finish line of the 20K, we spotted a pickup truck parked in out lane. I was leading and began to pick up speed when Fred stood up to sprint and pulled around me. We had to move to the left lane to avoid the truck then the truck started to move, we checked up a bit then continued the sprint. Fred was slightly ahead of me as we crossed the line at 35 mph, then the truck started to turn left in front of us. We were yelling for him to stop and I made the decision that I couldn’t stop in time so I gunned it again and slipped right in front of the truck with only inches to spare, I thought for sure I was going to get hit but we all made it by safely. Fred took the gold and I the silver for the 20K. We continued for 2 more loops to complete the 40K, this time I let Fred lead out in the sprint and passed him at the line for the Gold medal.
After a 30 minute break we were up to the line again for the 10K timed trial, which would be one lap on the 10K loop. I went off first and never looked back; I completed the loop in a little over 17 minutes for the second gold medal of the day, about a minute and a half over second place. Next up was the 5K timed trial; this race was a straight line on good road with a slight wind at our back so the times were going to be fast. I again went off first and dropped the hammer for a personal best time of 7.42 minutes, which was good enough for my third gold medal. Finally the last race was here, a one mile timed trial on a section of the 5K course. I again was first off and did my best but Fred was able to beat me by 3 seconds for the gold so I picked up my second silver medal of the day.
The event was a success, I had 3 gold medals and 2 silvers and everyone finished safely. I also want to mention that everyone was asking where Mr. Alvarez was, as Jairo signed up but didn’t make the trip. I phoned Scott at Pedal Play to check on him and found out all was fine; he couldn’t make the trip for personal reasons. It is good to know that Jairo is so liked on the Senior Olympic circuit; he has defiantly made an impact on me as well as the other competitors. Now I’m looking forward to the National Senior Olympics in Houston, Tx. in June, wish me luck!

No comments: