What's this? Haley Smith has a blog? That's right. As if there isn't already enough junk to sift through on the internet, I've decided to add a little more :). Hopefully you'll find it interesting (or at least not deathly boring)!
My brother recently told me that the best blogs are those that read like diaries; dripping with secrets and an "I don't care what anyone thinks about me" attitude. I'll do my best to make this one of those kinds of blogs, but I'm afraid I'm somewhat lacking in the secret department. Instead, I'll tell you the stories behind my racing results and everything that goes on in between races. And maybe (if you're lucky) I'll come up with a fat, juicy secret from time to time.
This past weekend (yesterday) was the final stop on the XC mountain biking Canada Cup circuit of 2012 (WHAT? The season's OVER?). An unfailingly awesome venue, Hardwood Hills managed to provide a fun and relatively fast course despite the billion mm of rain that fell in the few days before the race. The riders from the earlier start times were coming in pretty clean and free of mud, so I was hoping for good things on the race course. But apparently I jinxed it a few days back, and the skies opened up on us just before the Elite start. The rain turned the course into a slip 'n slide (literally), which was a ton of fun, but made for a pretty long race.
Despite the 1km of false flat double track right off the start, the pack managed to stick together. This made for a frustrating bottleneck upon reaching the first piece of single track. I didn't get the position I was hoping for into that first section, which meant that I was playing catch up for the rest of the race. To be honest, I don't remember much of the specifics of the race. The five 6km laps seemed to meld together in my mind. I remember jockeying for position with Mandy Dreyer and Heather Grey for the majority of the 4th and 5 lap, falling (a lot), and trying but failing to clear the mud out of my eyes, but all in all the race was a bit of a blur. I got stuck behind a couple crashes in the slippery single track, and crashed a few times myself. On the plus side, I had a great start (felt super strong) and managed to gain a few positions from start to finish.
When all was said and done, I finished 3rd U23 and 9th overall. It wasn't the result I was hoping for, but I also can't complain! Cayley Brooks had another awesome race (that girl is on FIRE). Congrats also go out to my Norco teammates for killing it (as usual)! Big thanks to Norco and Uncle Havi for getting us set up for the race and lugging us across the eastern half of the country for the Canada Cup series!
Also this weekend, I attended my first event as a Fast and Female Ambassador! The day was awesome, as myself and the other ambassadors got to share our experiences, ride, and hang out with some awesome young female athletes. Definitely check out Fast and Female if you have a chance!
It seems crazy, but nationals are in less than two weeks now! Going to use the next week and a half for some much needed recovery and therapeutic rides on the trails here in Uxbridge. If you're interested in seeing results from the Canada Cup series check out Cycling Canada, and photos are at Canadian Cyclist.