The Winter Park Epic 50 happened in a very bad week for Colorado. For more than a week straight, it rained here in Colorado. Although my house was okay, friends to my north in Boulder, Lyons, Longmont, and other areas were not okay. Roads, homes, and anything else that came into the flood's path was destroyed. I honestly didn't think that this race was going to happen, but at 11am Friday, a day before the race, the race was still not canceled. All the roads to get to Winter Park were closed including I-70. I emailed the race director and he had confirmed that I-70 would be opened by that afternoon and the race was still on. I reluctantly made my way up to Winter Park anticipating the worst.
When I made it up to Winter Park things were moist, but it wasn't raining. I checked out the trails on my pre-race warm up ride, and things were better than expected. Definitely rideable. That night and into the morning it didn't rain which made things even better.
I sat there at the start line feeling guilty. There were areas that were in a state of emergency and there I was about to embark on my last endurance race of the season. Once I was given the green light to go, I tried to put those thoughts in the back of mind and concentrate on the task at hand. I knew I wasn't going to do great after two disappointing races before this one, but I felt better than I had for the last month and a half. I ended up 13th in the Expert Men class. Seems like I was finally coming back from my slump just in time for cyclocross season.
So how was it? Fantastic. It was a great race and I'll be returning again next year. The rain even held off long enough for me to wash down my bike and hop in my car. As I left town it started down pouring. Perfect timing.
No more long stuff for me until February. Great race to end season, but very sad timing for many unfortunate folks. My sympathy goes out to anyone affected.