Jingle Cross is a very big cross race, its probably the one of the biggest cross races in the Midwest. it's held at a fairground, and boasts a rather steep and decent sized hill dubbed "Mount Krumpet". Depending on the year and category you race in, you ride up the side of this brutal hill, or for even more pain, get to run straight up it. But if you are in category 3 or higher, you get the treat of doing the crazy switchbacks straight down the steepest side. The rest of the course is a collection of various twisty turns linked by brutal power drags.
It's a pretty hard course, in short, near perfect for me. On Friday we race under the lights in the dark. We ran up the hill and came back down the mild downhill. The course was dry and hard from people pre-riding it. The start is a little bad for me. It starts out good, with tar and gravel for about a 100 feet, but then goes into some nasty power grass. Nerveless, I have a good starting position (thanks to dad pre-registering me) and my start goes well.
By the time we go past the pits I'm sitting top ten, hooked on to Mitch's wheel. This is a good place to be, as Mitch tends to place top three in the cat 3 races and I'm quite happy with where I'm sitting, but unfortunately I stumble on the fly-over and Mitch gets away. Out of his draft, I lose a few spots, but then my team mate Tad (his real name is Christopher, but everyone calls him Tad) comes by and says, "Get on my wheel Josey!" I put in a big effort and start to draft him. I follow him for a while until the last 10 minutes of the race, where I fade a little (the run up was killing me, very long and about 15%) and get passed by a group of 3. The race ended up being 55 minutes long (it was supposed to be 45, but they based the time off the leader in cat 2's, who was going very fast, so our time was extended) and I placed 14th out of over 80 starters.
Saturday it's MUDDY, probably the muddiest cross race I have ever done. I have a good start, and am on Mitch's wheel again, however the mud is very sticky and slow and so requires lots of power. Mitch drops me and I get discouraged. I race for 55 minutes, and by the end I am 18th out of over 80 starters. Not as good of a day, but the mud was hard and I am satisfied.
On Sunday we have to run up the hill again, but the mud has gotten runny, it's now sketchy and relatively fast. perfect conditions. I miss my pedal at the start and lose quite a bit of ground, but halfway into the first lap I'm 18th. throughout the rest of the race I gain places and move up to 14th, but then the run up starts to get to me and I fade, falling back to about 22nd. All the sudden I get angry, and start riding really well. I moved back up to 16th in the last two laps, losing the sprint for 15th. I placed 16th out of 80 starters. Overall I was happy with this race. It was a lot of fun, I got to see my team mates and race in the mud!