Sad fact of life: you have to put a lot of miles "in the bank" if you want to compete well. Another truism, esoteric to Senior Games or any age-based racing: There is always a younger guy moving into your age category. So, I entered the San Antonio races hopeful but not brimming with confidence.
Saturday morning I drove the 120 miles to Texas Research Park, a great venue with good roads and no traffic. The bluebonnets were great. Warm-up went well and since this is the 6th time here, re-familiarizing myself with the course took minimal time. There is one 90+ degree turn at the bottom of a hill. The wind was up. Me and the wind do not get along.
My hope of winning went out the window when I saw Peter Leikisch. I would measure my accomplishment by holding his margin to under a minute in the 10k tt. Silver also, when a new member (Bill) moved into my category. The other guys I knew and was pretty sure I was faster.
They changed the course for the 10k: rather than twice around plus a bit, it was once around, then out and back. I liked the old way. Now we had three hills to climb and both downhills had the wind in my face. In any case, Bill started two minutes ahead of me, Peter two behind. After the first loop I saw Bill walking back, victim of a flat tire. I believe Peter beat me by 35 seconds.
The 20k race started about a half hour later. Peter skipped this one. Five laps. With this wind, once you open a gap on your competitors, it is very difficult for them to regain the pack. Me and Bill and Frank did that on the first lap, and we lost Frank on the second lap. Bill and I rotated for a lap, then he left me. Knowing I had second without a problem and no chance of first, I motored on at my own easy pace and cruised in with the silver.
Rather than stay overnight, I drove home and back the next morning. Warm-up went as well as expected, considering the drizzle and wet road conditions. No puncture this time, Bill won the 5k tt and Peter second, with me a distant third. However, I am interested in how we came in overall. I didn't hear a time faster than Bill's, so the younger guys were slower.
The 40k started an hour later. My legs couldn't respond well to any acceleration. I stayed with the pack for five laps (out of 10), then let them go. This is where the lack of training showed itself. I'll do better in the fall.
Placing nothwithstanding, I had fun. Check back in a couple of weeks to see how the fun increased.