Patriot CX Race Report – Cat 4

Sunday saw beautiful weather, sunny and mid 60's, perfect for my first CX race.  I'd had the opportunity to ride the course a few times during CX practices so I felt like I knew what I was in for but wasn't confident on how I wanted to approach the race.  I had practiced bunny hops the previous week and had success but wasn't feeling extremely confident on the day of the race.  I'd decided that I was only going to attempt jumping the logs on the back side if I was still in contention.
When we lined up I recognized a few strong riders from road season and thought the race would be quick and hard.  At the whistle, I jumped off the line and got myself 6th or so going into the first turn onto the dirt path.  My main concern was getting space so I could take the only good line between the big mud puddles.  Through the dirt path I made up a few places but the leader had gone way off the front, I'd never catch him again.  Things were status quo through the trees and the first barrier and when we got to the logs, I was still in 4th or 5th and saw others really slowing and dismounting.  I went with a slow roll strategy over the double logs, bunny hopping the small ones.  This helped me move up and after the first lap, I caught the rider in second and tried to recruit him to go catch the leader.  He stayed with me until the second time through the trees on the first half of the course then he was also gone.
From there it was just a lot of pain, riding as hard as I could and hoping the laps would count down faster.  I passed some of the 3's field and a lapped a few of the 4's.  I had no idea what kind of a gap I had on the next racer so I just kept at it through the rest of the race.  
Final result, 2nd place.  Turns out the winner of the 4's race ended up passing everyone in the 3's race too…  I believe he'll be taking his upgrade.
I'm happy with the result, hoping to get to race more of the series and see how I can stack up in the 4's overall.
Thanks to Karl for putting on a great race!