Today was the 2nd race at Fair Hill, with this one being the Fair Hill Classic. This is the longest race in the MASS but very fast, my average speed 11mph. They pushed back our start time 15 minutes to 11am, I guess they wanted to give the Experts a little more time so they didn't have to pass us.
The race started just a bit after 11:00, and it was definitely hot though not as hot as last year. The pace off the line was quite fast, with Nick and Bill from Loweriders setting the fast pace. I tried my best to stay with them but fell back a little and was sitting in 4th place for awhile. It was really nice that they had some water stops along the course, definitely helpful with keeping the temps down by splashing water on my neck and back.
After one of those water stops I got passed by 2 riders and I tried to jump on and hang but couldn't pick up the pace. Through "Crack Head Bob" a really twisty section I was riding pretty smooth but didn't seen anyone (the trail weaves back and forth soo much and there is no sight line, so it feels as though you are out there alone). Once out of the the twisty stuff there was a bit of climbing and I spotted a few riders and picked up the pace to try to finish somewhat strong.
Down the last bit of singletrack I spotted the 4th and 5th place rider and sprinted to catch and pass them (the one guy was cramping pretty bad). So I ended in 4th place, but apparently the 1st place rider felt he cut the course as he was 6 or 7 minutes in front of Nick from Loweriders. He did the right thing and reported the accidental course cut to the timing people, and they DNF'd him moving Nick into 1st place and me up to third. I was 2 minutes 44 seconds behind Nick which seems about right as he won the first Fair Hill race earlier in the year but about the same margin.
I got a cool pint glass for third, a metal, and a trip the prize table. I grabbed a shock pump which I was just telling Mike and Lisa that I needed a new one earlier in the day. Now I've got almost 2 months off before Bear Creek, where I need to do really well to secure some double points to make up for missing Granogue, Sewell, and Neshaminy.