The weather was cold and drizzly, and Shari was not very keen on starting this race, but as usual, once we started racing we quickly warmed up. It was a mass start with men, women, novice through to elites all taking-off at once and sorting them selves out in the prologue before coming back past the start-finish.
I had a good race, making use of the climbs, and managing to hold it together on the downs. Shari got caught behind some struggling sport or novice men on a long single track climb and lost some time, but managed to hang on to second spot and the silver medal in Sport Women. I intended to finish strong but cracked a little on the final climb letting the winner get past me while I dug as deep as I could to hold on to the silver medal in Master Sport Men (Results here). In the end, Shari was not especially happy with her race, finding it difficult to settle for second spot when the difference was about 30 seconds. I however was happy to be on the XC podium again; the last time was in 2001, yikes.
Now we try to taper with some pre-season cyclocross drills, and try to get organized and mentally prepared for Crank the Shield, a three day marathon stage race in Ontario where Shari and I will race as a team, obliged to pass checkpoints and stage finishes within 2 minutes of one another. I am a little concerned about the strain this race might put on our relationship, but Shari assures me confidently that as long as I do as she tells me, we will be fine.