Report by John Clare
The last race of the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross series may have been a couple of weekends ago, but the series didn’t officially wrap-up until this past Sunday, when the year-end party was held out in Almonte. The party provided a chance to recognize the tremendous effort put in by the volunteers of the OBC, lead by Bob Woods, to make the races happen. It certainly was no small feat that the series managed to hold all 10 planned races, despite being booted from city parks (Bob was rightfully singled out for his efforts by the Ontario Cycling Association, and was named CX organizer of the year).
One of the things that makes the OBC CX series so much fun is how organizers really put an emphasis on participation, at all levels. This was reflected at the awards ceremony, where gold medals (and first pick of the available door prizes… which included loot like a brand new pair of cross-country skis!) went to those racers who made it out to all ten races. Also evident at the party was the effort organizers put into making races open to kids. They do this by having a few strategically placed short-cuts and smaller barriers for younger riders spread out throughout each course. But they don’t hold separate races for kids – they get right in there with the adults, and on Sunday they rightfully collected their fair share of the hardware.
As for the Fiera Race Team, well, thanks to Naomi we managed to get our hands on a coveted golden cow-bell as well. In her rookie season, Naomi snatched second place overall in the Women’s Master’s A category. For me, cheering her on with Evan every Sunday morning was just as much fun as racing myself. And I suspect it won’t be long before I am cheering Evan on too (although for now, his favorite part of each race is helping to take down the tape after it is over).
For me, I didn’t manage to snag a top ten like I had hoped, but I did seem to improve as the season went on (either that or the field just got thinner as the weather got colder). And I don’t think I embarrassed myself too badly… although there was the time I crashed into the barriers in the first race… oh yeah, and I did that again towards the end of the season. Then there is this picture…
Sigh, okay, maybe there were some embarrassing moments, but I still can’t wait for next year. Evan is already hitting the trainer…
And here is a good wrap-up courtesy of 53 x 11 (yes, I think that is my voice at around 43 seconds telling guys they only have to run-up that hill 5 more times).