Although I ride and train at the track regularly, it has been a few years since I’ve raced. This past weekend there was a race, Trackfest, at our home track. Competitors can enter as many events as they like. Or they can complete in all the events for the Omnium, I entered the Omnium. Trackfest Omnium consisted of seven races over two days: matched sprints, scratch race, elimination race, individual pursuit, keirin, kilo, and points race. I had never done matched sprints, individual pursuit or kilo in competition before so I thought this would be a good time to try!
Although the actual events in track are short, track racing is an all-day event. Luckily Mark Baril from our sister club Synergy arrived bright and early to set up a tent and an air-inflated couch! I brought far more with me for this event than I ever do for a road race. I had a cooler with several meals worth of food, drinks, and snacks, time trial helmet, regular helmet, my regular bike bag and extra clothes. There is lots of down-time between events as you are waiting for the other competitors so it’s good if you bring or make lots of friends to chat to!
The races were all great experiences! The scratch race was my best finish – 4th, and definitely my best race. It takes me a long time to warm-up which is not conducive to track racing and I should work on riding rollers to help me out there! The points race is usually my favourite race but it was at the end of Sunday and I have to say I was totally bagged by then and just could not hold a wheel to save my life. Next time!
Highlights of the weekend include:
- coming fourth in the B category Omnium, with three of out of the four riders on the podium very strong women. For Trackfest we were racing ability category not gender so the groups were all mixed. Two amazing and strong female racers came down from Edmonton, they were so inspiring to race with!
- Watching Tara Whitten race in the A category (as the only female). I always love watching the A group anyway but to watch Tara out there made it even better!
- And I can’t leave out Mark (from Synergy) almost lapping the entire A field in the points race – he put on the best show for us! (p/c Kunio Tsuyuhara)
- Oh and I should also mention the U13 group and how great it is to watch them develop into racers. They raced hard all weekend and there is something especially great about watching kids start to develop passion for a sport (p/c Kunio Tsuyuhara)
Between the race director, commissaires, volunteers, technical delegate, and participants, there is so much coordination and work that goes into racing. So thankful for everyone that was out helping and racing. Erin and I are both sit on the executive board at the velodrome, and have developed a real appreciation for all the work behind the scenes and volunteers that are responsible for this event. Erin was a commissaire on Saturday ( so she knew all of our times before we did) and then raced Sunday.
Racing is alive and well in Alberta and there is plenty more to come!
Anyway, can’t wait for next year!