Today was the annual Father's Day Race, officially known as the Cargas Criterium and Masters State Championship at Greenfield Industrial Park in Lancaster PA. I have been riding in this race since I turned 50--except 2007 when I was in a neck brace. I went to that race and probably caused fights between a dozen racers and their wives after they saw me watching the race in a neck and chest brace with not-quite-healed scars on my face.
Today I got my best result--EVER!!!!
In four races between 2003 and 2007 I never finished better than 26th. In 2008 I finished 21st. Last year, it was one of the three races I did in America in 2009, because I was on leave from Iraq during the last two weeks of June. I finished 20th.
Today I was 19th. Not exactly a victory in a field of 40, but it is the first race I finished with the main pack since I have been back from Iraq. I will be racing next weekend in a race I have finished more than once in the top ten. I am feeling good!
The other great thing about this race for me is that it is six miles from my house and my family comes out to cheer for me. Today, my wife was at a six-mile mud run of her own, but Lauren, Lisa, Nigel and Jacari were out and yelling GO DAD! on every lap. In fact, they were so loud that a couple of the riders said they sounded like the horns at the World Cup Soccer Games.
They sounded great to me. At amateur racers, the participants outnumbers the fans by ten to one. I had ten percent of the crowd cheering for me. I was a happy Dad.