The Arcadian Grit and Gravel
(Apparently “GRIT” is the new word for “SAND”)
About a month or so ago, a new race came onto the scene that offered a chance for a CO-ED team to participate. In adventurous spirit, true to the Founder’s Team, a bunch of us decided to sign up: In ABC order we had Jeff, Jeremy, Josh, Martin, Matt, Scott T. and Tim. Marnie would be the chick. On race day the weather could NOT have been better! The sun was shining, the temps were in the high 60’s for the warm-up and made it to the high 70’s by race end.
The guys talked strategy and decided that Martin would be Marnie’s “Mule”…I mean, “Super-Domestic”. The rest of the team would just surge ahead to try and get some good times for the podium.
As we lined up in a pit of sand behind the Arcadian Elementary School, the only thing going through my mind was: “I hope the course isn’t like this”. There was no wood to knock on because after the “ants-pace roll-out” we squeezed a big pack of riders into a skinny gravel-sand laden straight-away road. It was fast, slow, speed-up, breaks, people riding on the grass, hitting mailboxes and pretty much a bust to get up front. I was just searching for my “Super Domestic” and trying to stay within sight of him. My lungs immediately filled with dust and I was thankful for the sunglasses to keep my eyes from filling with dust, too. The first climb separated the men from the boys: And the girl from her mule: A long gravel/sandy uphill where if you picked the wrong line, you were down. I could hear Martin shouting, “You coming, Marn?” I thought I was dying. Uphill sand is not my forte. Once Martin and I met again, we were off. I started to get my groove and then we finally hit the singletrack!
This is where the fun began! We dipped into the woods and enjoyed the bumps and berms of the Arcadian National Forest. Passed 1 girl. Passed another, then another! Martin was yelling, “You’ve got to get some distance on those roadies!” And cheering, “You with me, Marn? Marnie are you there?” I am telling you (and I know it is hard to believe) I rarely talk during a race! Martin was extremely shocked when I would respond, “right here!” We danced our way out of the forest onto some more joyous sandy 2 tracks where once again, my Super Domestic surged ahead as I was “playing” in the beach sand.
We hit a FAST downhill ripper singletrack for the finale coming out onto yet another sandy 2 track where 2 Grandma’s were yelling “Turn left! Turn left!” Actually, we had to basically turn around and find the gravel road over our left shoulder. The end was near…or so we thought. Martin tells me, “I’m toast! Go ride with Brian” so I hook up with one of his TNR guys. The last strectch of paved road to the finish and here comes my SUPER DOMESTIC to save the day! Delivered by some stranger “we” (meaning Martin the Super Domestic) helped during the race: “Let’s get you guys to the finish” he yelled and let us draft off of him heading into the Lake Michigan wind… until he was spent. As Martin pulled us across the finish line, our time was 2:02-something.
After our hose shower, we found out that our team had finished FIRST!
It was an awesome celebration! We had all packed a picnic and Rick had said to Scott, “If you are having a sandwich after the race, ya gotta bring the tent!” So we popped the FOUNDERS tent up and enjoyed the shade and each other’s stories of the race. We got a little slap happy as Jeff Jacobi shared stories from the night before. “WHAT YOU SIPPIN’ ON?” became the line-of-the-day! I think we will print it on our jerseys next season because we all know the answer to that one: ANYTHING FOUNDER’S BREWS!
(8th) Jeff Jacobi ……1:45:33
29 and Under
(2nd) Jeremy Karel….1:45:53
(3rd) Josh Hogeterp…1:45:40
(5) Matt Remelts…….1:50:06
(16) Scott Thenikl…….1:59:01
(5th) Tim Curtis….1:51:26
(10th) Martin Hall (Aka MULE/SUPER DOMESTIC) …2:02:18
(1st) Marnie TenCate ……2:02:19
4 Podium finishes for our first ever Arcadian Grit and Gravel! CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!