No this is not where I raced!
It's been a LONG time since (2004?) I put a number on and raced a MTB. I wanted to try a race since there was one going on somewhat close (1-1/2 hours away) at Alafia State Park. to where I live. After some thought, I decided to race GM-3 (grand masters - base) or the old slow farts race. It would be one 10 mile loop. I left early in the morning to get there in time to do a pre-race lap - it's a tough techincal course depending on how they laid out the race course. I was going to race the only thing I had; my Ellsworth Enlightenment 29er SS. I got there (I had to leave Sadie at home) and got on the course at 8:25am....it was a tough/fun layout and I ended up falling 3 times just in the warm up lap. I watched the 1st wave go off and helped Tony, one of the team's expert racers with the feed area.Tony is #105
It was soon my turn to line up at the start line....I think there was about 15 of us and I knew with my gearing (34/18) I wasn't going to be getting the hole shot against a bunch of geared bikes. To my surprise I still ended up 5th position at the start of the singletrack. Things were going well until my front wheel washed out going pretty fast and I bit it hard - knocking off the visor off my helmet! I lost about 4 places and got back on. Pretty soon I was catching some of the riders that went before my group and a couple in my catagory. I stuck with then passed a guy in my class only to wipe out again and have him pass me. I kept him in sight and was thinking of when to pass again when we came up to 3 riders and he made a great pass where as I couldn't get around them for a long time. By the time I did I thought it wasn't going to happen and just kept going. Finally I saw the guy not far away (he had fallen he told me later) so I got back on him and was closing down on him ready to pass right before the finish line on a dogleg turn and he went down right in front of me....I couldn't get around him and he was able to hold me off and came over the line just in front of me.....5th place for me.
While I was dissapointed in 5th place....I did have "fun" (if it's lots of pain you looking for) and was happy but beat up after the race. I'd like to do some more of this race series if the location works out and hopefully I could bring Sadie with me. It looks like I'll be doing more CX races than MTB races though do to the format of the road trip racing over two days for cx instead of just one for MTB.