Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't you want to challenge yourself?

Looking at the pre-reg list for the Shedd Park race this Saturday is disappointing. There are waaaay too many people in the Cat 4/Citizen field. Folks, the Cat 4/Citizen race is for beginners. People without an annual license, people who make it to 4 or 5 races all year, people who have almost no training time during the week or simply do not take racing seriously.

Here is my helpful guide for the 50+ people who are probably registered in the wrong category at Shedd Park.

- If you have ever finished in the top 15% of a Verge race, you know you should not be racing in the Cat 4 field at an event that offers a 3/4 race.

- If you finish in the top 30% of a previous Cat 4/Citizens event, you know you should not be racing in the Cat 4 field.

- If you have raced in the Cat 3/4 field and not finished DFL, you know you should not be racing in the Cat 4 field.

Here is some advice for the Cat 3/4 field.

- If you finish in the top 20% of the Cat 3 Verge races, you know you should not be racing in the 3/4 field.

- If you finished on the podium of a 3/4 race with more than 30 people, you know you should not be racing in the 3/4 field again.

Guess what people? Continuing to race in your category until you win is not a valid excuse (note I said excuse, not reason). There are 80+ people in the Cat 4/Citizen field and 50+ in the Cat 3/4. If everyone one of them was waiting until they won an event to upgrade, the fields would crumble under their own size.

So I challenge you, fellow cross racers, to race up a category for the rest of the season at these non-Verge events because you all have at least two options to choose from. Make it a point to choose the faster field. You might just surprise yourself and have fun without racing for the win.


DRjr said...

Great comments. I totally agree. As proof, my roommate raced cross for the first time this year. He is a fast road racer, so he raced Cat C (Cat 3/4) for his first two races and finished in the front half (40-50 out of 125 racers). He decided to try the Cat B (Cat 3) race this last weekend. Guess where he finished? Pretty much the same spot as his previous races. He wasn't dropped, didn't get lapped, still passed and got passed by the same number of people. So go for the higher category and challenge yourself a bit.

RMM said...

I agree.

While most people try to get early upgrades on the road, they seem to remain in lower cats in cross. I wonder why this is.

rosey said...

drjr, you guys out west have a better sense for challenging yourselves and do a better job of "policing" the sandbaggers. that is something that is lacking in new belgium.

rmm, road racing seems to get "safer" as you cat up so i think that is a big incentive for people.

also, the false belief that it is glorious to win a cat 4/citizen race on your $2000 tubulars after racing 10+ times a season is too prevalent.