Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 USASA Nationals Recap Part 1: Race Day

We'll start the first part of the 2012 Nationals blog series with the results...
Ale: 4th place overall, Masters Women, 2012 USASA Nationals
Jb: 9th place overall, Masters Men, 2012 USASA Nationals

The course felt great during my practice runs, and time trials were fantastic -- my best finish overall, 2nd place. Also my best time overall on the course, with a time of 88.10 seconds. Then it was on to the elimination rounds, and we were divided into two heats: one heat of 2 riders, and another heat of 3 riders. One rider was slated to be eliminated from each heat. I was placed in the heat of 2.

I'm wearing the pink jacket.
The race started out really well. It was a head-to-head battle going through the 3-in-a-row Wu start, and I managed to gain the lead going into the first section of banked turns.

This is for my bros...the caboose is loose.
Then chaos broke loose...I lost control of my board at the next set of features, and my competitor passed me. I managed to stick fairly close behind her throughout the course, and then lost control of the board again as I was about to pass her towards the end of the course.


Losing that heat was a huge disappointment, although I still was slated to race in the "Short Final." We waited a little while for my other competitor in order to start the race, however she never appeared. I raced the Short Final solo, and had another great run. One of the best parts of that run was during the start, where the three women who advanced to the "Final" cheered me on as I prepared to launch out of the gates. (Thank you, fellow competitors, for the awesome sportsmanship!)

With snowboardcross, it's pretty incredible that an entire year of training and practice and preparation can all hinge on one race. And it is incredibly disappointing when you happen to lose that race. But that uncertainty and excitement is precisely what makes the sport so incredible, and I'm keeping my focus on the gold for next year. A huge THANK YOU to all of my family, friends, colleagues and sponsors for supporting me with the racing, because this only is possible with your support. The following is a link to some video from race shows some of the perspective from being in the tent, and there's some footage of me riding the course:

Jb and I already are back in the gym, and part of my training mentality going into this year mirrors Beatrix Kiddo's time training with Pai Mei...

For details on Jb's Nationals experience, check out

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