Coast Hills Classic Charms Newcomers-5/5/2013

 
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Coast Hills Classic was beautiful but pretty hot with temps in the 80’s. Being an Oregon native, I can tell you it’s a rarity for it to be in the 80’s at the Oregon Coast in May.  No complaints since hot meant dry, fast trails.
Arriving at the BIKE NEWPORT shop Saturday afternoon, we picked up our race packets and were treated to a bike powered margarita maker and a table full of nacho fixin’s.
Bike Powered Margaritas!

Bike Powered Margaritas!

Perfect camping weather for Mary, Beth Ann and I, setting up tents at Beverly Beach State Park just minutes from the venue, falling asleep to the sound of the frog bog chorus once darkness descended on our campground.
Mielle, Mary and Matty showing off the gun show

Mielle, Mary and Matty showing off the gun show

Trails were in excellent condition with a few small boggy areas close to the finish  but nothing like the mud lakes from last year. The weather was so warm many riders opted for dumping water on their heads at the aid stops rather than drinking the hand-ups. This race was better attended than last year but sadly, still a very small turn out for the women. I was the only woman in the 40+ cat 1 group and there were only 2 ladies in the Cat 1 19-39 including my cyclocross nemesis Amy Rice/Lazy Tarantulas.
1st Alice Pennington, 2nd Sue Butler, 3rd Beth Ann

1st Alice Pennington, 2nd Sue Butler, 3rd Beth Ann

Elite racers Alice and Beth Ann battled with Sue Butler/River City and Megan Chinburg/Upper Echelon as the leaders but Megan was not able to keep up with the attacks laid down by the top three. When Alice decided it was time to go, Sue chased but could not catch her. Beth Ann held her own and kept them in sight for the better part of the race.
Both Alice and Beth Ann won money for being top 3 for the elite women and top 3 overall women.
Mary took the lead from the start and out ran Ellene Miller/Bicycle Attorney for the win over Cat 2 19-39.
I raced against Amy, my favorite spider, and stayed together through part of lap 2 until a hunk of bark got wedged through my pedal and I had to stop completely to extract it.  Amy and I were very evenly matched  for fitness and I could not make up the gap once it opened. Farther down the course, too much speed and tired thinking in a tight right hander,  I pulled a handful of break and crashed myself out towards the end but bruises are about all that would come of it. Nothing broken!  For all that work, turned out I was a party of 1 though since Amy is not yet 40.
In the singlespeed race, Lisa took a huge lead on another Lazy  Tarantula, newcomer Ellen Miller, beating her by 8 minutes and taking the win.
All of the winners got their very own engraved cup with the catagory and date on it.
Mary, Lisa and Mielle with the Champion Chalice

Mary, Lisa and Mielle with the Champion Chalice

Superior raffle prizes awaited the heat worn racers, tucking sun burned legs into patches of grass beneath the fir trees at the finish.

Raffle winner!

Raffle winner!

Alice won a night at Salishan lodge at the coast and I won a commuter helmet. Lisa’s husband Will won a set of tires to go with the wheels he won at Mudslinger. Mike Ripley (Mudslinger Events) also gifted a Mudslinger women’s t-shirt  to me just because (Thanks Mike!).
As an added bonus, proceeds from the race(including money from the beer garden) goes towards the Youth Program Scholarship Fund at the Newport Recreation Center, allowing  children from economically disadvantaged households to participate in a number of programs.
Thanks goes out to all of the locals, Newport Parks and Recreation and to all of the Fire/Police volunteers that helped out at aid stations along the course. Coast Hills Classic has a winning combination that will keep riders coming back and bringing their friends year after year.

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