This past weekend was the Irvine Park/Santiago Oaks race put on by Enduro Stuff Events. This was the third race in the OC Parks Tour 2013. I was unable to make the first two races earlier in the year. Last year I registered for this particular race but ended up missing it due to a work conflict. I look forward to this race because it takes place on many of the local trails I ride every week. It tends to reward good all around riders who climb and descend well. This year I entered in the Expert category where riders do 3 laps of the course, each lap being just short of 10 miles and approx. 1,200 feet of elevation gain per lap. The race began and the pro/expert group headed out on the first lap. The pace was slow to start but it quickly changed when we hit the first climb and the group began to separate. I knew I couldn't hang with the front group and quickly dropped back and set into my own pace, knowing that 3 laps was going to be difficult at a race-type pace. I rode for a lot of the race by myself and was passed by 3 riders all of which were in the sport category and only doing two laps.
There were 15 riders that did 3 laps on the course (pros/experts). Overall I ended up 11th out of 15 and 4th out of the 6 riders in the expert 30-39 age group. Two of my friends who raced both won their age group and cat. Josh Jacquot took first in the same group as me (expert 30-39) and Matthew Palmer took first in the single-speed open cat. Total time for me was 2:22 with approx. 44 min lap times. I haven't been riding near as much as I have wanted to over the past few months so I was happy with my result given the amount of time I've had on the bike since Vision Quest in early April.