Paul pinning a race number on Orion while Iris watches, 2012

The races we’re missing: Rainier High School

Published 2020-11-08

This is the race. I think Burk Webb’s 2010 Rainier video might be the first cyclocross video I ever saw (and remains one of my favorites):

Cross Crusade Race #2 Rainier High School from Burk Webb on Vimeo.

In 2011, I tried to race here on an old(ish) CX rig I had used only for commuting. It did not end well. But despite cracking my frame on lap 1, I horsed my bike through two more laps and finished.

In 2012, I staged well and finished twelfth — my best race to that date.

In 2013, the stars aligned (excellent staging, new bike, good fitness) — and I missed the podium by seconds.

The venue was closed to racing for the next four years, but by the time it returned to the schedule it had been moved to much later in the season, and this only improved the race (even muddier!) By that time, I had upgraded to Cat 3 (formerly Cat B), and was no longer near the podium (or upgrade points). But this was still one of my best races.

Almost everything about this race makes it something I’m naturally good at: two long uphill slogs, not a lot of technical singletrack, no flat sprinty sections. Until 2013, the course wended through a loose stand of very old cedars that dotted the hillside. Something happened to those trees between 2012 and 2013, perhaps the school felled them for timber, or they might have been damaged in windstorms during the winter of 2012–2013.

In early years, the entire family would turn out for this race. It’s a long drive out of town, but then most races are. In the last two years, only Orion and I attended.

Year Category Result
2011 Masters 35+ C 156/157
2012 Masters 35+ C 12/160
2013 Masters 35+ C 4/152
2018 Masters 35+ Category 3 37/65
2019 Masters 35+ Category 3 21/46