What a day... After changing a last minute flat I was able to get in a good warm up and felt confident about this race, top-10 for sure. My parents had flown in from TN and my sister Erika won the Expert race this morning with some really fast lap times. It was going to be a hot race in the mid-80s to low 90s, but after placing 11th in 103 degree heat, I wasn't worried. I had a great start, sat on Georgia's wheel (see MTBracenews.com picture above and cyclingnews.com picture) for a minute or two, gave up spots to faster riders like I should, then it all fell apart. I had no power, no top end, my legs were on fire (and they shouldn't have been since I was pacing correctly). I went to the very back (not by choice) and just spun to see if I could recover, but even on the downhills I had no power in my legs, arms or upper body, my chest hurt, my head hurt, I was super slow up and down, with no downhill skills. Halfway through the first lap I had completely given up, I didn't see the point in even trying to continue. I knew I was sick, Todd has had a cold (or some bug) for the last two weeks, I thought I had avoided catching it but I guess not. At the back feedzone I told Doug to call Todd (in the front feedzone) to tell him I thought I was sick and for Todd to be ready to tell me to continue or quit. With a three week trip out east around the corner I thought maybe I should not race sick today. After passing through the back feedzone I realized I did not have a drink in my cage, my bottle had fallen out and I hadn't even had a sip of it. Why I didn't look before waving off my water bottle I don't know. After one full lap at a tempo pace (if that) I pulled into the 1st feedzone ready to pack it up, but Todd handed me a drink, told me I was 29th and said to keep going. What? I drained that bottle (my only calories of the race) and kept up my tempo pace. I needed another bottle when I hit the back feedzone, but Doug wasn't expecting me to need one and was getting ready for us on the other side of the gate. I stopped for a second while he ran back to the cooler to get me a water, that was nice. The last time through the start/finish I was starting to feel a bit better, and was beginning to pick up spots, then lost another bottle on the first downhill. This time I stopped and picked up a bottle full of hot water that had been dropped by an Expert racer earlier in the day (hot water is better than no water, right?) then traded it for a cold water from Doug in the back feedzone. I finished 17th. I sprinted for 16ht at the line, and got within a wheel, but didn't have enough. I felt horrible all afternoon and evening, pounding head, goosebumps, and coughing up yellow junk. It is 6:00pm and I am going to bed, hopefully I will be better in the morning or at least well enough to race short track. Especially since my parents will be driving back up to Park City to watch... Turns out I may have another blown fork, which makes me feel a bit better about my handling skills (or lack thereof) today. Luckily we have a good mechanic this weekend (Paul Clark), I left a dirty bike with a possibly blown fork for him to deal with so I can sleep. Poor guy. Our team did well, Amanda finished 10th, coming off of broken ribs; Heather was riding in 6th before a mechanical (finished 14th), Andy was on the podium in 4th. It just wasn't my day (or Heather's) I guess. But way to go Amanda and Andy! And Erika!