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Matt Lilly: Lookout Mountain Race Report
I was rather nervous when waking up Saturday morning for my first cycling race ever, The Lookout Mountain Hillclimb. I arrived at the race at about 7:15 for my 8:50 start time. Walking up through everyone to the registration stand was kind of intimadating. Realizing I had only been cycling since the end of May, the thought of getting myself in over my head was crossing my mind. I decided to take the negative thoughts out of my head and told myself that I was going to do great. After registration I got back to my truck and changed into my cycling clothes. I then started to get my bike ready for the warm up. I rode up and down the hill that everyone had parked on for about 15 minutes, when I realized that I had a broken spoke nipple. Looking at my watch I realized I didnt have enough time to do anything about it, so I decided to take it easy on my bike and stretch some for the rest of the time before the start. I made my way up to the start time at 8:30. I wanted to see the start of the race before mine, so that way I could see how it went down. 8:40 came around and I lined up at the start line a few rows back. As I stood there straddled over my bike I looked around at everyone to see what I was going up against. When the started said 1 minute until the start, I got my head right and took one last drink of water before the start. The starter blew his whistle and we were off. Everyone flew off the line but I wasnt worried because Adam had told me about how everyone would start very fast and most likely come back to me. When we got to the first switchback I looked back and saw how far back I was in the field but didnt freak out. I just stayed smooth and before I knew it, I was passing riders. I kept passing guys through the switchbacks and when we got to the first section where it leveled out, I was feeling pretty good and moving at a decent pace. I took a few drinks and dug in for the next set of switchbacks. I passed a few more guys in that section, which I thought was the toughest part of the race. I looked at my computer and saw that I was 3.4 miles in and I decided to start my drive to the finish. Getting around a few more turns, I kicked it in even more and passed a few more guys. Passing the 200 meter sign, I felt like I was flying and going all out to pass this guy in the distance. I got close to him but the finish line came too soon and I crossed the line before passing him. I scanned through my computer and saw around 24 minutes. I was pretty happy about that time. I grabbed some water and decided to head back down and see my buddy who had come with me. I didnt go too fast on the downhill because of my broken spoke nipple. When I got to the bottom, I handed the time chip that I had rented back in and got my ID back. Returning to my truck, I told my buddy how the race went and I loaded up my truck and headed out. Overall, my first race was a success. My time was 23:49 and I got 24th out of 48. I really enjoyed racing and want to do a lot more in the future.