Thursday Night Lights (TNL) is finally a go. After only a short “on the track” training season due to cold, wind, rain and snow the first night of the race season started with sunshine, moderate winds and slightly cool. All the training and anticipation of the winter season comes down to this night. The nights I spent in track structured training were good so I wasn’t very anxious about last nights races, remarkably calm even. A 10 lap Scratch race, an Elimination/Miss and Out and then a 60 lap “B” Madison with Adam my new 2013 partner.
What’s old is new so I was trying out new warm up routines as well as new race gear picks based on my last few training sessions. I think I made the right picks mostly. The 10 lap warm up race went easy for 5 laps, almost like a track tour and then the pace got hot and I stayed with it until the end, getting boxed in a bit at the finish line but still finishing ok, better than most of last years heart starters. There was a change in the schedule and all of a sudden the Cat 3 Elimination Race was called. I was barely recovered but it took a while to collect audience gaming cards so a few more minutes of rest at the rail and we were off. Floating around the back and upper part of the track with a few ventures towards the front got me a 5th place finish, best of my Miss and Out finishes for quite some time. Next up, Madison 60 lap Points race with sprints every 20 laps. Adam and I have only practiced together 1 night for about 10 minutes so I was ready for just about anything. The plan was safe and fun, finish the race and evaluate later. A few fast Cat 1/2’s added to a small 6 team field that got faster than Adam and I could handle, especially with a few not so great exchanges. We finished, no chaos, 4 laps down though. We were both smiling at the end so that’s all that counts.
The rest of the night was pack up in the cold air and head home to try and eat and get to sleep as early as I could with all the adrenaline flowing.
A good night overall , meeting up with a bunch of other racers I haven’t seen since last year and some decent results to start the season off right.