Airport Assault: Road Racing at WCU

Airport Assault Road Course
Airport Assault Road Course

In a college town that consists of little more than an expanding campus and a run-of-the-mill athletic department, it’s easy to overlook the absolutely excellent events that take place.

Outside of the Valley of the Lilies Half-Marathon and 5k, and when Western alum Manteo Mitchell pulled in Olympic Silver at the London Games, there hasn’t been a ton to be proud of in terms of athletic achievement. Luckily, and thanks to a dedicated group of collegiate cyclists, Western is now set to host a three-part race weekend on Saturday and Sunday March 22 and 23.

Though I wasn’t a part of the riding community, to see this group put together a complete race experience is nothing short of exciting. It’s easy to get lost in the valley that houses Cullowhee, to forget that there are people that want to come and experience the mountains. The nine percent grade of the time trial route may not be the way most people expect to experience Cullowhee, but then again active communities like cyclists don’t always fit into the “most people” category anyway.

The races are open to collegiate riders, with registration online at USA Cycling. These races include the one mile time trial mentioned before, an 18-63 mile road race, and a 20-50 minute criterium. Distances and times will be determined by rider category, which include Collegiate M-A,B,C,D and W-A,B. Each race costs $15 to pre-register, and $18 for day-of registration.

An awards ceremony will take place on Sunday after the criterium, which should not only highlight the weekend’s top racers, but also the little-known hospitality that so many people in the WCU community are full of. With the introduction of the Airport Assault race weekend, I’m proud to say I graduated from Western, and can’t wait to see what this does for the cycling team, the university and the community as a whole.

For more information take a look at the official WCU Cycling Team page and learn more about the excellent people that are making this event happen.

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The Dopey: An Agonizing Countdown

Unfortunately it’s about that time of the year again.

While everyone else is looking for the perfect Halloween costume, or planning Thanksgiving and Christmas with their families; the countdown to race day has begun.

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At 75 days out from the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend the pressure is on to make up for the training that has been pretty non-existent since mid-September.

Paige and I had an agreement that we wouldn’t run on our honeymoon, mainly because we wanted to enjoy it, but having been back for a week now, finding the motivation to put on my running shoes has been an issue.

The worst part about it is that I know I have to get in miles and quality runs so I don’t injure myself like the last time Paige’s mom and I ran back-to-back races.

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In the 2012 Goofy Race and a Half, I set a half-marathon personal best at 1 hour 58 minutes, but developed awesome plantar fasciitis which slowed my marathon the next day to a crawling 5 hours…

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So, on the avenue of prevention Cross Cardio will be pushed to the side once we’re back to New York, and these final months of training are dedicated to watching the agonizing countdown to Disney. A phrase that nobody should ever have to say.

Enjoy your candy and your turkey, and I’ll go run away my holidays in preparation for January.