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Shooting for the London Olympics, Kathryn Bertine is on a mission to gain qualification points for St. Kitts and Nevis. While taking the win at her 2011 national championships in the time trial and road race as very exciting, she learned sometimes race reports can be anything but.
While the Tour de France has been rife with crashes and drama during its first week, the majority of bike races are not action-packed five-hour adventure stints. In fact, sometimes race reports can be utterly boring. A well-intentioned "How was your bike race?" can leave a polite inquirer trapped into a twenty minute one-sided conversation filled with miles per hour calculations, maximum watt averages, mechanical failures, gastrointestinal disagreement issues and other such details which cause the asker's eyes to glaze over with boredom and regret; a condition lasting even longer than this sentence. Answering "Fine, thanks," or "Great!" or "Wasn't my day today" is rarely given by the passionate, well-intentioned athlete who is -- for better or worse -- often unable to turn off the brain.
And so, in the name of brevity and eye-health, the following sums up my race report for the 2011 St. Kitts and Nevis national championship in the time trial and road race: I won. I like mangoes.
Which got me thinking ... wouldn't it be more interesting for everyone if athletes gave race reports in slightly more creative manners? Let's try. I've adapted the technique of six writers or writing styles to give a bit more flavor to my St. Kitts and Nevis races.
On time trial course:
goats, crabs, mangoes, monkeys, bus.
Swerved, won the race. Yay.
OMG, it's 100 deg. in June in the Caribbean and our road race starts at 2pm?! #Olympicquestsareliketotallydehydrating
Oh fine headwindeth, how it brought despair!
(Though it dost feel goodeth in my hair)
Till it circled 'round unto my derriere
And put its island breeze tailwindeth there
I woneth. Funeth!
The men were restless. They knew the time for battle approached. A woman stood near the line of fire. There were few women on the island prepared for battle. Today, she would fight with the men. A shot fired. Men flailed their legs wildly. Up volcanic roads, down valleys of difficult pavement, the troops moved forward. Tired soldiers began to fall back. On a hill, the woman attacked. The enemy retreated. Still ahead, one man marched forth into victory. It was the woman's husband. She decided this was all right. She would still receive the woman's title, and with it the coveted UCI war points. "I will triumph in this Olympic quest," the woman believed. Crossing over the line of completion, the woman crumpled in exhaustion. Electrolytes were lost. The two-wheeled battle was harder than a bullfight.
Me n' my baby drove to the start line on the edge of town/Got a 10-year-old bike with dents and scratches and Shimano from '99/Show a little faith, there's magic in the bike/She ain't a beauty but hey, she's all right/And sometimes that's enough to win ...
Oh, the places I go upon two wheels
Nine countries in the past 10 months, it feels
Like sometimes I don't know where I am,
Olympic points harder to consume than green eggs and ham.
But now I've got 21 UCI points
Happy happy gazebiddywoinks!
Will it, won't it be enough
To get me to that Olympic stuff?
With 10 months left to get points (still need more)
At least a life fully lived is the one thing I've got for sure.