by Dan Harm
June 24, 2009
Track racing in the Northwest begins to hit a peak in late July. National caliber events–such as the FSA Grand Prix in Seattle and the Portland based Alpenrose Challenge–lure out the fastest track racers in the USA and Canada with prize lists boasting upwards of $15,000.
After returning from a hard education of track racing in Europe through the winter, Coach Adrian and I raced the track full-time last summer–including the FSA Grand Prix and Alpenrose Challenge, as well as multiple other Nationally ranked races–with the specific focus of crushing the Madison (which is an event consisting of multiple two-man teams and involves complex tactics and pure endurance).
Our ambitions were often met with big wins and healthy pay-days. But, there were also numerous disappointments, such as a second place in the Madison on our home turf at the FSA Grand Prix, losing to a team we had beaten both at the Alpenrose challenge and at the larger event, Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minneapolis. There was also the time at Alpenrose Challenge when I missed breaking the track record in the Pursuit by a mere second. This record has not been broken since the 80s.
This Summer much has changed. Adrian will be out of town for both races, choosing to focus on pursuing his goal of professional road racing, and thus putting track racing on the back-burner. I have chosen to do the opposite and focus solely on the track, yet real life has crept up on me and my usual free time to train for the track has been filled with work obligations and worries about paying off student loans.
Track races season culminates down in L.A. in early October at National Championships. Will Adrian be rusty at the Madison from missing very important races? Am I going to be able to keep up my high level of fitness from past years?
There are a lot of unknowns and variables this summer, and this will undoubtedly add to the suspense of how Adrian and I are to defend our reputations as two of the fastest track racers in the USA. I will keep you posted with inside perspectives from all the upcoming races. Stay tuned.
In the meantime: Come see the races for yourself!!!
-The Seattle FSA Grand Prix is at the Marmoor Velodrome July 25-26. There will be festivities, a beer garden, and events for kids, as well as insane track racing action!
-The Portland Alpenrose Challenge is July 17-19.