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May 2022 Newsletter

We’ve been super busy racing this month and last. On April 9, we raced a new NorCal course in Modesto.  The local team, Modesto Composite, and the city of Modesto worked together to build a new urban course. The ECHS team enjoyed the novelty of racing through an urban (yet dusty!) setting and came in 2nd place.  On April 23, a few riders did their first road race in the Berkeley Hills Road Race.  They swept the Cat 5 podium.  On May 1st we raced the NorCal Semifinals at Six Sigma Winery in Lower Lake, CA. It was hot and dusty, but we managed to come in 3rd place for the race and 3rd place overall for the series.  When we weren’t racing, we had some fun rides at Trione-Annadel State Park and Tamarancho.  In May, we’ll do our annual fun ride in Santa Cruz and have our final race at the State Championships on May 21st.

Doug Diego, Head Coach

Note from the editor

April and May have been overflowing with events, the months have run together and we have quite the extended newsletter for you all this month. Below you'll find race reports from the NorCal race in Modesto and the semi-finals at Six Sigma, along with personal perspectives from our ECHS riders. If you make it all the way to the end you'll find a treat: Pre-race nutrition tips from cyclist Nate English, just in time for the Championship Race at Boggs Demonstration Forest in Lake County. We appreciate you for taking the time to check this out!

Tracey Croom, Newsletter Editor
ECHS MTB Board Secretary

Race Report: Modesto Flow

by Jen Russell
On Saturday, April 9, twenty members of the El Cerrito High Mountain Biking Team faced stiff competition and even stiffer winds and dust to race in their third NorCal league race of the season. The venue was a new one for our league, as it offered its first mountain bike race in an urban setting. The city of Modesto and the hosting bike clubs worked very hard for several years to turn a blighted park along the Tuolumne River into miles of flowy, fast trails, and the mayor even came out to the race to celebrate this new chapter in city history and welcome the hundreds of riders and their families.
The Gauchos did well, despite a pre-ride in the 90s on Friday and fierce winds and intense dust on race day, and ultimately brought home the 2nd place trophy for overall team points. The course was a ~5-mile loop, with flowy turns and not much climb (only about 230 feet of vertical gain per lap). Freshmen and Sophomores did 2 laps/ 10 miles; JV boys completed 3/ 15 miles; and Varsity boys did 4 laps for 20 miles total.
Here are our team's results:
Varsity Boys: Chris Hill, 2nd (Podium); Will Diego, 8th; Tristan Schönfeldt-Aultman, 12th; Finn Kaste, 14th
JV Boys: Tobin Power, 2nd (Podium); Theo Borys, 3rd (Podium); Joaquin Chun, 5th (Podium); DJ Kang, 9th; Felix Bloemraad, 18th; Tyler Ko, 19th; Miles Hansen, 22nd; Rohan Acharya, 31st
Sophomore Boys: Blake Christner, 26th
Freshman Boys: Jack O'Neal, 1st (Podium), and still in the Leader jersey for the season; Daniel Gansmiller, 5th (Podium); Jaq Chin, 9th, Gabriel Sabatini, 14th
Freshman Girls: Annika Borys, 3rd (Podium); Edda Grondahl, 4th (Podium); Gabrielle Walmsley, 15th

Thank you to our community, friends, families, coaches, and sponsors for your support of our team! Go Gauchos!

Rider Story (Modesto): DJ Kang

I was going into Modesto, looking for glory. I did the preride and thought to myself, this course feels like a breeze. I got back to the hotel, hanging with the team and knowing I could manage my diet well the next morning. 
I made sure I had plenty of water and energy for the race. The dust was really bad, and much of it was getting into my face. The wind was also a big problem, with the dust and knowing it would slow me down when it came to the race. 
The race came. I started in the second row and am following the front pack for the entire first lap. In the second lap, I start to get tired, hot and got dust in my face, which makes it hard to breathe. I then know I just have to go as fast as I can, and not lose too much time.
In my final lap, I see a tired Andres Roberts and know I have a golden opportunity to pass him to get 9th place. Going into the final turn, I can barely breathe, however no one wanted it more than me. I pass multiple D2 riders and Andres. About 5 seconds before I finish, I throw up. I throw up again as I finish and pass out at the end. Coming in 9th Place, was a huge achievement and knowing I let it all out, gives me nothing but joy.

Rider Story (Modesto): Tristan Schonfeldt-Aultman

I was actually really looking forward to racing at this course after the pre ride. I thought the course was fun and suited my riding style well. So I was pretty excited, except for the fact that it was supposed to be pretty hot.
Arriving to the course on race day though, I was surprised by how windy and dusty it was. I was sure that it would slow us down a lot and in combination with the heat, it would be pretty painful. However, it actually wasn’t too hot, even after walking around and cheering on people for hours, waiting for the varsity race.
Finally, when our race was starting, I saw that me and Finn were pretty much the only varsity riders not wearing glasses for the dust, but that was just fine. And so we then started our race, and in no time at all, I underestimated how slippery the dusty trail was and fell at the top of the windy beginning section. This didn’t hurt my position too much, but then like a mile later, I fell again but harder. This put me pretty much at the back of the varsity group, so I had to play catch-up for a while to get back to my original position behind Finn.
It took me like another lap or so to catch back up, and was able to get back my position behind Finn, but then the race took an extremely weird turn. Like all of the varsity riders were staying together in one big pack, probably because no one wanted to pass the leading people because of the super strong winds. This led the entire varsity group to drop their speed to like 5 miles per hour at some points. It was so crazy, like we were just doing a bunch of sprinting sections and then resting. Pretty much all of our first three laps were extremely similar time wise, and the people in the back actually had better lap times than the people in the front. I had the third best 2nd lap time followed by two people behind me.
I was able to talk with Finn a bit about how weird this race was, and I was telling everyone I passed or who had a mechanical that they definitely could catch back up. But I knew though that it would all come down to the last lap where everyone would sprint like crazy. I started to prepare for that by not going too fast, but I was still lagging behind the main pack a bit, but I was pretty sure I would be able to catch them again since they would slow down so much at specific spots like the two sharp turns near the river at the end. And finally when I was on the last lap, everyone stayed pretty together for the first bit, but then the front people started to sprint ahead, eventually leaving only Finn and Ulysses in sight ahead of me.
I was still a bit behind Ulysses, so I made it my goal to pass him. So for the first half of the lap, I slowly got closer to him, and used the long sprinting sections to get right up behind him. I then drafted off of him for a bit to try saving up my energy for the inevitable sprinting at the end, and finally, at the uphill gravel section right before you turn around and start heading back towards the finish line I was able to overtake him. To my surprise though, Finn was right in front of Ulysses, and I was able to overtake him too. This definitely brought the pressure since I had previously briefly overtook Finn before, but quickly got passed again. 
I picked up the pace for the remainder of the lap, trying to stay ahead, but Ulysses passed Finn and was right on my tail. I kept up the pace and sprinted up the hills, and was thankfully able to put some distance between me and Ulysses. And then again to my surprise, I could see someone from black mountain composite not too far ahead of me, and thought I maybe could get ahead of them before the finish line. I was on the last section before the final sprint though, and there wasn’t much time to get ahead of them. So when I got to the top of the final hill, leading to the finish line, I started sprinting like crazy to catch up to them. I was getting so close, but unfortunately I couldn’t get to them in time and finished only 4 seconds behind them.
I didn’t know what place I had got, but was so happy that I was able to get ahead of Ulysses and Finn. Hearing that I got 12th though, I was ecstatic, since I started out near the very back after falling twice, and stayed there for most of the race. That was also 4 spots higher than my last race, so I was super happy with that outcome. 
This was definitely one of the weirdest races I have ever done and probably will do. It was just so relatively leisurely, and I would love to race there again. Preferably though if it wasn’t as windy/dusty/hot. Bottom line though, it was a great and fun race.

Rider Story (Modesto): Finn Kaste

Back in October when I first read the 2022 race schedule and saw the race in Modesto, I thought it was an error. I couldn’t picture a mountain bike race course in flat, agricultural Modesto but to my disbelief, I soon found out that it was not an error. The pandemic derailed my sophomore and junior year’s mountain bike racing and this is my last season with El Cerrito so I want to make the most out of it. I was profoundly disappointed that one of our races would be wasted in some urban park in a random, boring, flat city that I only knew from passing by on 99 south. I felt convinced that it would be a throw away race.
Seeing the POV video the week before did not improve my attitude. It could have been the GoPro effect but I watched the entirety of the video and it was pretty much exactly what I had imagined. I couldn’t believe we were racing on such a dumb course. I also saw, not surprisingly, that there was only 37 feet of climbing per lap. I tend to be the strongest on climbs and I suck at loose, flat turns. To add insult to injury the weather was forecast to be 90 degrees and windy. Luckily as race day drew closer that turned into a relatively sane but still not ideal 79 degrees. In the days leading up to the race I didn’t have a twinge of nervousness. I didn’t care in the slightest. The course was a joke, the weather was terrible, and I had just come back from a trip and hadn’t worked out in 10 days. 
On Friday as we pulled into the dusty parking lot under the overpass, the car thermometer read 98 degrees. There was still an hour before the team preride so I went out on my own to get it over with. I was impressed that there actually were some okay climbs, and the turns were pretty grippy. There were also some fun jumps and berms. I was done in 21 minutes so it was a very fast course. It wasn’t necessarily ideal for me but I felt a lot better because it seemed at least somewhat on par with the regular NICA courses.
The next morning, Tristan and I practiced some of the downhill turns and we got them down pretty well. Feeling more confident, we did another lap just for the heck of it and finished just as the freshman girls started staging. We had the whole day to wait and spectate but this time there was no apprehension. I had no expectations. This course was so different from the usual, I knew any order from the past would be thrown out the window. 
At 1 we finally started preparing. Warming up I felt a bit sluggish but I wasn’t surprised since I hadn’t really ridden in so long. We went to staging and Will and I somehow wound up in the second row. I set up my GoPro and started my Garmin and seemingly instantly everyone was counting down. 
We took off at a decent sprint. I let Chris and a bunch of others pass me. We were in a pretty tight pack going through the first squiggly series of turns and I was surprised how slow we were going. It seemed all my preparation with Tristan was a waste. We picked up the pace however as the course straightened out. I tried being responsible by not sticking with the top pack. As luck would have it, I saw an Oakland kid who was also straying from the pack and I started drafting off of him. Things were going well and I felt like I was pacing well but soon I noticed that we seemed to be catching the long front pack. Some people passed me to catch them. I saw Will in the back. I couldn’t resist and I sprinted ahead as well. I caught them and wound up right behind Will. I decided to stay right on him and to not let him go.

I realized we were going surprisingly slow. I wasn’t even breathing hard and I found myself braking at odd times. Because of the wind it seemed like everyone was trying their best not to be the one pulling the pack. I couldn’t believe it. I heard Tristan behind me yelling “this is crazy!” With the massive group ahead of us, it felt like practice. We were going at a conversational pace with occasional sprinting intervals after someone crashed or slowed down. After the first lap we were still so tight that we might as well have still been in the start chute. It was a very unreal feeling. 
About midway through the second lap on one of the sprinting intervals, I was surprised that my legs didn’t seem too happy. I decided to have one of my blocks. I felt great cardio-vascularly
but my legs were definitely complaining. I was surprised to find that I seemed to be losing the group. Luckily there was a big slow down at one of the tight, awkward turns and I quickly caught up. By the third lap, my legs felt better and I was still no more than five or six seconds behind the leader. It was so amazing but bizarre. I kept cracking up because it was so unlike any other race.
 As the lap progressed however, we finally started to pick up the pace. It was going smoothly at first but right at the finishing stretch there was a sprint and I started to lose the pack. My legs were complaining again and I couldn’t keep up. I was relying on there being another slowdown but there wasn’t. I tried keeping a fairly consistent gap but my energy was waning fast. Without a pack to draft off, I felt the full wrath of the headwind and I fell farther and farther back. I looked behind me and saw Tristan and Ulysses, a Berkeley kid that has always been closely matched with Tristan and I. They were quickly catching up and soon they passed me. I decided there was no way I was going to stay with them and all I could do was hope Tristan could hold Ulysses back (he succeeded). I struggled through the rest of the lap on my own. I wound up finishing 14th which was not great given it was a heat of 17. On the bright side however, I checked my gopro and saw it was still recording with 8% battery remaining. I had caught the four lap race in its entirety on my gopro which was a win for me. 
All in all it was a very unique race that I’m very glad to have experienced. Three epic laps followed by a bit of a crummy fourth lap but even though it wasn’t my strongest day or an ideal course, it was a very worthy race for my last NICA season that I’ll never forget. 

Berkeley Hills Road Race

The weekend of April 24, Will, DJ, Odin, Yoann and Jack raced at the Berkeley Hills Road Race.  It was a 33 miles road race around the Bears.  For most it was their first road race.  They did awesome.  I hope to hear some new voices after the Six Sigma race.
Jack O’Neal - 1st Place - Cat 5
Coming into this race with a week of riding this new bike I didn’t want to crash. For most of the race we were riding pretty chill except for when Grant put in some attacks to keep us on our toes. No one got off the front and the people at the front were playing games. At some points we were going so slow you were barely pedaling. The masters group passed us at one point and that made everyone notice we were going too slow, we passed them again almost instantly. Last lap Grant drove the pace up momma bear and I got to the third or fourth wheel at the bottom of papa bear. Closing on the finish I passed Yoann and Grant and pushed as hard as I could till the finish.
Will Diego - 2nd Place - Cat 5
This was by far the most bizarre race I’ve done, mainly because I race XC and this was my first ever road race. Rather than an all out sprint at the start, the race began with a gradual ride down San Pablo Dam Road. For the first few miles I was in the middle of the pack, constantly being passed by incredibly aggressive riders and slowly getting pushed farther back in the pack. My main goal was just to not crash. After 20ish miles we reached the first climb and the pack began to separate as the pace increased. Funny enough this shifted me from middle of the pack all the way to around top 10. Then this became even more distinct after the Papa Bear climb. Finally I had caught up to the other riders on my team, all of us being in the top 10 riders.
Then on the flats of the 2nd lap, just as before, the more aggressive riders passed me and I was shot back to approximately 20th. My goals, after seeing I was able to stick to the front, were trying to stick with the lead pack and to again not crash. As we got closer to the Mama Bear climb the pace began to pick up, then as we hit the climb I had to do a slightly high pace, still nothing compared to anything I’ve done before in XC. As we rode through the hills the pack became increasingly more separate.
Then finally on the last climb my teammates and I were in the front and went to a full out effort, going as hard as we could for the 3 minute effort. All of us together until the final 200 meter sprint, which was the most brutal. During that sprint I was able to move from 4th all the way to 2nd, beating one of my teammates but losing to the other. As soon as I passed the finish line my legs failed and I had to coast over our group of parents. I reached them, set my bike down then instantly collapsed onto the ground and sat down, my legs completely shot after the all out sprint. This was by far the most unique race I’ve ever done but it was also a super fun race and I look forward to racing on the road in the future.
Odin Simms - 32nd Place - Cat 5
I came into this race with low expectations. Not because I didn’t think I was strong enough, but because of the day I had ahead of me. I planned to do this race, then immediately drive to Napa for a practice ride with my enduro team. I tried to be as competitive as possible during the race, but I had the upcoming enduro ride in the back of my mind the entire time. I stuck with the lead group for about half the race, before falling behind near the top of papa bear. I put in an effort to try to get back on the group, and eventually caught a few other riders who had also fallen behind. We formed a group of about 10 riders, including Neruda and Benson, riders who I had met at other races we had competed at together. The pace of our group was too slow for our liking, so we traded pulls and tried to convince the rest of the group to try to get back with the leaders. Eventually a few riders tried to break from our group before the first climb of the last lap. I stuck with them until the bottom of papa bear, about a mile from the finish. they attacked again, and when i tried to go with them i cramped and got passed by the group we had broken away from. It was an unfortunate end to the race, but overall I had a really good time getting to ride with some friends I don’t see often, and I’m looking forward to more road racing in the future. Congrats to Jack, Will, and Yoann for sweeping the podium. Hopefully I can be up front with you guys next year.
DJ Kang - 44th Place - Cat 5
I had never done a road race before. I registered and knew it would be a long sprint. I kept up the whole way until we got to Castro ranch rd and my chain had problems going. I lost about 20 seconds and couldn’t recover and at that point knew just finish. I didn’t feel like I put my best effort in the first lap and put in way more the second lap. Ultimately I just wanted to finish and not worry about result.

Race Report: Six Sigma Regional Semi-finals

by Jen Russell
This weekend, 21 members of the ECHS MTB Race team participated in the NorCal Regional Semifinals at Six Sigma Ranch and Winery in Lower Lake. Riders lined up against other high schools from the East Bay all the way down to the Central Coast to ride a gorgeous, technical, meandering loop that was lined with oaks, poppies and lupines and offered punchy climbs and fun challenges. The loop was a little over 6 miles long and featured 692 feet of vertical climb per lap, plus a stream crossing. Freshmen and Sophomores completed 2 laps; JV Boys and Varsity Girls 3 laps, and Varsity Boys raced 4.
El Cerrito High got 3rd place in Division 1 Team points.

Here's how our individual participants did:
Varsity Boys: Christopher Hill, 3rd (podium); Tristan Schönfeldt-Aultman, 12th; Will Diego, 13th; Finn Kaste, 14th
Varsity Girls: Cate Flowers, 6th
JV Boys: Tobin Power, 3rd (podium); Theo Borys, 6th; Joaquin Chun, 7th; DJ Kang, 15th; Noah Barry, 16th; Odin Simms, 17th; Felix Bloemraad, 27th; Miles Hansen, 32nd
Sophomore Boys: Jalen Epps, 20th
Freshman Girls: Annika Borys, 6th; Gabrielle Walmsley, 17th
Freshman Boys: Yoann Perrodin, 1st (podium); Jack O"Neal, 2nd (podium); Jaq Chin, 7th; Daniel Gansmiller, 9th; Gabriel Sabatini, 22nd

One of our captains, senior Cate Flowers, was also awarded a NorCal League acknowledgement for "Most Supportive Teammate."
A second set of podiums was held at this event to honor the riders' overall standings in the 4-race series this spring. ECHS riders on the steps in those included:
Varsity Girls: Cate Flowers, 6th
Varsity Boys: Christopher Hill, 3rd (podium); Will Diego, 12th; Finn Kaste, 13th; Tristan Schönfeldt-Aultman, 14th
JV Boys: Tobin Power, 3rd (podium); Theo Borys, 4th (podium); Joaquin Chun, 5th (podium); Odin Simms, 11th; DJ Kang, 12th; Noah Barry, 15th; Felix Bloemraad, 23rd; Miles Hansen, 28th; Tyler Ko, 36th
Sophomore Boys: Jalen Epps, 29th; Blake Christner, 32nd
Freshman Boys: Jack O'Neal, 1st (podium); Daniel Gansmiller, 6th; Jaq Chin, 8th; Gabriel Sabatini, 16th; Yoann Perrodin, 31st
Freshman Girls: Annika Borys, 3rd (podium); Edda Grondahl, 6th; Gabrielle Walmsley, 17th

Rider Story (Six Sigma): Felix Bloemraad

When I entered Six Sigma on the day of the race pre-ride, the first thing I noticed was how busy it was. Due to the other region that raced there that day, the large field that served as a parking lot was full of cars, tents, trailers, and more. Arriving at the El Cerrito tent, I saw that a number of people were already there and setting up tents to camp over at the venue the night before the race. I was staying at a nearby hotel, so I just hung out and talked to people until the pre-ride.
The ride started out fine, with a fast start into a few small turns, but we soon were stopped because of a long line waiting to cross a creek and make it up a short but steep climb. It took a couple of minutes for us to make it to the front of the line, but by the time I did, I noticed that my bike was making strange noises. After meeting up with the rest of the team on the other side of the creek, I decided to head back to the tent early because I was really concerned by the noise coming from my back tire.
Back at the tent, I learned that the sound was probably just the plastic disk between my gears and the spokes, so I headed over to the Mike’s Bikes van to get it removed. It was removed with no problems, and the concerning sound stopped, but I found an even bigger problem: my bike’s frame was cracked. Unfortunately, this probably meant that I couldn’t race on it the next day, so I decided to talk to Coach Doug about it.
Thankfully, it turned out that we had a team bike available that I could use, but I would have to finish the race quickly the next day in order to get it to another rider for her race. With the problem (partially) solved, I headed out on a full pre-ride and ate dinner with the team before heading to my hotel for the night.
The next day, I was feeling pretty nervous about the race. I was biking on a bike I had never ridden before, on a course that had a lot of sharp and loose turns. Additionally, there was a section of the course which ran through a creek under a bridge, and I was not looking forward to getting splashed with muddy water in the morning.
My race started pretty well, I was able to get ahead of a lot of people during the initial sprint. I also managed to cross the creek that so many people struggled at the previous day. Most of my first lap was pretty hard, because I was constantly trying to stay ahead of the others and I had to pass D2 riders. Fortunately, by the second half of the first lap and the whole second lap, I was mostly on my own. At this point, I wasn’t sure how I was doing in the race, so the only thing I could do was ride as hard as I could.
Since I was now alone, I managed to enjoy the beautiful course a lot more. The race was held on a series of cliffs and meadows, with nice views and pretty flowers. It was truly one of the nicest courses I’ve seen.
Funnily enough, despite dreading the massive puddle of water before the race started, by the time I got to it on my second lap I was actually looking forward to the chance to cool myself off. It wasn’t actually that hot yet, but combined with how hard we were working, I was feeling really hot.
The race ended well, too. I managed to pass a number of people from D2 on the second half of my last lap, and I was happy to be finished. I ended up placing 27th, which wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but I was still happy with it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the team bike to Gabbie before her race.

Even though I didn’t place as well as I had hoped, it was enough to qualify for states!

Rider Story (Six Sigma): Tristan Schonfeldt-Aultman

This race was going to be interesting. It was the first race of the season where varsity was going to go first at 8. I didn’t really know how I was going to handle that but I preferred it over waiting the whole day for our race.
So we woke up and started warming up for 30-40 minutes and before we knew it we were lining up at the starting line. The countdown started and we were off, and of course like all the other races this season, I had a pretty bad start and ended up pretty much at the back. It took me roughly 2 laps to catch back up and I realized I kept getting dropped on the downhills. I guess I was just being cautious since it was the morning.
Eventually though, at the end of the 2nd or third lap, we formed the ECHS train where me, Finn, and Will were all riding side by side. It was then that I took the lead after the three of us talked about who was going to lead on the straight away. And so until the under-the-bridge section Finn was right behind me and I even passed someone else on the way.
Finn seemed to bonk at that point though because Will had passed him and now I felt the pressure to keep up the pace so Will wouldn’t catch me. So that last half a lap was painful as I kept sprinting up the hills to finish quickly. I then was surprised to see another varsity rider and was able to pass them as well, so that was cool. I then sped down to the finish line and sprinted to the end, coming in 12 and beating Will and Finn as the second varsity rider in our team for that race. This made me super happy and it was a nice last race before championships.

Thoughts on Pre-Race Meals from
Nate English

When our food coordinator Jen Komaromi asked Nate about possibly ordering Chinese food for one of our team pre-race dinners, here’s some advice he gave us:
“Spaghetti or chow mien or a similar dish based around noodles or rice is almost always a fine option. Generally, the dinner before a race is one that we'd want to be relatively easy to digest and not very heavy. It's totally fine to have fat, protein, and fiber in that meal. You just don't want a ton of those components. Carbs are the main fuel for high intensity exercise, and the others generally take more time to digest.
Briefly: Anything that is mostly rice, noodles, bread, potatoes, or something like that can be totally good pre-race food. Some fat in that meal is totally fine, but you just want the meal to be easy-enough to digest that you wake up the next morning feeling good and ready to go. So, Asian rice or noodle dishes, Italian pasta and bread dishes, baked potatoes, and sweet potatoes are all good sources of carbs. Any of those dishes without a ton of excess oil should be good. Some vegetables in the dish or on the side are good. Meats tend to be harder to digest, so it makes sense to have those meals have little or no meat in them.... A few ounces of beef or chicken in a spaghetti or curry dish is one thing, but a big steak or a few pieces of fried chicken would definitely be counter productive, because they're bulky and relatively hard to digest, and don't provide any fuel for the race the next day.
Personally, I like Chinese and Thai food before hard long rides or races. I'll always go with a vegetarian option so that there's less animal fat and protein, which can tend to be harder to digest. Rice and Thai curry is a favorite of mine, because you can get a lot of rice, salt, some veggies, and it's not that hard to digest, and of course I personally like Thai food. And of course, you want to hydrate with fluids and sodium so that you're well hydrated going into racing.
Worth mentioning: protein intake is very rarely an issue with a vegetarian diet, and protein before racing is not important. These are common misconceptions that I hear a lot.
One of the most useful shifts in thinking that endurance athletes can make is to focus more on their recovery meals and put less emphasis on their pre-training or pre-race meals. After a hard workout, your body is most receptive to the incoming carbohydrate and protein that you eat, and the first few hours after training matter more for how you feel a day or two later when you train again or race than what you eat the night before or morning of a race. If you recover well after all of your hard training sessions, then you'll be able to go into the next session well fueled, and there's much less concern about dinner the night before racing because the "gas tank" of glycogen storage is already full.
And, as far as it goes, glycogen storage is more than enough to sustain an athlete through any cross-country race, so it's not possible for someone to get low on muscle glycogen over the course of a race of that duration. But, it may be possible to have a high carbohydrate meal or snack 1-2h before racing that would cause a big spike in blood sugar followed by a big spike in insulin followed by a substantial drop in blood sugar just as someone was heading into the race. This scenario seems more likely for an athlete of any age who feels a sudden drop in energy during a race lasting 1-1.5h.
So with this in mind, even if an order of chow mien or other dish is a little oily, as long as the meal is comfortably digested by the next day, it should be totally fine. And as long as you recovered well from the previous training sessions and get to the start line feeling comfortable, neither hungry nor full, you should be ready to go.”

Upcoming Events - May/June

May 20-21: NorCal Championship at Boggs Demonstration State Forest
June 1: End of season team party!

How to Get Involved

Become a coach
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