That's a hill.
I got a terrible start, as it was uphill, the gearing on the Brown Machine was too steep and I'm in less than race-shape. I ended up in the back of the pack 8-10 seconds into the race, and that's where I stayed. It was a little discouraging. I can't say I didn't think about how I could get a mechanical and drop out. But really, my bike was dialed, as that is my profession, so a mechanical failure was unlikely, and probably more embarrassing than just straight up quitting, which I was not going to do. Long story short, someone has to come in last place. Right? So you're welcome Cat3/4 Women. You're welcome.
Day Two was a little better, thanks to the 20t cog I picked up in Burlington. Desperate times call for desperate measures- so I paid retail.
Those two extra teeth bumped me up two places, from DFL to third from DFL! I also think the course on Day Two was a little more fun, so that helped, too. All in all, I had fun. Really. The weather was great. The spectators did an appropriate amount of encouraging/heckling. Vermont is easy on the eyes. And I finished. It sounds a little 'after school special', but it's important to put forth your best effort, even if there's no chance in hell that you're going to win.