Monday, June 28, 2010

Cream Rises to the TOP!!!

Lots of news with the VK Pussy Cats this weekend!

First of all the VA Beach Vanderkittens want to congratulate Ali for rising to the top to becoming a CAT 2. You go girl – we’re glad you’re keeping Captain Cook company in the very elite group of top racers.

Captain Cook and lean Gene Rutledge had the fastest time of the day for a coed team at the VB Wheelmen’s team time trial in Smithfield on Saturday. Not only did they clock in at 1:01:22 for their time trial, but they also had the 4th fastest time of the day. Way to go Laura and Manderkitten Gene!

A few of the VK gals and their spouses headed to Staunton for the weekend to take in part of BIKE VA. They left behind some of the hottest temps ever to enjoy scenic routes in and around Staunton, VA. The century ride included a Category 1 climb at mile 50 which caught everyone’s attention. When it was all over, it’s amazing what a cold beer and good pizza will do to make the pain go away. 200 miles later it was a good weekend for riding. Bob and BJ continued on with more miles on the BLUE RIDGE Parkway to take advantage of the opportunity. Here's a link to our photos from the trip:

Rounding out the weekend was good news to hear that Linda and Steve were married at the beach in the wee hours of the morning. Congratulations to a great couple who are spending their honeymoon riding the picturesque roads of Italy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Better Late Than Never - Amazing Tri Cats

The past several weekends brought out our Vanderkitten triathletes competing in three different races; Breezy Point , Eagleman 1/2 Iron Man and Tidewater International triathlons. The results prove that we indeed have a diverse group of women and talent in our club.

Breezy Point was a hot weekend and for the first time in a long time, a wetsuit ineligible race. This didn’t faze our gals. Roberta Guimond finished 5th in her AG; Karen Franke, Claudia Baker and Vanda Kennedy who were the swimmers on relay teams all turned in respectable performances fighting a wicked current and Claudia’s team Red Hammer Racing (which consisted of Denise Wood - Red Hammer herself, Claudia and Jessica Lennon) scooped up a first place finish.

The following weekend Lisa Armistead, Claudia, and Erika Peck headed up to Hampton for a bright early 7am start at the Tidewater Olympic triathlon. The swim course consisting of two laps at jellyfish strewn Buckroe beach was less than desirable but at least they weren’t the stinging kind. The bike course through Fort Monroe proved to be a bit windy in spots, but that wind turned out to be our friend on the long, hot, very UNSHADED run course. All Olympic athletes had to do two loops of each leg while our spring counterparts only had to do one. I think we were all wishing at some point during the race we had chosen the sprint. But alas we all prevailed with smiles on our faces. Erika had a dynamite run that lead her to a top 5 finish in a very competitive age group!!! Claudia and Lisa both took home 3rd place AG wins! Overall, I think we can all agree it was a really fun successful day!

On Sunday Karen Franke headed up to Maryland to compete in the highly esteemed Eagleman Half Ironman. Again a wetsuit ineligible race proved to be a scorcher of a hot day and athletes were truly tested. Karen prevailed and proved to us that she is indeed an endurance athlete who can turn it on when the heat gets turned up!

Way to go Tri-kitties!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Here, there and everywhere

The Vanderkittens were all over the State this weekend. Ali Cat ventured up to the TNP crit on Saturday and loved the new smooth course with all sorts of turns and twists. Ali and Catherine Freck broke away on the 2nd lap and held a fast pace throughout. At the end it was Ali taking the GOLD and Catherine taking the silver. Very nice.

Seven Vanderkittens toed the line at the PLT #1 time trial in Chesapeake, Virginia on Sunday. We had some veterans out there as well as some who had never done a time trial. We were very proud to have Lisa out there for her first, but not her last, and were happy to hear her husband was taking photos of us at the start and finish. When all was said and done, Captain Cook took 1st overall with a time of 53:50 while her teammate, Podium Cat came in with the 2nd fastest time of the day at 56:09. Rounding out the top 3 was Jen Pope from Fat Frogs. All the girls did well and spread points for the team in all categories. Hats off to Barb, Wendie, Suszann, Karen and Lisa for coming out on a brutally hot day to race.
Ali headed west to the Massanutten Hoo-Ha mountain bike race on Sunday. It was her first time entering this 22nd annual event, part of the US Cup race series. The course, consisting primarily of singletrack with some fire road & field connectors, was 24 miles long (2 loops of 12). There were rock gardens and bermed switchbacks, both in the climbs and descents, making it challenging, fast & fun. She finished 2nd in the women’s open category and 10th overall with a time of 2:54:37. Your team stands in awe knowing you were out there racing with the pros including Sue Haywood.

The Vanderkittens want to thank all the race promoters for the weekend races. We also want to wish our Manderkittens a HaPPy Father's Day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Heat Was On

Humidity was high but so were our hopes for a smooth and successful 1st annual Cause for Paws Crit on Sunday. Rainy skies in the wee morning hours cleared to gray and eventually blue by the time it was all said and done. We had a nice turnout and the numbers were well distributed among the various races. In the women’s open race, there were 17 entrants at the line. Cook took off right from the start with one rider jumping on her wheel. They got a gap halfway into the first lap of the .6 mile loop, with BJ and Ali sitting on the front of the pack and Suszann in the middle. A few laps in, BJ jumped and scrambled the field. Ali bridged up shortly thereafter and the break of three now held their split for a few more laps around the course. Then Cook jumped and pulled away to solo the next several loops, gaining solid distance from the two. Ali sat in and ultimately made a move to try and bridge up to Cook. Once that was done, they alternated positions with the remaining laps to finish up 1st and 2nd. BJ and Suszann worked hard in the field and finished strong, all four getting lots of support and encouragement from teammates working the race as well as spectators.

Many thanks to all who helped out in the preparation and staging of this event. It could not have been pulled off without the multi-tasking abilities and leadership of Cap’n Cook, the guidance and experience of Carolyn Goble, the cooperation and assistance from the City of Chesapeake and all of the volunteering team members & Manderkittens. We greatly appreciate everyone who supported us by coming out to participate whether it was to race or watch or both - most especially those who traveled from out of town! We hope a good time was had by all and you’ll all be back next year! Results will be posted on BikeReg soon. In the meantime, you can take a look at the numerous pictures our fabulous photographer, BJ, took to capture the day’s activities:

Last but not least, a special shout out to those who donated items and/or money for the critters at the VBSPCA. We’re looking forward to delivering all of your contributions this week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The BJ is back!

Time trials, while they hurt like hell, are relatively safe. Crits, on the other hand, have the potential to knock you down and bang you up, making you wonder "is this really worth it?" Two years ago BJ was asking herself that question as she lay on the ground, cut and broken, at the Casey Crit. A broken collar bone, several stitches, a pretty bad concussion, and months on the trainer led her to decide that no, crits were not worth it. Since then she has continued to do time trials, beating not only the women in the 40 plus category, but also almost every other woman as well. She is a time trialing Goddess! So, as they say, time heals. And thus it has for BJ. At 59 years young, BJ is THE most energetic person I have EVER met. Not to mention a little competitive. And determined. And crazy, in a good way :) All of those characteristics combined, plus the support of an amazing husband, brought BJ to the conclusion that maybe crits aren't so bad afterall. That taking calculated chances is worth it. After dipping her toe in the water in a couple of crits earlier in the season, BJ jumped in with both feet this weekend. And, as expected, she ROCKED. Here's how the weekend played out: At the Amphib Crit yesterday she made an early break and stayed out there with various other racers as things played out behind her. In the end she came away with 2nd place for the 40 plus women and 4th place overall. One of the other racers was heard saying, "I almost ran you down in the sprint!". At just over half BJ's age this woman was excited that she ALMOST caught BJ in the sprint! After an almost 60 mile ride this morning, BJ decided she would forgo her usual Sunday afternoon routine of manicuring her perfect lawn (think Martha Stewart on steroids) and throw her hat in the ring at the Langley Speedway. Once again she found herself in a breakaway, this time with two very strong women, one who is a Cat 1 racer. BJ ended up 1st for the 40+ women, lapping the field, and third overall. We should all be so lucky when we're 59. Cap'n Cook and Cap'n of the BJ is a BadA** Fan Club