Just because riders are racing for the top spot on the podium, a medal and the stars and stripes champion jersey it doesn’t mean that these folks are hardened and seasoned tough guys. Things got a bit emotional at the finish line this past Friday morning. And when you’re just barely a teenager and competing in the USA Cycling 2010 Cyclo-Cross Nationals, that seems appropriate. It was 35 degrees, it was spitting rain, the course was half frozen and half soggy. So after giving all they had, it’s quite okay for riders to embrace a parent, a sibling, a friend or a coach and maybe even burst into tears at the finish line.
I thought that was just the parents being good parents. But later in the day I saw a kid running as fast as he could alongside a middle-of-the-pack rider during the Master’s 45-49 race yelling at the top of his voice: “Go Dad! You’re better than those guys.” Kids being good kids, parents being good parents. It brought a touch of warmth to an otherwise chilly day.