I have loved Jackson Park ever since I arrived in Chicago in 1981. In the eighties I played & coached countless soccer matches there. Sunday mornings in summer I represented the illustrious Hyde Park club El Gringo Es Mandingo in the Third World Soccer League, and I coached the Mount Carmel Caravan JV squad in Jax Pk. But that was another sport & another century.
Kudos to XXX Racing for making the very best of the pitifully small bit of the park allotted to us for this year's relay & series opener. I like the twisty courses XXX always lays down. Well, in spite of what I consider home field advantage & a successful relay with Scott a few weeks ago, I had a miserable series opener. I started well & was in 3rd position for the 1st half of lap 1, then wiped out in turn 17 (or so). The hard chase revealed that I'd over-estimated my fitness anyway, and then I stacked it into the double barriers on the penultimate lap. Thanks to Matt Caron for his encouragement, his sage advice, and for capturing the moment.
Still, it was a blast to race with my 40+ cronies again, 80 of us in all. I finished 13th.
And it was great to see so many colleagues & teammates racing well. Congratulations to Bill, Rachael, Rachel, Dan, and David. Big props to Tim, Richard, & Ellen for claiming front-row positions in DeKalb. And to Scott for bringing home a handsome new jersey.