raceAndrew KarrComment

Charm City CX Survival, or, how to avoid migraines after cyclocross racing

raceAndrew KarrComment
Charm City CX Survival, or, how to avoid migraines after cyclocross racing

Words by Kevin
Photos by Addison & Edrie

Charm City Cyclocross this year brought out the very best in the very best racers, and hard-fought performances, in both racing and heckling, out of the Great Eskape race team this weekend.


This year's course at Charm city brought a few changes and challenges from years' past, most notably, the cry-over: a seemingly never-ending set of steep stairs up scaffolding, followed by a ramp back down, all so you could make a few turns and then push your bike up a hill. And then run through sand. And then ride up another hill again. No one ever said cyclocross was a smart thing to do. 

Adding to the challenge on day 1 was 80+ degree heat, with no cloud cover, and choking dust clouds that made for dirty eyes and dry throats. For many racers, yours truly included, races were as much about fitness and skills as they were an exercise in heat management and a willingness to go deeper into the pain sauna than you or your competitors thought reasonable. 

After hard and hot efforts like this, I invariably fall prey to the dreaded dehydration headache, which feels almost exactly like the migraines I used to get as a kid. Even though I made sure to drink plenty of water beforehand this year (without reaching the point where I'd feel sloshy during my race), I finished the race extremely flushed and more than a little delerious.

Luckily, Devin and her sister were there to get me a cold coke and water to dump on my head. My condition after the race definitely reaffirmed Devin's decision not to race this year; who would do this to themselves willingly?! 

Once I was cooled down and was capable of rational thought, or course my thoughts turned to beer (courtesy of our beer sponsor PBR--shout out to our man Shane coming to hang with us at the race!), and the headache that extreme exertion combined with beer would probably bring.

Enter Osmo. (I'm obliged in the interest of disclosure to say that this was provided to us at a steep discount from our sponsor, Highway Two). I've used this stuff before, during, and after races, and I've got to say I'm a fan. It has a pretty neutral taste that I like. Besides Coke, I really don't like strong tastes in my exercise juice, and I doubt I'm alone on that count.

I'm not sure what's in it, but whatever they've whipped together in the "During" drink agrees with me. I downed a bottle of it both before and after the race--yes I know those are the two times you aren't supposed to be using the During mix (they have Before and After mixes for, you guessed it, before and after). It must be the electrolytes, or some other extra fancy marketing magic they've got in there, but somehow I avoided a headache for the rest of the day. 

I really had no excuse not to get a wicked dehydration headache: I spent the rest of the day recovering from a maximal exertion in the heat and sun by lounging in the heat and sun, drinking beer, watching bike races, having cowbells rung in my ears, and shouting at strangers with my friends and family.

As always, a hearty pat on the back to everyone who survived the course out there. Oddly, I'm looking forward to an equally brutal race next year.

And your Year-to-date Results for the team:


Charm City CX Day 2(October 8 2017)
Addison Larrow Men Open Cat 4 58 / 65

Durham Cycles 'Cross (October 8 2017)
Alexander Boyd Men 4/54 / 45
Alexander Boyd Men Single Speed 8 / 16

Charm City CX Day 1 (October 7 2017)
Kevin Sundeen Men Open Singlespeed 23 / 39
Coman Ilahi Men Open Singlespeed 30 / 39
Andrew Karr Men Open Singlespeed 32 / 39
Edrie Ortega Women Open Cat 4/5 24 / 29
Addison Larrow Men Open Cat 4 68 / 75

Hyattsville CX (Oct 1 2017)
Kevin    Sundeen    Men Open Singlespeed    20 / 33
Andrew    Karr    Men Open Singlespeed    31 / 33
Edrie    Ortega    Women Cat 4    11 / 19
Dylan    Stagner    Men Cat 4    7 / 73
Kevin    Sundeen    Men Cat 4    29 / 73
Andrew    Karr    Men Cat 4    63 / 73
Addison    Larrow    Men Cat 4    70 / 73
SykeloCross (Sep 24 2017)
Dylan    Stagner    Men Cat4/5 Senior    18 / 61
Brian    Crowe    Men Cat4/5 Senior    22 / 61
Brian    Crowe    Men Cat3/4 3/4    27 / 32
Edrie    Ortega    Women Cat4/5 Senior    10 / 24
Trek CX Cup (Sep 24 2017)
Addison    Larrow    Men Cat 4/5    83 / 93
Trek CX Cup Day 2 (Sep 23 2017)
Addison    Larrow    Men Cat 4/5    113 / 124
Organic Farm Cross- Race 5 of the BHB Cross Central Series (Sep 23 2017)
Alexander    Boyd    Men 4/5    9 / 33
Jessica    Wilkinson    Women 4/5    10 / 17
Hub Labels Cyclocross Challenge (Sep 10 2017)
Dylan    Stagner    Men Cat4/5 Senior    3 / 42
Luray Caverns CX (Sep 9 2017)
Dylan    Stagner    Men Cat 4/5    14 / 51