Local super-fits take on pros in dodgeball and bake-off contests
How did a dozen women, among them professional and amateur cyclists, a triathlete, a sister, and a friend end up in a one-night contest of cookies, ball slinging, and evasive maneuvers?
More than likely the idea emerged from a rash of organic silliness on the part of one or more of the participants.
For example, a dispute that arose between amateur trackie Amanda Cyr and track ace and UnitedHealthcare rider Cari Higgins during a shopping trip. “You can’t wear that.” And why not? “Because you look like you’re going to play dodgeball.”
Or, perhaps it all started with cookie-making moms bent on seeking revenge and unable to come to terms with Katie Compton’s baking confidence and prior string of bake-off wins?
— Katie Compton (@KatieFnCompton) June 6, 2014
Or maybe Tijuana had something to do with it?
Actually, to precisely define how it all started would be contrary to the spirit of the event – its exuberance, spontaneity, and the simple joys of cookies and rubber balls that call to mind field day in elementary school.
So on to the action.
The showdown took place at the Golden Recreation Center on a Monday evening. Festivities began with the cookie competition. The main competitors in the chocolate chip category were Compton and amateur cyclist and mom Katie Macarelli. Higgins and Flora Duffy registered late and entered the event with their best monkey and chocolate chip concoctions.
Three tasters circled the modest sample table at the Rec Center venue while the women huddled in two dodgeball teams and some began their warm-ups.
The tasters were instructed to score one of the four as best of the bunch. To prevent bias and unbridled attacking the bakers concealed the identity of their cookies. However, those in the room who had glanced at the pre-event smack-tweets could easily identify the sample provided by Compton; uniformly circular and sized, plump, with a crackled surface.
Tension escalated as the tasters revealed the results: a three way tie. Children and Rec Center staff were recruited as additional tasters, though some of the latter returned to their work stations with the loot and didn’t vote.
In the end, Compton prevailed with her gluten-free recipe.
Macarelli’s “Ho” dodgeball team consoled her.
“I’ve been preparing for this my last three ‘cross seasons,” Macarelli said, as she struggled to hold back tears, and referred to an empty win column. “I will keep shining and baking with gluten,” she added.
Compton high-fived her “Pro” dodgeball mates. How did it feel to beat a mom at the cookie-game? Compton shrugged. “I guess I have more time to bake,” she said.
The fine-tuned athletes had waited long enough. They made a bee-line to the start line in the gym where Tim Madden, USA Cycling official now in his inaugural debut as dodgeball referee, lined up the blue, green, and red balls on the centerline.
Unanswered questions hung in the air as the Pro’s and Ho’s took their places on opposite sides of the grid. They appeared fit enough in spandex and tank tops with cut biceps, but were the Ho’s out of their league? Had the Pro’s come into the event overtrained and under-recovered from the last US Cup mountain bike race? Did Madden know the rules?
With a countdown and drop of an arm by Madden women on both sides commenced elimination game one with the rush. They zoomed to the balls, collecting as many as possible for their respective teams. Then they retreated to the end zones. Assessing each other’s ammunition and potential weaknesses, players hurled and rolled balls at the opposing team. Catch a ball and the thrower is out. Get tagged by a ball and you’re out.
But never, ever, give up.
Game one fell quickly to the Pro’s. The Ho’s regrouped to review strategy. They engaged a coach from the sidelines. They got smarter and learned from mistakes like overcooking the dash to the line.
Still, the Pro’s emerged victorious from game two – or even three. No one was really counting.
The Ho’s finally notched a win in the next game. They hooted and hollered. They jumped. They could have touched the ceiling. Over in the Pro’s camp, the women seemed unruffled. Afterall, it was just a race – uh, game.
The Ho’s joy was short-lived.
Subsequent games fell to the Pro’s. After one last round, team captains Macarelli and Compton called it a night.
“At least it wasn’t a shut-out,” Macarelli said, as her soigneur toweled the moisture off her neck. “I’ll actually have to train next time.”
It turns out Compton knew how it would all play out. She’d traveled from Colorado Springs to recon the gym a week prior and been practicing her throw with husband Mark Legg, a.k.a. @MrKatieCompton. But she wouldn’t admit she’d meticulously prepared.
“We knew we were going to win two weeks ago,” Compton stated. “We didn’t have to train. We’re just that good.”
In the ensuing days the smack talk continued.
Apparently the stakes have been raised.
• Katie Compton, 10 time national cyclocross champion and twice World Cup queen. Trek Cyclocross Collective rider and bike designer.
• Abby Mickey, TWENTY16 team member. Road racer who can really climb.
• Crystal Anthony, dirt diva. Cyclocrosser with Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and mountain biker with Riverside Racing. Visiting from Massachusetts.
• Cari Higgins, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling rider. Track star. Seventeen-time national champion.
• Caroline Mani, French and living in Colorado Springs. Raleigh-Clement crosser and MTBer. Previous French cyclocross champion.
• Flora Duffy, triathlete born in Bermuda, Commonwealth Games competitor, XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champ.
• Allie Dragoo, collegiate road racer with criterium and time trial wins, and newly crowned dodgeball MVP.
•Katie Macarelli, cyclocross and criterium racer, sometimes triathlete, contributor to 303cycling.
• Lisa Hudson, totally ripped Feedback Sports bike racer and employee, runner.
• Jen Barbour, BRAC board member, Naked Women’s Racing rider in road, ‘cross, and MTB, promoter, and intimidation factor.
• Lynnette, really good with a dodgeball and sister of Macarelli.
• Dawn, really good at dodgeball.
• Amanda Cyr, Naked Women’s Racing trackie, knows how to transform life through cycling.
• Cristienne Beam, creative professional, Tough Girl cyclist, foodie, artist, cyclocross fanatic.
• Tim Madden
• Chris McGee
• Assorted kids
• Golden Recreation Center staff
Note: This story is mostly true, and part fiction.