This was a girls-only mountain bike race put on by our local Yeti Beti bike team, with really impressive backing from all sorts of great companies-mainly Stan’s NoTubes. I had been looking forward to it all season long. The race was only 40minutes away, which is always nice. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I showed up, but when I got out of the car the positive energy was almost tangible. There were all sorts of women racers out and about. Some had just finished and were regaling their loved ones with the highlights of their race. Others were nervously warming up. Some were walking around in a daze covered in dirt-no doubt suffering from a post-race bonk. Gradually more and more pro and expert racers started to show up and I realized that we were going to have a pretty good field. With Georgia Gould, Katie Compton, and Krista Park there people were joking that it was a mini-world cup. Both Chloe Forsman and Heather Irmiger were there as well, but playing the role of support due to thumb injuries.
My goal was to see how long I could stay with the front group for. At the start, there was a group of 4-5 of us, and I worked my way up to 3 behind Georgia and Katie. I just kept my head down and was determined to stay there for as long as I could-which was about 1 lap. After we went through the feedzone, the gap from them to me grew a bit and I was officially off. I tried to maintain my pace and was sort of nervously waiting to either blow up and/or get caught. I was pleasantly surprised that neither happened! I finished 3rd about 3-4 minutes back from Georgia who eventually won. I learned two important lessons from this race: one, I can go harder than I thought without blowing up, and two, it’s the little things in a race that can add up and make a difference. For example, I noticed by following Georgia and Katie that they pushed every corner, every little climb, every descent. This is really hard, if not impossible to do on your own. So it makes sense to really make the effort to catch a wheel whenever possible….
Anyway, I really liked this picture from the race: National Champion, National Champion, ME! 😉