I was excited and a bit nervous before the start. I had only pre-riden half the course so there was a big unknown about the backside of Ball Mtn. Other sections I had either ridden in training or run on during the marathon. I wasn't going for a fast time, I just wanted to finish before the cut-off and keep my bike in one piece.
The start is pretty amazing to watch as a spectator. As a competitor, I only saw the few feet of earth right in front of me as I had my head down pushing my bike up to the top of the first hill. I only had to wait a short time in the bottleneck area before I was riding.
I kept a strong, steady effort without my heart-rate going too high and none too soon I was at the top of Iowa Gulch enjoying a fast descent to Printer Boy. I passed a ton of riders here and I wasn't even pedaling much. 1:54 to PB made me happy and the bottle hand-off with Lucho was text-book perfect.
|Waiting for mom|
I backed off my effort a bit on the return and settled into a steady "push the bike" effort up to Ball Mtn. It seemed to take forever. The descent down the other side was fun but I was definitely lacking in energy. Then the cramping started. I was dreading this moment. I kept taking S-caps and the kept the cramping at bay. On one descent I found myself behind past race director Ken Chlouber who was riding a quad. He kept looking back as I kept gaining. He finally pulled over and I went flying past him. The climb back up to PB wasn't bad and I stopped a few minutes to re-group with my family and Lucho. I was feeling better and wanted to finish strong.
|Coming back into Printer Boy|
The course took us along the top of Dutch Henri Hill and a final downhill to the finish. There was Pat, my girls, Lucho, and my Leadman friends to greet me. Lots of hugs and smiles as we congratulated ourselves for making it one step closer to Leadman. Ken Chlouber was there and we laughed when I told him it was me who passed him riding his quad.
|Ken and I share a laugh|
|Kiki and I happy to be one step closer to Leadwoman|
|With Andy and Lucho and my girls|
|My daughter Sara, future Leadwoman|