17 May 2013 | Race Reports
Whiskey 50: Race Report
Last year’s Whiskey 50 was a great race for me. Even though I flatted and ended up finishing second, I felt good and had an all-around good day out on the bike.
Unfortunately, THIS year’s Whiskey 50 wasn’t quite so pleasant…
Before the race I had all kinds of grand plans about being conservative and not just burying myself at the beginning (like I did last year). I was going to be smart, I was going to be TACTICAL, I was going to wait to make my move. Yeah, those plans all flew out the window in the first 30 minutes of the race when I was sitting in 5th place, totally tapped and still trying to “be conservative.” Kelli, Katerina and Chloe started fast and quickly opened up a gap on me and Lesley Paterson. Not long after that, Lesley dropped me on a climb. I wasn’t too worried. “Well, I’ll be seeing all of you later in the race…when you BLOW UP! Haha!” I thought to myself.
As it turns out, I wouldn’t be seeing them again (except, of course, on the two-way section when I passed them as I was heading down to Skull Valley and they were climbing back up) until the finish. And the only one who would be blowing up was me.
“I’ll probably start feeling better once I settle in.” I thought, trying to stay positive (I knew the race was going to take around 3.5 hours to complete). But as time ticked away, I only felt worse and worse. As I started the descent into Skull Valley, I could already feel the dread creeping in: the 12-mile climb back out was going to be rough. It took every effort just to keep moving forward. I was riding with Mical, trying to stay with her as we got caught and passed by a couple more riders. It was clear that I was not having a great day, but I have rarely felt THAT bad in a race. I just focused on turning the pedals, grinding out mile after mile. Eventually I dropped Mical, and I caught and passed a couple of people on the downhill. I ended up finishing 5th, but really I had no business being on the podium. I was bummed- I’d been looking forward to a tough race against some strong women, but instead I was just slogging away, feeling miserable and hoping to finish in one piece.
On the bright side, I didn’t cramp on “cramp hill.” You’ve always got to look on the bright side. And sometimes the only “bright side” is not cramping on one 5 minute section of trail.