Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ITI #5 2016

This would be my 5th return to the Iditarod Trail Invitational.  The start could not come soon enough. The week leading up to the ITI, I had to control my excitement and conserve my energy!

Once again my sweet, amazing man, JayP helped me get Fly-Mingo, my Salsa Beargrease, setup and gear dialed in. bike/gear/food, total weight-45lbs. I was stoked I nailed my clothing choice: compression tank, l/s thin wool hooded base layer, wind vest, arm warmers, thin wool sock, vapor barrier, thick wool sock, 45NRTH Wolfgar boots, Bergraven gaiters, regular full finger cycling gloves (extra layers) l/s jersey, Montbell Alpine Light Parka, rain gear, neoprene socks, buffs, sturmfist 5 gloves.  12794339_1004541116250993_1125584056926434644_n.jpg
Photo courtesy of Kathi Merchant/Iditarod Trail Invitational

The pace was blazing fast to the first checkpoint, Yetna Station, which is at mile 55. I felt great and was having a stellar time, I was so pumped to be on the trail and to be riding in Alaska! One of the neat things about the ITI is, even though this was my 5th return, I knew it would be different from years past. 12779172_10208434875859650_1226143658126148819_o.jpgPhoto Courtesy of Angie Glover

In the past, I have stopped and resupplied at Yetna. The first year JayP and I even slept here, but there was no time for that. My plan was to make it to Skwentna, see how I felt and decide what to do from there.

When I arrived Skwentna, mile 90, I thought it would be a good idea to eat some lasagna, NOT! my stomach swelled and hurt, it felt like I swallowed a watermelon, whole. I use to be able to eat any and everything during a long distance race, but my body has changed and I have to be careful about my food choices. I don’t think I spent an hour there, as there were other racers heading out, and I wanted to keep up.

I made it to CP3, Finger Lake, mile 130 in 13 hours and 24 mins from race start! this was crazy and very unexpected. Even more unexpected was catching JayP briefly biving under the kitchen table and how good I felt!  Within minutes JayP was up, a bit disheveled and getting ready to leave. I debated leaving with him. Even though I knew it would be brief, the thought of riding with my man at this point in the race was exciting. I opted to rest and refuel for what turned into 5hrs, knowing that the next section, which included the Happy Steps, along with several other taunting hills awaited. However, if I could turn back time, I would have gone on and bivied on the trail.

The 35 mile trek over to Puntilla/Rainy Pass Lodge  was tough. I was alone, there was approximately 15 miles of bike pushing due to a soft trail. I don’t think it would have made a difference when this section was done, to me, it was an 8 hour slog. When I got there, a few other racers, were getting ready to leave. I wanted to ride with someone, have company, so I gave myself 1.5 hours to dry out, eat, hydrate and no sleep.  My intention was to catch the racers in front of me. There was only one person in the cabin at the time and no others expected for another 2 hours, I should have slept-ugh.

Quoted from the ITI website-“The next section from Puntilla over Rainy Pass to Rohn, is potentially the most dangerous. The Pass is subject to the extreme’s of Alaska’s winter storms.”

I left the cabin at 5:45pm.  This would be my second year heading over solo, this time with less sleep. I wanted it, I wanted to catch the racers in front of me. The trail was slow going. I was having trouble clipping in and out of my pedals and falling a lot, alternating between walking and riding. It was somewhere around 11pm when I ran into the Happy River crossing, open, flowing water about calf deep. I backtrack a bit to get away from the cold river, broke out my bivy and sleeping bag to put on my neoprene socks, with the intention of sleeping. Just as I settled in, another racer Kyle rolled up. I am sure he wished he had a piece of cheese to go with my whine. He offered to wait for me and cross the river together. I wrapped up my sleeping kit as quickly as possible, threw my rain pants over my bomber 45NRTH Wolfgar boots and Bergraven gaiters and went back to the river. We made a deal, if one of us fell in we would take care of each other.

Kyle went first and made it safely. I hoisted Mingo over my shoulder and went for it. Whew! We both made it to the other side DRY!! Kyle said “well everything looks good here, I’m going to carry on.” I tried so hard to keep up with him, but I was too exhausted and watched him pedal off.  I pushed on until midnight. It was near the bottom of Rainy Pass where I found a deep snowmobile track off the trail to lay down in.  The zippers on my rain pants froze and I could not get them off, so I got in my sleeping bag, boots and all. I slept nice for an hour. My transition was pretty smooth upon waking and I was back at it.

It was still dark when I reached the top of Rainy Pass, the wind was blowing, covering up the tracks of those in front of me. I could see the outline of the roofless cabin we spent the night in, in 2009, which brought back memories, I think it always will. As I headed down, I was thinking how nice it would be to sleep, and was eyeing up a few places, wholly willpower. I really enjoy this section (and have a few great memories here also) The trail twist and turns and winds through the willows eventually dropping down to the Dalzell gorge onto the Tatina River which leads over to Rohn.

I was stoked when I arrived in Rohn, I had been on the move for around 14 solo hrs. I knew I was going to see the great CP volunteers, and boyeee was I looking forward to those bratwurst! I popped my head in the tent and said “the party is here!” humoring myself. And what did I hear? “Hey Champ, you ready to leave?, I’ve been waiting for you.” OMG! It was my man JayP!! My eyes and heart lite up! I had planned on taking a nap, but it was daytime and oddly I wasn’t sleepy. I ate one bratwurst and took one to go, I was finally able to get my rain pants off, packed  my resupply and within 2 hrs we were off!

Rohn 2016.

Rohn 2009.
It was like I had a new pair of legs, my spirit was soaring! I definitely rode way faster with my great company & it was way more fun. This section to Nikolia is fun to me with big rollers and great views. Riding over the Farewell Lakes is a freaky, but a beautiful experience unlike any other. Looking down I could see thick cracks and bubbles through the ice. There were times when the trail became off camber frozen overflow, and the 45NRTH Dilly 4’s stuck like glue! I had to keep checking if I was wearing a super cape they were so RAD!

We arrived Nikolia in 11 hours.  300 miles, 55 hours into the race with only 3 hours of sleep.  I may have performed better with more sleep, but this was a reminder that I can do more than I think I can. We were warmly welcomed into the house of the Petruska family, had a hot meal and I crashed for 3 hours. It was 2 a.m. when I heard other racers enter the house, it was time to GO!

Back on the trail and headed to Mancakeville! The finish in McGrath. Riding on the swamps and Kuskokwim River the temps dropped a bit, I had to run a few times to warm up my toes. JayP and I switched off leading, which was weird, but fun to me, I am so use to riding behind Jay.  This section is beautiful and my energy was high, knowing I was going to complete the ITI for my 5th time, and this 2nd time with my man by my side. 10626621_1005993092772462_7859464627069541775_n.jpg
Photo courtesy of Kathi Merchant/Iditarod Trail Invitational

I couldn’t wait to see everyone! Kathi, Tracy & Peter, all the finishers, to hear their stories, to sleep, eat, relax, welcome other finishers. Within 2 hours of finishing, I was on a snowmobile with Kathi, and interviewing at the McGrath radio station. A listener called in and asked “why do you do this?” My reply “because I can.”  

Arrowhead 2016

It’s a monster drive for us to get to the AH135, just shy of 1200 miles from Victor, ID to International Falls, MN, a solid 19 hrs of time in the van, with anywhere from 6-8 hrs of sleep, that's around 27 hours of travel, one way.  drive.jpg
Photo courtesy of JayP

We reached our destination goal for Friday the AmericInn in Medora, ND which is in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We arrived 11pm and had eaten a pizza and several bags of chips all day. Straight to bed.

I am not a morning person. JayP sweetly woke me Saturday morning at 6 am, with coffee and a warmed up van. We arrived in International Falls, MN around 4pm, went to the hotel, checked in and grabbed our mandatory gear for check in. Being our fourth year, we had gear check down and were out of there within 10 mins. We met up with some racers and friends for dinner at the hotel, then to bed.

Sunday, JayP shuttled the van to Fortune Bay so he could give me a ride to the airport after the race. I did a shake down ride back over to gear check and dropped off my drop bag for Melgeorge. I fiddled with my bike and gear a bit, then took a nap before the pre-race meeting.

It was such a blast attending the pre-race meeting, and briefly catching up with friends I only see once a year.  
photo courtesy of Salsa Cycles/Mike “Kid” Riemer

Race day was finally here! I brought my own wraps, cuz I knew there would be eggs and cheese at the hotel, and I love to eat a burrito for race breakfast. I rode over to the start, checked in and “warmed up” for a few minutes. The temps were warm. Everyone was feeling each other's tires, and waiting to hurry up and GO!  

The pace line began, I settled in for the 1st ½ half hour, but was antsy and I wanted to see what I had, so I pushed myself and pulled ahead of a few people. I started training in late October, which was new for me. I have been getting up early (did I mention I’m not a morning person?), morning after morning telling myself, I want it, I want it more than anyone else. begin.jpg
Photo courtesy of Salsa Cycles/Scott Haraldson

My goals going into the AH135 this year were to be efficient at the checkpoints, race the race and to stay on top of my nutrition. The 1st CP at Gateway, I went in, grabbed hot water and was out of there in a minute. GWAH16.jpg
Photo courtesy of Tina Stiller

I focused on racing the race, pushing myself at all times. It was snowing in my face and the course became rudded. I was falling down a lot, it was draining, but I still felt good and I didn’t let it get me down.  Although my tire pressure was low at this point for better traction, my rear tubeless tire was being finicky and leaking a bit, it got too low a couple times, so I had to stop to pump it up. I really wanted to avoid putting in a tube.

About 12 miles out from Melgeorge's, my freakin’ chain broke! UGH! I had a tool but no extra link. I popped the pin almost through but couldn’t get the last bit, my hands got cold, so I put on my heavier gloves and started running to warm them up. I couldn’t bare the thought of running 12 miles to the CP. I stopped again to work the pin when another racer Dave, caught me. He stopped to help, we got the pin out, put the chain back together and I was rollin’ on my way.

My goal was to be in and out of Melgeorge's in under ½ hour, but I have yet to accomplish this. I think about what I am going to do when I get there and try to stick to that plan. I was soaking wet from snow and sweat. As soon as I got there, I grabbed my drop, had 2 grilled cheese, 2 bowls of soup, put all my clothes in the dryer, sorted my drop, filled my water, put my clothes back on, food on the bike and leave. This took me 49 mins, way too long. MEL16.jpg
Photo courtesy of Salsa Cycles/Scott Haraldson

The ruts and snow got deeper after Melgeorge's on the way to Ski Pulk. I let some air out of my tires and it helped, but then all the air came out of my rear tire. I stopped, pumped it up and it was fine until after Ski Pulk. There was a lot of on and off through this section for me, I wasn’t interested in eating my food and 20 miles into this section my garmin died. Rookie move on my part for not having the usual backup odometer. So I had no idea how far out I was or what my speed was.

Once I got to Ski Pulk, my intention was to just have a couple hot chocolates and be on my way, but that didn’t happen. Somehow I got sucked in and spent 45 mins there-WAY, WAY too long. Back on the trail at 4:22am, I knew there would be some sleep walking involved, around 5am it hit, but I was prepared with my can of Red Bull slushy which I mixed with some GU drink, some big chocolate sugar and some chanting, I was good to go. I don’t drink sugary drinks so I knew it would give me that pop that I was after, but it didn’t last long enough, 2 cans next time.

The sun rose, and despite the lack of an odometer, I knew where I was. The struggle was real, and I was slowing down. The last 10 miles are filled with long straight aways, and twisty turns. You can see the tower, but still so far away. I crossed the final road to the trail that leads to the finish at Fortune Bay, I was sooo stoked. AHfinish16.jpg
Photo courtesy of Salsa Cycles/Scott Haraldson

The finish. Once there I saw my favorite person, JayP, finish line hugs are the BEST! hugs.jpg
photo courtesy of Salsa Cycles/Mike “Kid” Riemer

I was also greeted by Mike Reimer of Salsa Cycles happy face. We were chatting and I was saying how happy I was to be finished, how it it took longer than I expected and BAM there was my 45NRTH teammate, Jill Martindale, just 3 mins behind me. Whew! I had no idea she was that close and it was her 1st time racing the AH135. Great job Jill! Looks like I’m gonna have to do some more of this training stuff to keep up with the kids these days. AHfinish16Jill.jpg
Photo courtesy of Jill Martindale

I am proud and honored to be a part of the Arrowhead 135 race and for receiving the spirit award this year. I am also super stoked for the three peat and currently being the winningest bike racer of the Arrowhead 135, Female or Male.

Within 4 hours I was on a plane and back in Idaho that night at 11pm. As I was driving home I saw a few deer, a herd of Elk and 2 Moose all on the road. Ahhh, home sweet home. I got my furboys the next day and we snuggled happily ever after.

Next up, Iditarod Trail Invitational! See you out there!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Targhee Cross fit testimonial

My name is T-Race Petervary, I am an endurance cyclist racer of 20 years.  I race and ride a bicycle all year long, so I was skeptical about trying something new such as cross fit. It made sense that cross fit it would benefit me, but I wasn't sure if it would be safe for me, and I certainly didn't want to Hulk up.  A part of me knew I would love it and become addicted, which is totally what happened.

It is obvious that Dayne and Josh are knowledgeable and passionate about cross fit and how it can improve one's life. They make me feel comfortable in asking questions and explain things so I understand. They demonstrate the techniques, pay attention to what I am doing and correct my form if needed so that I don't get hurt.  It has been rewarding watching my progress as they keep track of our scores for the day and I can see how far I've come.

I am not a fan of training indoors or attending scheduled classes, but Dayne and Josh are motivational, supportive and make the workouts so "FUN" and varied, I look forward to the next class as soon as I have left the last one. The class is an hour, which flies by, and is a small investment for such a huge return. I leave class feeling high, upbeat and happy.  It's a bonus that a few of my friends and my husband attend classes with me.  We all work hard but often find ourselves joking and laughing at times, which for me, is a great environment to be in.

Cross fit has helped me build more confidence and is a great complement to my cycling and life.  I am stronger and more connected with my body and mind. Over the past 3 months and since I have started attending cross fit, I have had my best race results and look forward to many more.

I will continue to attend Targhee cross fit, as I know it will make me live stronger & live better.

Thank you Dayne & Josh! and everyone who comes out for their own challenge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Travel & Anticipation

There are so many variables to consider before hitting the road for a race like the Arrowhead 135, such as weather, road conditions, and travel time. We chose to drive the 18 hours from Victor, Idaho over flying for several reasons; expense and comfort being the main ones. By driving we are able to save on airfare, shipping of the bikes, food and hotel (all multiplied by two). But there is also the convenience of being able to bring EVERYTHING needed for any conditions the race may throw our way. It is usually a mad dash to get to the race, just to hurry up and wait for the start. We were lucky enough to have mostly clear, dry roads on the way to the race. Due to a storm, we weren't as lucky on the way back home.
'Just flew in and boy are our arms tired'...
During the drive, we talk strategy and go through different scenarios we may encounter in the race. I envision myself during the race, and think of challenges I may face and how I will handle them. Then I visualize myself going really fast, of course. At this point the race has already started in some ways.

Gear Check & Pre-Ride
Everyone is always talking and worrying about the “Gear Nazi”, so there is definitely stress. We rushed to make the gear check by 6pm Saturday so we could have Sunday to do a little pre-ride and dial in finishing touches. The Arrowhead itself always starts on a Monday.
it's official! Looks like I'm racing on Monday!

I know I have the right gear for me and I know how to use it. I chalk that up to the many experiences I have been through. Sure I get tips and tricks from JayP, BUT there are things that work for him that do not work for me. It's not easy and takes time to learn these things. The only real way to learn is to do it for yourself.
Loading the bikes back into the rig post-Gear Check...
Prepping for a pre-ride on Sunday...
We had our Beargrease bikes mostly packed to do a little pre-ride on Sunday afternoon. We left from town and hit the trail. It was slow going for me. Jay is so much stronger and faster then I am. I know it gets frustrating for him, as it does for me, but we've figured it out and made it this far; over 20 years together. It goes something like this, JayP: "Ok sweetie, I'm gonna pick it up a little. Will you be ok?" Me: Yes love, go ahead. See you back wherever we came from. I'm not gonna get lost, am I?”
Sunday afternoon pre-ride...checking the trail conditions and thinking about the coming overnight drop in temperature...
The temps were close to a 30-degree Fahrenheit difference on Sunday during our pre-ride then they were expected to be on Monday at the start of the race. It is so crazy how that can be. -20F is no joke, which many people learned the hard way this year.
Race Morning & Start
One hour till race start...boots on...
I woke at 5am and was feeling stoked. Race start would be at 7am. My bike was ready to go, so I just had to eat and get dressed. I am fortunate to have stayed at a friend’s house that is located just one mile from the start. Being able to ride right to the start of the race is definitely a bonus. You can feel the anxious energy at check in. Lights are flashing all around; people are putting their last minute gear together, adjusting their clothing, taking pictures, waiting to go! The start was odd since in the front of the building someone was yelling ‘bikers to the line’; while at the start line someone else had already yelled ‘go!’ I made my way past many riders. It was interesting to see what everyone was carrying and how they’d packed their bikes.
Blinky paradise...
Dawn arrives in the early miles...
Six miles down...129 to go...
18 miles in...a beautiful sunny, albeit cold, day...
The First Two Checkpoints
Arriving at the halfway point...frosty and out of focus...the sun is down now...
It took me longer then expected to get to the first checkpoint at mile 35. As I checked in and out, I saw many red, uncovered faces. It was -20F, and I was concerned for these people. My plan of ‘eat, drink and move forward’ was going well, I thought. The course started out flat, but had become rolling and twisty. It was all ride-able this year due to the cold and firm conditions.
Getting to MelGeorge’s, the halfway point, is a big relief! Especially after crossing the last few miles on a very soft and windy Elephant Lake. This is where warmth is found; warm food, warm cabin, warm welcoming people to help you, and a dryer! It is a great place to refuel, get your resupply (drop bag), and get stoked for the second half of the race. It is easy to get sucked in to stay, so it is a good idea to evaluate yourself, have a plan and stick to it.
Staying focused is important, as it takes a bit of will power to leave a bright, warm cabin and head out into the cold and dark...
On The Way To Checkpoint Three: Ski Pulk
I saw a lot of tracks, but one rider came upon a pack of six wolves between MelGeorge's and the Ski Pulk checkpoint...
Leaving MelGeorge’s can be a little tricky, as there is a turn, which several people have gotten confused about, including me this year. The course becomes intense with steeper hills. The downhills make it seem like you are moving ahead quicker, but there are also steeper hills to climb, so it can be a bit of a mind game. For myself, this part of the course is usually taken on at night. The temps drop and the long day begins to wear on you. You begin to get tired, so your eating and drinking discipline is crucial here. It is comforting to finally see lights and get to the Ski Pulk checkpoint tent for a final dose of warmth before heading to the finish line 25 miles away.
Ski Pulk To Finish
Leaving Ski Pulk...I had trouble breathing the rest of the way...
The part I have been waiting for! Leaving Ski Pulk there were tons of wolf tracks on the trail and what looked like a pool of blood from a fresh meal. It is about 1.5 miles to Wakemup Hill. I forgot how small it is, but that is relative of course. It does give you a quick, fun downhill onto the flats.
This part of the race meanders through the Black Swamp, where it got the coldest for me, -40F. It was funny to see the tracks swerving across the course from the racers ahead of me. You could tell they were getting tired. Signs start to pop up as you get closer to Fortune Bay, but there are no mile markers until the last mile is in sight. Buildings come into the scene and eventually the finish line! Ahhhh…
Fifty yards to go...I've been on the trail for over 27 hours...
Thoughts After The Race
I finished in 27 hours and 22 minutes...good for first-place woman, and fifth-place overall...
I had a great race up until MelGeorge’s. I got a little lost, which stressed me out and caused me to allow my water tube to freeze. Then it got really cold so I was not willing to deal with taking my jacket off to get water. I choose not to eat because it only made me thirsty. My odometer did not work due to the cold temps. Personally, I do not like the feeling of having a watch on me. I am not a fan of time, and honestly, I like being free of it.
Something happened to my lungs at the Ski Pulk tent which I had never experienced before. I became short of breath and had trouble breathing from there until the finish. It was disconcerting, but the only time I was briefly scared was when I heard myself wheezing and thought the wolves may see me as injured prey. I was also frustrated that I had to walk part of the last 25 miles due to my shortness of breath.
So, my plan to eat, drink and move forward didn’t go entirely as planned, but I was very happy about how I finished; first-place Woman and Fifth Overall.
After returning home, I got sick; fever, chills and a wicked cough that has lasted for two weeks. I'm on the mend now and looking forward to my next adventure, the 200k JayP's Backyard Fat Pursuit!
I'm often asked questions about what gear I use and what I wear when doing winter ultras, like the Arrowhead 135 or the ITI. My answer of “You have to find what works for you” is not about finding a quick way to get out of the conversation. Instead, it is really a critical part of making sure the people I'm talking to understand that these are serious challenges that should not be taken lightly. That said, they are also challenges that aren’t impossible or insurmountable.
If there is one thing I’d love to impart on you, it be this: while choosing the right gear is important, it is more important is to have used it and know it will work for you. Knowledge is key and helps build confidence. You gain that knowledge from studying, practicing, adapting, and improving. To all looking to take on these endeavors in the future, I wish you the best of luck.
Every Arrowhead finisher receives a personal Arrowhead trophy...
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Elkhorn Hot Springs - Fall 2013

We arrived the empty Grasshopper CG at midnight, it was about a four hour drive from Victor, ID to Polaris, MT.  We briefly scoped out the hot springs which was 1/4 mile up the road from the CG, then headed to find a camp spot. Our selection was slim, 24 out of 24 spots were available.  We rolled out the mattress, sleepin' bags, down comforter and watched the stars. It was chilly, so our 70 and 90 lb squiggly furboyz decided to snuggle in between us in the early a.m. hours, we were warm and AWAKE!  

The next morning we checked out the other camp sites, looking for sun since we would be camping here again. While the water was boiling for coffee and oatmeal, the furboyz totally ripped around, chasing chiselers, squirrels, checking out every sound, movement, nook and cranny of the wide open empty CG. Although it was uninhabited by humans, it was filled with gorgeous Ponderosa pine trees, huge rocks, tons of firewood, streams, birds and at times, silence. 

We had b-fast and headed to the hot springs. There was a lot of work going on from a recent wind storm which had blown down and damaged thousands of trees. When we got to the pool, there were 4 people there, 2 were leaving, within minutes, we had the place to ourselves. After soaking, it was time to ride! The plan was to ride from Elkhorn to Wise River and back, 66 mile (empty road) ride. We were both looking forward to riding and reminiscing about this section of the Tour Divide.  We had a nice tail wind on our 2 hr ride to The Wise River Club, where we had lunch and reminisced some more, JayP shure has some good stories! The wind was not our friend on the 2.5 hr return trip to Elkhorn, thankfully JayP is used to pullin' me around.  After grabbin' a recovery drink A.K.A. beer, we went for our 2nd soak of the day, then headed back to camp. Jay made a nice big fire while I made diner. Not long after that, it was back to watching the stars and the fire. 

The next day we pretty much repeated our previous day, except we headed towards Jackson, MT for an out-n-back dirt road ride. We saw some hunters, but the road was still quite.  There were great views of the valley and open fields.  At times the forest got really thick and smelled so fresh. We went back for one last soak, then it was homeward bound. The furboys were so tired, they slept the whole way home. 

There is a lot of exploring to do in this big and quite area, so I am shure we'll be heading back.  Hopefully my camera will be working. 

Til' next time!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I was very excited about Moosecross this year. Being part of the Victor Velo board, I know how much planning and organizing went into this race, great job team!!  JayP is the course director, and fer shure has it figured out.  Some more steps and a dirt pile were added this year only adding to the fun of this already super sweet course. I ride it often with my boys, Rippin' and Chillin', they know it like the back of their paw.  

I was a little intimidated showin' up to the start line with my MTB, while most of the other ladies had their fast looking, skinny tire bikes, but Magic Wanda assured me, at the very least, we'd have a good time! My heart was racin' and I couldn't wait to here the words GO!

With 24 women starting, I didn't want to get caught up in a crash off the start line, so I eased into the mid pack pace line over the whoop-de-doos. There were definitely a few VERY fast ladies off the front who I knew it would be hard to catch, but it ain't over til it's over! After swooshing through the chicanes, climbing the 12 step run up, the course sweeps back to the new dirt hill climb, with a short, super fast n' steep downhill which leads into the grass. The grass zig-zags back n' forth over a small hill allowing you to see where everyone is, it includes a small barrier, which could have been ridden, I didn't figure that out until after the race was over, then it shoots out to the bike path for a short bit, back into single track up and around a couple dirt benches which leads into the barriers. Being vertically challenged, the barriers seemed a bit high and I was glad to hear some other ladies thought the same, back to the pavement, through some rough dirt, sharp turn, through the start finish area, beer shot optional-REPEAT!!  There were so many spectators and cowbells were goin' off!

This course is soooo fun!! I settled in and started to relax, trying to figure out where I could make up time. It was the grass! I was able to catch the others from the steep DH through the grass. So I tried to take advantage of this and really push through the grass, eventually passing 3 riders.  I also like to talk to racers while I'm around them, just for fun.  My 7 lap average time was 6:40, with a shockingly fast 4th lap of 6:19.  I felt great, had fun, no mechanicals, no crashes, and finished in 5th place overall.  Good job Magic Wanda! 

Til' next time!