I left Nipton at around 3am and drove to Primm to sleep in the car until 5:30am. I knew I couldn’t even think of doing this crazy challenge without help, and luckily my partner in life 😉 Brandon was more than willing to provide support in this part of the weekend. Having not managed to eat or drink following stomach issues I gingerly ordered hot chocolate and oatmeal from Starbucks while Brandon loaded up on a Venti extra everything coffee! I closed my eyes slot of the way but couldn’t fall asleep. I would ramble about the race and then fade off for a while before eventually just turning up some music and amping up for the day. We arrived in big bear and I signed up. I was eager to try and continue hydration so I sat behind the sunshade in the car sipping on water and a rockstar evergy drink. The race started up on 2N10, a dirt road ‘an easy 10minute ride’ from snow summit. An easy ride, my arse. I kept in a low gear climbing up to the top.
I got to the start line with around 10mins to spare. The girls around me looked strong and ready for the day. I looked like death. A girl in a Velo Hanger kit rolled up beside me. I knew her! I had raced with her at a stage race earlier in the season and boy was she strong!!! Another couple familiar faces rolled up and I knew I was in trouble. These girls are good!
At this point considering the race the day before, there was nothing left but to enjoy it. At least that’s what Brandon said. Although he and I both knew that once the gun went off I would undoubtedly be giving it my best.
We were off. Our field raced forward and soon the likely contenders were all at the front pushing up the climb. I kept true to my legs and myself and didn’t get excited. Slowly I inched passed one then one more until it was just me and Katie (the VH badass!). We to’d and fro’d between 1st and 2nd position. Knowing we were all cat 2 but not knowing age groups she called forward at one point as I’d got in front, “WHAT AGE GROUP ARE YOU?”, I replied “19-29!”, she laughed, “THEN THIS IS GONNA BE FUN!!”. I smiled too and it was on!!!!
We continued back and forth, she took me on a couple climbs but I kept her in my sights, mindful of the pack behind us too. We turned onto a single track and I was grateful of my fast and furious training on narrow trails in Las Vegas. I saw an opportunity to jump in front of her and I bolted! Suddenly adrenaline kicking in, I was sharp and thrashing into corners and descents. Of course, courteous to much faster guys who would catch me on these descents, “RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT” I would shout, aware they were close and signaling to pass by.
I glanced at my watch, 16.5miles. Only 0.5 to go. I glanced behind, no sign of any girls! But it’s not over til it’s over! Glanced again, 17miles…did I miss the turn? Am I on the right course? DROP! Big boulder drop out of nowhere. ‘Ok, focus and trust that you’re going the right way!’
Soon the crowds started emerging. The final turn and I crossed the line. 1st. Bloody 1st!!! I could hardly believe it! I was elated. Katie came in 2:30 after me and we commended each other on a true race.
This weekend showed me that I could achieve seemingly unattainable things, but I could do it with power, speed and heart. This was the confidence booster I needed to get right back into Ironman training. And with that being said the countdown is on.
Thank you to everyone for the support and for the encouragement to follow my dreams. I won’t let you down.