100 mile racing takes patience. Good job I am a patient person!
Twenty miles into the Wilderness 101, I was, as they say, contemplating life and the sanity of racing such distances. I had been spat out the back of 2 groups on the road after the first climb, and Kathleen Harding had managed to get away.
Luckily, Rich was riding really well, caught up, and reminded me to eat. So I happily chewed down a packet of watermelon GU Chomps (YUM), and bided my time until my legs came around.
When I got to Aid Station #2, my friend Cathy DeSanto was there to hand me bottles (such a great benefit of a local race, thanks cathy!), but looked concerned and told me the radio had told the aid station I had dropped out. I thought to myself, yeah, I’m feeling a little off, but there’s no way I would drop out!! Unfortunately, Rich had come through the aid station a minute ahead of me, had received the same information, and told Kathleen when she passed him on the next climb. What a palaver!
I rode steadily up the next climb. When I passed one of the guys that had shot off ahead of me earlier, he said “consistency pays off!!”. Yes! From there on, I felt very strong, trying my best to rip the down hills and stay relaxed and focused on the ups. I did feel terrible when I passed Kathleen and she was totally confused as she had thought I had dropped out. Sorry dear friend!
The course was a little different this year for various reasons, but I think everybody agreed, it was for the better. The rocky singletrack was super fun (of course), and getting more of the climbing out of the way in the middle meant we avoided the dreaded Mingle climb near the end. Thanks to all you landowners, who opened up land for us to pass through at the end of the race.
I went on to finish in first place!
Interview by the talented Thom Parsons from DirtWire can be found here.
After now attending countless 100 milers, I have to say that Chris Scott puts on the most well-run events out there. That is one of the only reasons I am again contemplating racing the Shenandoah 100 in September! I have such a love/hate relationship with that race! I never seem to have good luck. Maybe this year will be different?!
The other reason I am contemplating the race, is that I will be able to run the Kenda Honey Badger tire up the front!!! I have been training on the Honey Badger on my Stan’s Crest Wheels and I am amazed at how much more confident I am at descending and cornering on that tire. It would be the perfect tire, in my opinion, for the Shenandoah 100. So hook ‘er up!