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Monday, June 23, 2014

Jubliee Challenge - A Climber's Delight

I.might.be.becoming.a.climber.... I didn't think I would ever utter those words, but I finally feel like I'm getting the hang of it- at least on the mountain bike! And that's a good thing because this race course had an overabundance of steep and/or prolonged climbs. My Garmin recorded a whopping 2020 ft of climbing during the 18 mile race.

I had a great start, taking the hole shot into the single track section. I kept a steady pace but wasn't going super hard - the course was still slick from the previous day's rain. Even being cautious I managed to slide a couple times, only staying upright by putting my leg out to catch myself.

Expert Women
Cat 1 Women on the Startline. Photo Credit: Erica Mueller
Melinda was right on my tail and the others were not far behind going into the first climb. I maintained a strong pace and managed to build a gap. It's funny how much difference a year can make. Last year I struggled big time at this race and was the one getting gaped on this very same climb. (If only I could just make the same progress on the road...)

Once again I found myself needing to balance speed with caution. It's tougher than it sounds. I didn't want to go too slow and get caught, but I obviously didn't want to hit a slick spot and go down.

Luckily, the course felt slightly dryer on the second lap and I was able to go a little faster on the downhill sections. And while on the first lap I wasn't a fan of all the creek crossings, on this lap I looked forward to them just for the cold splash of water to cool me down. 

My favorite part of the race was when one of the men cheered me on, all the way up a steep and twisting climb that was also slick with mud. The extra encouragement was just what I needed :) I felt bad that he was off the bike walking, but his good attitude reminded me of just how awesome other racers can be!

One the third and final lap I felt re-energized with the end in sight. And then I spun out over a root at the top of one the climbs and fell straight over. There was mild panic while I made sure I didn't twist my bars or drop my chain. Thankfully everything was just fine and I continued on!

With a couple miles to go I started to become really worried that someone was going to catch up to me at the end and I really picked up the pace. I was relieved to come across the line and take the win! And just like last year, I promptly dumped water all over myself to cool down, wow was it hot!

 Results/Lap Times

Melinda, Myself, Britt, and Beverly lookin' good post-race. Photo Credit: Britt McConnell

Women's Cat 1/Expert Podium.
*Lovebirds* Thanks Mari for the bottle hand-ups and Steve for the cookies!

Tony & Amy Thaller- awesome husband/wife duo that make the IL race series so great!

Aaron and Kevin were twinsies! ;)

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