After another 6am wake-up (ouch!), J-F and I rode the 3km from our condo to downtown Fernie. Unfortunately, my dad had to take a pass on day three. He wrenched his back yesterday trying to avoid a tree during a fall and felt too stiff and sore to continue this morning. But we’re super proud of the 12 hours or riding he already put in! He is also stoked about how much he feels his riding skills improved in the two days as well!
Like yesterday, the race started in three waves, 5 minutes apart. I was in the first wave and felt the sore legs pretty quickly, as I imagine most people did! After getting out of town, we climbed on the some double track where I started to work my way up. Unfortunately I didn’t work hard enough to move up early because before I knew it we were on the narrow and long “Hyperventilation” climb where it was very difficult to pass. But I was able to gain about 5-6 positions by the top. That is when we hit the super fun black diamond “Hyperextension” descent. It seemed to go on forever and was so much fun and we whooped through root filled corners, drops and undulating dips back down into a warmer climate again, ha!
Although I had the women’s race leader, Kate Aardal, in sight during the climbing it was all over after the first long descent. After the first ascent and descent the climbing was less sustained but still tough. There were plenty of bridges, and logs in today’s trails which were fun, one or two were a little nail biting! Unfortunately the rock star descending skills of Margie Smith, local Fernie rider Krista Turcasso, and Megan Rose were too much for me today and I ended the day in fifth, still with a big smile on my face (finish line in downtown Fernie pictured below). And after 8:33:11 ride time over three days, I ended up third overall.
My Coach, Cal Zaryski (pictured below with me post-race), ripped it up in the very competitive Sole Men’s 40 category and finished second overall, not bad for another Xterra triathlete!!
J-F had a solid last day and had tons of fun out there. He finished 55th overall in the Solo Men’s category, not bad for a guy who barely has any miles in his legs this year! He should be a little bit better prepared for the Highwood Gran Fondo he is doing next weekend!
Well, as long as they get the course marked dialed in for the second annual Furious 3 next summer, I would highly recommend this race to anyone! It was some of the most challenging climbing I’ve ever done on a bike and I loved the fact it was mainly all single track! And the descending is as fun as it gets on a mountain bike, I would definitely like to try and do this race again in the future! Finally, a big thanks to my mom, Grandma Peggy, who looked after Nico and Zoe while the rest of us were out riding. She spent lots of time helping Zoe on her bike, Zoe enjoyed hitting the dirt on her bike and mountain biking just like mommy!