After one of my biggest weeks of training in a long time, with my mother in law in town for a visit, we headed to Canmore for the day on Saturday. It was a perfect day to spend in the mountains, but slightly on the hot side to be starting a mountain bike race at 1:00pm! It was an Alberta Cup race, as well as a fund raiser for the Africa Bike Project whose goal is:
“…to change the lives of the students and staff at Kipgrengwe Primary School in Kericho, Kenya. Providing these students with bicycles will mean shorter days, which will directly increase productivity, increase safety and decrease drop-out rates.”
It is a great cause and with just one week to ask around for a few donations, I was overwhelmed with the generosity of pledges! Thank you all – and you know who you are!!! With your help I was able to contribute 510$ in pledges!
On the other hand it was disappointing to see so few riders on the start line. I think I heard there were only 37 racers total! A huge bummer of a turn out! I lined up as the only elite female with one other expert female, and four guys, three of whom were racing elite. With Crazy Larry announcing and keeping it loud and exciting, the six of us headed off into the 30 degree heat straight uphill.
Right away I knew my legs were feeling pretty punched and there was no chance to stay with any of the guys. So I just found my own rhythm and decided to put in whatever felt like a hard effort for the day, and to enjoy the trails. And what a fun course it was! I got to ride some of my favorite single track including FYI, EKG, and Baby Beluga along with some new trails I hadn’t ridden yet – so fun! And luckily most of it was in the shade. As I was all by myself the whole time it was hard to remember I was in a race! Luckily the orange taping, arrows, and volunteers at various locations were some good reminders 🙂
I raced two laps in 1h33, and two bottles, and two gels later I still came across the line thirsty! Whew, no snap in the legs but still had fun and it was motivating to be riding for such a good cause!