McDowell Race Report (L. Kelley)

It’s going to be one Epic Year!!! While moving forward I’m amazed at how much my athletes inspire me to live my dream!


January 2014


Morning of the race: managed to choke down some oatmeal and a cup of coffee. I took a small piece of a frittata to eat a little later, about an hour and a half before the race. Got to the race venue and just tried to stay warm and relaxed. Did about a 15 min warm up. Just tried to get the legs firing, did some spin ups and rode around for a bit. Ten minutes before the start I ate a Gu and headed to the start. There were over 70 people at the start. I think around 20 of them were women. They lined up the men first then the women but sent us all at the same time. At least a few of the men that knew they weren’t going to set any land speed records were lined up with us. And of course those that thought they were fast were lined up right in front of us…..
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> So I was lined up in the second row of women, there was one pro, the girl that won last year and a few other fast roadies that had shown up….. let the games begin.
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> The race starts in a dirt parking lot and then hits some single track that is next to impossible to pass. Yep, almost a crash in the first 400 meters of the single track, too many peeps and not enough trail. Finally we all got it sorted out and we formed a lovely line. I couldn’t take off like a crazy person so it gave me a chance to warm up and get the legs moving, which was better than having a heart attack in the first two miles.
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> Finally found some space and passed four girls in the tech part of the sport/tech loop. I wasn’t sure exactly how many other girls were ahead, I know the pro girl and one other for sure. I was doing fine on the hills, even had to pass a guy on the outside of one, till someone didn’t make one and forced me and three others to dismount….so I got off, grabbed my bike, said “Excuse me” and ran by them…. with a flying cyclo cross mount, I was on and off riding again. : )
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> Got over to Pemberton (the out side loop) and just rode. Tried not to touch the brakes too much on the descends and just tried to ride smooth. The climbs went well, even passed a few guys on the longer climbs. I got caught by a girl on one of the steeper climbs, I tried to keep her in sight. We got into some gradual climbing with rollers and I was able to catch her. I passed her and didn’t look back. I thought she might catch me on the 5 mile gradual down hill, since I was just spinning. Once again, I tried not to hit the brakes and just be smooth in the turns.
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> When we returned to the sport/tech/long loop, I had to make a 180 turn and I saw the girl that I had passed was making up ground. I knew I was a better tech rider so I just let’er roll. I came into the parking lot and grabbed a full bottle of water for my next sport/tech/long loop. Legs were starting to feel a bit fatigued but I thought I might be able to get this lap in and one more before the cut off. I had a blast on this loop. The hills seemed a bit steeper and I had to stand a bit more but I was having fun and felt good going through the tech stuff. I was just about half way done when I came up on one of the girls that had been in front of me. She was having a mechanical issue. I felt bad but there was nothing I could do for her, so just kept on keeping on.
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> I finally got back into the parking lot with about 2 min till the cut off time. My legs were noodles and I wasn’t sure I really wanted to go out for another loop. I slowed down and grabbed another bottle, making sure the other girls didn’t come flying by. I took my time and got to the finish line just as time ran out. Not disappointed at all that I didn’t make it out for another loop…… I would have been moving as fast as an upside down turtle! Anyway, I came in second and the pro girl came in first.
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> So a few things: I felt great! I looked at last years time, but it was hard to compare since we skipped a section last year that we did this year, but my s/t/l loop was A LOT faster. I probably should have gone out for that second loop but it would have probably been nothing but suffering. I feel stronger, because of the lifting, core work and bike work outs and today helped my self confidence. Plus I won $90. Yea me!

About Matt Carnal

I love riding my bike, and helping others achieve the goals that they've laid out for themselves.