Here's a quick summary of the position swapping:
Disclaimer: There is a reason I typically don't write detailed race reports. I get so focused on my race that I usually don't notice what is going on around me. Here's my best effort. Hopefully it is accurate:)
Off the start Kathy and KC charged to the front. I felt like I could hang, but my bike decided to start shifting poorly and I spent more time trying to get it in the right gear and dinking around with my cable adjuster than hammering. We rode up the first climb together to the Aqueduct trail where I think I was on Kathy's wheel. I know I went into the hike-a-bike section behind Kathy because I remember being annoyed that she was running. Seriously, running?!? Couldn't we just all agree to walk this section? Somehow I managed to stay close and was able to pass her on the dirt road to Gas Line. I led up lower Ghost Falls to Canyon Hollow and down the first part of Anne's to the feed.
Descending Anne's trail into the feedzone
My pit stop was uncharacteristically long as we threw my bike on a bike stand and resolved the shifting issues. Kathy was pulling into the feed just as I was heading out. As I started to climb Anne's, Meghan came up behind me and encouraged me to go faster. I did and was able to get a small gap on the final descent of Anne's. I fumbled a bit once we hit the Shoreline and Kathy caught me just before the tunnel. I contemplated letting her by, but I seemed to get small gaps on the short climbs so I held my position. After we crossed the road, Kathy attacked and took the lead. I was able to reel her in pretty quickly and stay glued to her wheel as we started ascending Clark's. Meghan caught us on the climb and overtook the lead. I followed and although I couldn't stay glued to her wheel I stayed close enough that I was able to pass her on Rush downhill. I went through the start finish in the lead, with both Meghan and Kathy in sight. On the second lap, Meghan caught me on the hike-a-bike section and was able to drop me riding into the super stiff headwind on the dirt road leading to Gas Line. I was starting to cramp a bit despite having electrolytes in all of my bottles. I made it to the feed zone where I got electrolyte tablets and was told Meghan had a minute and a half gap. The tablets helped the cramps, but then my rear wheel started making a weird noise that had me a bit worried. I stopped to investigate, but couldn't find anything wrong so I continued on my way. (Upon closer inspection I found my rear derailer cable was rubbing my spokes making the loud and annoying clicking noise). I didn't let up; not only was I chasing Meghan, but I knew there were a lot of fast girls behind me who can come on strong at the end of a long race.
Hammering the finish loop
Photo: Cotton Sox Photography
I crossed the line tired and satisfied in second at 4.5 hours.
Draper Podium: Kathy Sherwin, me, Meghan Sheridan, KC Holley, Erin Swenson
So not exactly a quick summary, but like I said there was a lot of excitement in our race!
I felt great and even though I was drilling it as hard as I could, I was having so much fun I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I especially appreciated all the cheers from the fantastic volunteers. Another awesome Utah State Championship Series race!
Now, back to the 25 races this year thing. What a year it has been! Last year at this time my hair was just starting to fill in and I was recovering from my final reconstructive surgery. I know I have said this before, but what a difference a year can make. and I have appreciated every second of it!
The Draper 50 was my last mountain bike race of the season, but that doesn't mean the racing stops. Up next....cross. And I have this sweet new ride...