What is this – there’s a helicopter on my trail with rotors turning – man where’s the camera!?
It was an exciting race this weekend here in Idyllwild. Siren got a couple more podiums, there was a helicopter evac which stopped the whole race for a little while, and I got to experience the 8 hr race.
The weather was perfect despite forecasts of rain and snow earlier this week. It stayed nice and cool and we got a little bit of rain out on the course. Unfortunately, that didn’t put a dent in the drought that we’ve had here and the trail was pretty duffy from the first lap.
It was wierd to do an 8 hr and see my usual competition keep going into the night as I went home for a bath and a nap. My goal was 8 laps and despite the twenty minute hold-up at the top of Tunnel Of Love for the helicopter evacuation, I was able to still get my 8 laps and take first (6th overall with the men.) Each lap I gained 10 minutes over 2nd place and held a decent race pace the whole way. This was one of my most consistent races from lap to lap that I’ve had yet. The 8 hr was hard because I had to hold such a pace the whole time, but Todd of course did the 24 and won once again. He got in 20 laps on a really loose dry course. Props!
The women’s 24 field was the usual suspects, Terri Wahlberg, Caroline Goulard, and Timari Pruis – plus a local badass – Dawne Harris. Timari dropped out early and it was a race between the other three. Terri and Caroline held pretty close with Dawne chasing them the whole way. In the end, Terri took first with 15 laps and then Caroline with 14 and Dawne also with 14. In the men’s field, Todd racked up 20, followed by Chuck Wheiler with 19 and Dan Stearn with 17. There were 3 local corporate teams – that seems like half the town here! They took 5th 13th and 25th for corporate.
For the 8 hr, I was followed by Rachel Park with 6 laps and Monika Renk with 5 laps. A good Idyllwild friend Kenny Gieoli took 1st in the 8 hr mens with 9 laps – fortunately he didn’t get the joy of passing me as he’d never let me live that down.
It was another one for the books, even if it was a training race – hopefully it will help me get ready for Moab, but I got lots more ridin between now and then. Enjoy the pics!