Another one down!

Well, it went down alright. OP was a blast and there was some good competition, as always!

We drove out Wednesday and when I got to the course Thursday, my preride went well. The course was nice (though a little dry – hmmm…middle of the desert.) The new section that June and Phil from Hemet designed (so I hear) was super nice. Fun twisty funky slow single track, kinda like IDY. I imagined riding it half asleep in the dark and knew I’d have fun with that! I saw Todd S. afterwards and he said it looked like it was about to get a little stickier though.

We went into Tucson to hang out with Matt and do some last minute tweaking on the expo and pit setups. He and Katie (and now his sister Emily) are always awesome hosts. They open up their place to us every time we go out, no matter how busy they are with their real lives.

We received some last minute stuff from the Path (thanks Brian) and from sponsors and also got our new batch of stickers and t-shirts at Matt’s house. So exciting! The expo was going to be decked out this year. I won’t talk too much about the expo as that’s Brendan’s front, but we went well stocked with demo bikes and they got ridden well!

Friday it was back to the course, the only problem was that it had been raining all night Thursday night and now was starting to snow!! Yeah, in Tucson! We got the expo set up and got the Siren trailer into the race pit. I scored us a good spot, just after the dips in solo row – we made it Sirentown! Unfortunately, with the snow, I didn’t get in another ride Friday – good thing I got in that ride Thursday.

We learned from Moab, that camping the night before wouldn’t help any on race day, so we drove back into Tucson to crash at Matt’s house Friday night. Saturday, we got out to the race course early and I got the pit set up once the guys got going in the expo. We had Scott Sportsman pitting with us and then of course Todd C. and Brad Majors from Chicago. My good friend from Vail, Carrie, came out to be dedicated support and so did Dan (Todd and Brad’s friend from Chicago.) We had the setup! We had the propane heater and Jim from Kenda gave me an ezup with walls to use, since our ezups went to the expo.

The weather wasn’t looking good most of the morning, but right as we started the run, the sun came out! It was awesome – I mean running. I’d been getting ready for the run by doing some half mile runs with my training. Lynda was right, it would take the edge off. She advised me to just let gravity carry me down the hill and stroll up to my bike. I did, and I can’t believe it, I was right up in the front. I took off on the first lap holding firs.t (I kept wondering if i was going out too hard, but looking at my heartrate, I wasn’t) I couldn’t believe how good i felt and I was totally pacing myself and was off the front from all the other solo women.

By lap 2, Sara caught me and we rode together for a lap. Then, we got a little competitive and I took off from her on the 3rd. From there, we went back and forth into the night swapping 1st and 2nd places a couple of times and gaining a little gap over the field. Finally, in the middle of the night, Sara dropped. It froze out there and we watched the frost form as we were riding. I felt like the moisture in my body was freezing and it got super hard to keep warm. I kept stopping at aid stations to warm up.

In the morning, the sun came up and I was still having a hard time staying awake. I stopped at the “golf” aid station and had some coffee and warmed up by the fire. This was all costing me time, but I was getting too close to too many cholla cactus to keep riding how I was. My last few laps slowed down a lot, but I kept riding. Finally, in the last lap someone snuck up on me and passed me (yeah, just like that, it happened.) I was working so hard to stay awake and stopped for a bit before my last lap to rest a while. She earned it fair and square, but DAMN! That was hard to swallow.

I didn’t do as good as I’d hoped, but ended up 9th overall amongst the solo open men and women. There were about 100 men and 19 women, so not a bad race for the first biggie of the year. My teammate Todd kicked much butt in the men’s field coming in 3rd. He said he was going into it out of shape, but that didn’t show! He pedaled through a consistent strong race as always! Matt’s sister Emily did her first 24 on a team and I think she’s bitten by the bug. It was so much fun seeing all the Tucson people out there, who are starting to make AZ feel like our second home.

I owe a huge thanks to all my support, especially Matt, Brendan and Carrie. I couldn’t have made it through without your help. Also, thanks goes out to Jim with Kenda for all his help at the event and also to Stan’s NoTubes, Giro, GoreBikeWear, Magura, Syntace, and everyone that helped me pull this together and get everything I needed to have a super successful event.

I guess it’s time to move on to the next big adventure! Stay tuned, it’s BIG!


15 Comments Add yours

  1. moonbeam says:

    Great write up, Mary. You are a rockstar–I’m so impressed with your strength, determination and will power to keep going strong in the cold, snowy, catcus course! Way to rock out the first 24 of the year! 🙂


  2. Lucas says:

    You killed it! I was so super stoked as I watched the standings! As I told Brendan…I think this is going to be your guys’ year! Rock on…


  3. Matt says:

    You are one tough rider Mary, and congrats on your effort.

    I think it’s much more difficult holding a lead than it is chasing the leader. It’s tough too not knowing where the chasers are at…especially if you don’t even know who they are or what they look like.

    You did well, hang your head high, and take the win next time. Man 9th overall…you are killing it this year! Congrats

    P.S. Have Brendan pack some tri-tip, next time. That would have come in handy on those last couple laps. 😉


  4. Cellarrat says:

    Was nice to fianly meet yah!


  5. SSIDYLLWILD says:

    Great race Mary.Weather conditions were prolly similar to Idie.


  6. Chris says:

    Great race Mary! I for one am excited to hear about the next BIG adventure 😉


  7. Danielle says:

    Great job racing Mary!!! It was nice seeing you and Brandon again. Hopefully we’ll run into each other at some more races this year.


  8. Matt McFee says:

    Congrats Mary….I was “watching” between my first aid classes and cheering you on in spirit. My last check had you safely winning…it (she) snuck up on me too!!

    Awesome work. Get some rest.


  9. Brendan says:

    Mary- you’re all killer & no filler. We all learned a good lesson from this one.

    Though you didn’t take the win in the end, us Sirenites owned that race- You carried the buzz in the women’s field, Todd killed it with Brad in the men’s field, and well, Matt & I pretty much had our way with the bike expo.

    Damn good way to start the year!


  10. Chris says:

    Congrats Mary! Great way to start the season, use it as a confidence builder and fuel for the fire!


  11. Dave Harris says:

    Could you hear the loud cheering coming your way from SW Utah? There was a lot coming your way.

    Awesome job Mary. It really was exciting to be an armchair racer on this one and you led the charge.


  12. Mary Collier says:

    Yeah, i could hear the cheering, but then I fell asleep and went somewhere else – oops! Thanks for all the good moojoo out there. Everyone was super supportive. Now i just need all your caffeine and crack next time!I gotta figure out a nice portable pouch to carry crack in the back pocket and a way to consume it handsfree!


  13. Bandit says:

    Great job this weekend! You should be very proud of how far you’ve come in one year. I look forward to watching the awesome season you’re going to have.


  14. stagewest says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of miles! Congrats.

    Looks like you’re another LW in the making.


  15. ojulius says:

    Hey Girl! Congrats on the race. You did an awesome job. It was fun “watching” you on the updated online stats. You gotta be proud of this effort, you did an exceptional job. 🙂


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