Had a great time at Global Biorhythm Events' Tahoe Sierra 100 again!! I had been checking out the weather prior to the race, and was not especially happy with the cold temperatures in the areas around Soda Springs. Luckily, the forecast changed the day before we left, and it looked like it was going to be sunny and quite warm!!!
Eric and I stayed at the awesome Ice Lake Lodge which sits right on a beach at the Serene lakes. After going for a short spin, checking in at the race, and having dinner at the lodge, we borrowed one of the ancient VHS movies from the lodge and laid in bed and watched it. Perfect pre-race routine!!
5 am came way too fast. After eating some PB and jelly toast for breakfast we drove to the start of the race. There was ice on the wind-shield of my car but the temperature showed 39 degrees. It could be worse. Since the couple of miles of ski-trails were followed by an 8 mile descent, I opted for starting out in my jacket. The ski-trails spread most of the riders out quite a bit, which made descending the dusty fire road downhill much easier than last year. At the bottom of the hill, I dropped my jacket at the first checkpoint. I was never really cold, the temperature was definitely coming up as we dropped below 5000 feet.
I felt fairly strong and had a good ride along the Redstar Ridge. It is just technical and fun enough to keep you on your toes. I didn't need to stop to refill my camelbak until the "Dusty Corner" checkpoint at 51 miles. I also dumped my Ziploc baggie of Sustained Energy into my water bottle and grabbed some Endurolytes. I could feel some twitching in my calves, and wanted to make sure I didn't cramp. The 5 mile single track loop before getting back to Dusty Corner was really fun. At the checkpoint I was told I had about 15 minutes on the next woman, but it's hard to know how accurate that information is, so I kept going at a descent pace.
I kept riding consistently and passed several guys on the climbs. When I stopped at the second to last check point to refill my camelbak again, I was told I only had 5 or 6 guys in front of me. That was a bit of a surprise!! On the last climb, I could see 2 riders ahead of me and worked pretty hard to catch the first one. He was super encouraging and yelled at me to go for the next rider too. The next guy spotted me though, and he wasn't going to let me catch him. When we finally got to the ski-trails, I knew there was only 2 miles left. When I cam up on the really steep climb layered with about 4 inches of dust, I had to push my bike. The rider in front of me was nowhere to be seen. Did he ride the hill???
I was happy to finish in 9 hrs 24 minutes. I ended up first woman and got a 6th place overall!
Jim Northey put on a first class event as always! Jim is so positive and genuinely wants everyone to have a good time, and his great attitude spreads to all of the racers and volunteers.