Saturday was another one of the epic Winter Park MTB races. Since there was another big event going on, the start was moved up to 9am so we decided to go up Friday evening and stay with our friend Shelby instead of getting up super early race morning.
This race is a little unusual because you have to take the chairlift up to the start! Yes, that means that it begins at a much higher elevation! The start was at 10,800ft and we did 3 loops of 5 miles that brought us up, down and around some great singletrack then we had a 1 mile uphill climb to the finish.
The race started on a mile uphill climb then jumped onto the loop which went straight down then straight up. The entire loop was really fun but really tough. The altitude was at an average of 11,000ft so having a third lung would have been extremely helpful!
Bryce rocked a first in his age group and I came in a mere 7th in the pro class. I was sitting in 3rd going into the final climb and feeling extremely strong on both the climbs and descents until I just completely cracked. I honestly don't know what happened. I was tired but not totally spent but my brain just told me that it didn't want to go hard anymore. Soon after those thoughts, I got passed by 2 girls and then just totally gave up! Every girl that passed me on that last 3 mile stretch just made me even more mad. I couldn't control my mental state, nor could I make myself go hard again. The feelings that happened on the trail are indescribable and I sure hope that doesn't happen again. Coach Neal assures me that it happens to everyone and you usually rebound stronger...let's hope so because that was the weirdest thing that has EVER happened to me before.
After I stopped thinking about the race, we headed down the mountain to hit some of the really fun and technical descents. Our lift passes were good until 1:30pm so Bryce demo-ed a 2012 Trek Superfly 100 and we played around for the rest of the afternoon! In racing there are good days and bad days, however every race is a learning day :)