Race: Bakers Dozen 13hr MTB Race
Location: Leesburg Virgina
Date: April 11th
Riders: Deborah Leedale-Brown EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell / Meredith Ehn Team CAWES p/b Specialized
Results: 2nd place!
So this was the day that two NJ based teams decided to join forces, Deborah Leedale-Brown and Meredith Ehn combined the orange and green to become the 'Blonde Bullets' and tackle the well established Leesburg Bakers Dozen 2015. The weather for the week leading into the race was pretty wet and so expectations of a muddy suffer-fest were plentiful.
The car was loaded with two blonde ladies, one tent, 3 bikes (we decided a spare would be sensible), and enough food to fee the a small army and the Anglo/American team were on their way driving through the rain and fog to a farm outside Leesburg. Base camp was erected amongst the cow poop, no pre-riding was allowed because they were trying to keep the course in the best shape for the next day, so after a short ride around the farm grounds to stretch our legs we left the tent and bikes and headed for the hotel we'd booked for Friday night - a shower and a nice comfy bed was in order before 13hrs of chamois time!
The day of the race, weather was scheduled to be perfect, blue skies and sunshine and mid 60deg. It was meant to be windy but we knew that would help dry the trails. The race began at 9am, it was decided that Deborah would do the 1st lap which was a mass start so it pretty much takes half a lap to thin out enough to flow. The course was an 8.3mile combination of twisty turns through pine trees, rooty off camber sections, open fields, log and rock obstacles and short punchy climbs. The Blonde Bullets had decided that they would adopt a lap on/lap off approach and make changes if they needed to. This was the order of the day however and they managed to keep a consistent average lap time for the whole duration, pretty much having 48min-51min of ride and rest time. Rest time consisted of trying to eat, stretch and clean up the bike ready to go again.
The course was pretty much perfect after the first couple of laps as the wind was drying it out, so it got faster, at one point the Blonde Bullets had a small lead but a Virginia based duo of ladies were pulling out slightly quicker laps as the day progressed. By the late afternoon the race began to get mentally and physically hard and as daylight gave way to nightfall the laps took on a whole new meaning in the dark and the logs and rocks definitely got bigger! The race ended at 10pm and the winner is the person or team with the most laps however the rules state you can start at lap as long as you are starting it before 10pm so it was important for Deborah to get her lap in before the cut off so that Meredith could head out for one last time.
Using all their firepower, the Blonde Bullet secured a fabulous 2nd place with the same amount of total laps as the winners but in a slightly longer time. Importantly they had no mechanical, or major injuries, except for a little over the handlebar manoeuvre for Deborah and some tree hugging for Meredith!
Total Ride time 13hrs 38min 55sec
Average Pace 9.8mph
Total number of laps ridden 16
Total Distance ridden 130miles
Total Elevation 7880ft
Number of log and rock obstacles - too many to mention