Reading Radsport Hill Climb
A small but powerful field took off Friday night in the mist of the beer tent and music festivities starting to entertain the evening. I knew it was going to approximately 10 minutes of pain and suffering up Mount Penn, and I knew who to keep my eye on.
It was a quick, winding course, where drafting played a factor. I was torn between strategies, as I knew to work in my favor, I could not delay the effort to the final part of the course, but I also had to do my best to not have riders on my wheel. I went almost full gas from the bottom of the hill, glancing over my shoulder every now and then to see who was dropping off. There was 5 of us, and then 3 of us... when it was down to the 3 of us, I tried to keep the pace high, but knew it was going to be a sprint to the finish line. Emily Spence and her teammate rode extremely smartly, and knew they just had to hold my wheel to win the race. Emily had be beat at the line, and played the game smart, as I ended up in 2nd. It was a fun, short battle!
Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon
What a fun opportunity! I was invited to join forces with 3 powerful athletes (runner, and two paddlers). Did someone just invite me to ride a 27 mile hilly course at threshold in one of the most beautiful places in the country? Yes please!
My husband Ian jumped in and joined a team as their runner, and we made the road trip together up to the Berkshires. I was a bit nervous about the bike start, as there were 500 riders lined up for a mass start! I was lucky enough to have my host and starter of the race, Craig Walton, invite me to the front row. It was like I back at home, riding with the guys :) wondering if I can hold the strongest riders' wheels. Two riders got away about 8 miles into the course, and I missed the boat on attempting to work with them, and was about a minute 30 seconds back, with a group of about 15 riders. We worked together for the most part to keep the pace high and safe. It was rolling hills, but nothing long enough to attempt an effective 'breakaway.' My legs felt good and smooth, and was actually surprised when I uploaded my race file, to see a powerful file of strong work for a solid hour.
Gloria, one of my paddler teammates, was right there in the transition area to receive the wrist band hand off, and off went Laura and Gloria to paddle their way to Lori, our runner. We ended up 7th overall, including the male teams, and first overall female team, with what I believe was a new female course record! A great weekend spent with some new faces.