Date: 2 November 2014
Location: Casupito, Aragua, Venezuela
Participants: Claudia Peñaloza
It was particularly hot and dry as we lined up for the start, just shy of high noon; only four racers in the Female Expert category this time so we were promptly combined with the Female Elites (scored separately). In a frenzied scramble of bikes and dirt, we are off. The course, a 4.3 mi fire-road & single-track with 755 ft of elevation gain on each of the 3 laps we were to complete, started almost immediately at the bottom of a punishing 0.9 mi, 508 m elevation gain climb with ZERO shade. Final placing was all but decided on that first lap, with two of the Elites and Jenny Gómez, the 1st place Expert, summiting with relative ease ahead of the rest. The next two laps were like a game of leap frog between myself, Claudia Peñaloza (2nd place Expert) and Mariana Natera (3rd place Expert) during which we challenged, supported, and raced each other hard. I was having trouble with “the hill” on each lap, walking up 1/3 of it on the second lap after trying to pass Mariana too soon… it was SO HOT I felt like I was being deep fried and survived because of the cold water poured on me at the aid stations. On the final lap, after patiently climbing ~90% of the hill with Mariana, I able to pass and gain some ground on her. By the finish line, I had gained 2 min and come in for a solid 2nd place. This race was also the last in this year’s Gatorade Championship, in which I finished 4th despite missing two races. It was a good “return to mountain biking” year; next year I will be racing Elites and will have more than my fair share of work cut out for me.
Claudia Peñaloza 2nd place
Dates: 11/1/2014- 11/2/2014
Location: Carson, CA
Race Type: UCI Class 1 Track Omnium
Rider Name: Colleen Gulick
The Los Angeles Grand Prix was a two day class 1 UCI event. I chose to compete in the omnium, an event that I can best describe as the decathalon of track cycling. Over the course of two days there are six different events, with the first rider in each event earning 40 points and decreasing points for the following places. At the conclusion of all six events (and everyone must race every event to be placed) we were ranked according to the sum total of all of our event point earning to determine the overall winner. I had competed in this race last year as my first omnium race (it’s a relatively new discipline). So, I was hoping to improve up on my 8th place from last year. With world class, and Olympic medalist, competition I knew this would be my hardest event of the year, by far.
The first race was the scratch race. I was excited to race and, because of that, I was a bit too aggressive. I tried to bridge to a break and did not make it. I recovered and tried again, unfortunately to no avail. So, I sat in and went for the sprint finish. Unfortunately, I had underestimated the pace of the race and chosen a gear that was significantly too small. So, it was a struggle for the sprint finish but I managed to squeak out a 14th place. This meant that I had some ground to make up for the next 5 events. About two hours after my scratch race I had the individual 3k pursuit. I was extremely pleased with my progress in this event, earning a PR by 6 seconds!! The results of this race were clearly lumped into categories with the Olympians posting the top 4-5 times, a few second time gap, then the world cup riders all posting very similar times, a 9 second gap, then the final 8 riders posting slower but similar times. I placed as the last rider in the middle “world cup rider” group… which was significantly better than last year and promising for the future. The evening of the first day I raced the elimination race, which is by far my favorite. : ) I earned a solid 7th place.
After a decent night’s sleep I returned to the track for the second day of racing. My first race of the day was the 500m time trial, where I cheerfully placed 6th with my second best time ever. The second race of the day was the flying lap, where I was a bit disappointed with a 13th place. However, at this point in the race I was tie for 10th overall… a large improvement from the disappointing 14th place in the scratch race. The last race of the day, and subsequently the event, was by far the hardest: a 100 lap points race with sprints every 10 laps. The event would have been painful to watch let alone participate. I won’t bore you with how the point scoring works for the points race (it’s a bit funky in an omnium) but basically, you can make incredible gains (and losses) in just a few laps of this race. Thus, it’s extremely important to put your best foot forward in this last race. Unfortunately, I did not perform up to my own expectations for this race. Although it was a disappointing note to end on, I was very pleased with my progress in the pursuit, 500m and even the flying lap (where my placing was not top 10 but I had a PR). As the last race of the season, I am excited to have seen significant improvements and have things to work on in the off season to make 2015 even better. : )
I owe a huge thank you to Teresa, Toni, and our sponsors for supporting my racing this season! I am looking forward to another season of sporting the orange and blue of Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell! : )
Location: New York, NY
Date: November 8, 2014
Participants: Cristina Cortes
After 4 years of not running long distance, this year I came back to the New York City Marathon. As usual, it was a perfect- the city of NY dresses up for the event, the runners and spectators are filled with positive energy; and the sun came out (the wind too, he didn’t want to stay behind). The difference this year, from the previous was that I ran and lived the marathon from a different perspective. I had the privilege to accompany and guide a disabled athlete from Ecuador and also, I shared the experience with a co-guide, an Ecuadorian gentleman, experienced marathoner and also dealing with special athletes. Betty, the athlete, never lost sight of the final objective and she successfully ended the marathon, happy, waving, and smiling and mostly she finished right on the time she had planned. I am very proud of her and grateful that Achilles International Foundation chose me to race in this event with Betty.
This was my first race as a guide but not the last. I look forward to many more to come. Sometimes is worth the effort of stepping out of our comfort zone and routine to get in someone else's shoes. I once read – A life not lived for others is not a life (Mother Teresa.)
Location: Marlton, NJ/Greentree Course
Date: November 8, 2014
Type: 2015 team training with Deborah Leedale-Brown
Participants: Teresa DiSessa Johnson, Deborah Leedale Brown, Maryanne Caruso, Alli McCabe, Christina Cortes, Nicole LaGorga, Shannon Grieb, Barb Statton, Nikki Ragonese, Andy Maher, Daniele Ferland, Carren Stika, Monica Volk, Audrey Wendolowski and Ken XX
On Saturday, the team gathered for its second clinic in advance of the 2015 season. Led by Deborah, the day started with a spirited pace line warm-up followed by drills for cornering at speed and handling skills like tight turns and balance. Being the last skills clinic before settling in for winter training and a ramp-up to the race season, Riptide made the best of the day with a team ride and lunch.