As the triathlon season has been winding down, I decided to do a bike time trial which caught my attention about this time last year. I had never done a bike race before, so why not jump into 6-hour World Time Trial Championships? The race is part of the RAAM 6hr-12hr-24hr World Ultra Endurance Championships held in Borrego Springs, Calif, just east of San Diego in the Anza-Borrego Desert. I really had no excuse not to go. I've always had a bike time trial on my bucket list, it was less than 2hrs drive from San Diego, I had good bike fitness after biking at altitude in Boulder all summer, and compared to the 12hr and 24hr time trial options, was six hours really that far?
The 6hr TT started at noon on Saturday and would finish at 6pm that evening. We started on an 18 mile circuit in the heat of the day (91 degrees), and my plan of only stopping once throughout the race to refill my bottles was quickly changed when after two laps, my three bottles were empty. There were no aid stations on the course, but instead there was a "pit" at the start of each lap where our support crew could hand off bottles, food, etc. After the first two laps, I ended up stopping each lap to refuel, going through 14 bottles in total by the end of the race!!
For the last 90 minutes of the race, we were directed onto a shorter 4.8 mile loop to ensure more accurate finish miles since only full laps would be counted at 6pm. My main competition in the race was Rachel Holzer, a gold medalist at the Pan Am Games in the masters time trial. Unfortunately, she started a minute ahead of me as I was in the last wave, but we had a pretty good race going on between us nonetheless. At one point, her lead over me was 5min, then down to 3min in the last 90 minutes, and by the end of the race I was just a little over a minute behind her. Chasing her in the last hour was a hard way to finish a six hour race, but as they say, "you're only as strong as your competition" and I definitely had a better race because of it.
A big thanks to my husband Jay for being my support crew and to my awesome coach, Tom Danielson of Cinch Cycling who has brought my cycling to a new level over the last six weeks. It's been a fun but hard last six weeks, and I couldn't be more excited about next season. Also a big thank you to my sponsors Cervelo, First Endurance, TYR, Kask Helmets, Wattie Ink, Zipp and SRAM. Onwards and upwards into 2017!