The last couple months have been tough after breaking my collarbone in the middle of my race season back in July. Instead of just sitting on my ass and feeling sorry for myself, I’ve tried to stay as busy as possible and do what I could do to be on a bike no matter what. After starting on the trainer, then moving to road riding and finally a week of mountain biking, I finally felt like I was ready for some racing again!
It feels so good to be back on my mountain bike! Having my passion taken away from me reinforces my appreciation for what a gift it really is to ride and race mountain bikes all summer long. A new race to Colorado this year is The Winter Park Epic 50, which fell exactly 8 weeks out from my injury. I decided to give it a try, 50 miles is shorter than I typically race but at this point in the season I was glad there was something so close to home to get back on the horse. Fittingly, Winter Park is where I broke my collarbone (riding the bike park), so I had to return to the place that took me out for some redemption.
The epic 50 turned out to be a great race, super fun course and very well put on. The markings and aid stations were some of the best that I’ve seen at a bike race. The pace at the start of the race was super fast but I did my best to stay in front and jumped behind eventual winner Kelly Magelky, he kept the pace very fast and I followed for a while, but after about half a lap I couldn’t keep the effort up and was hurting a bit because of it. By the end of the first lap, I felt my strength returning and began to feel really good and enjoy myself. All the talk of taking it easy goes right out the window when you’re in the heat of the race! I was not holding back on the descents, I was having too much fun and relishing the fact that I was able to race again and feel good doing it! By the end I finished in second 3 minutes behind Kelly who is racing really strong right now. The good result was just icing on the cake, the real victory was just doing what I love again and I’m so thankful for that.