At GearWest in 2009, I was chatting with a friend and missed the start so I had to basically run through people to make my way to the lead women and didn't have a lot in the tank on those trails. I didn't want to make that mistake again, so I made sure I didn't go out too hard the first mile, but then second guessed my strategy about 1 mile in. I should have tried to get a little distance from people on the dry asphalt surface before the uneven trails. I came into T1 4th, but had the hardest time getting my helmet on - I was in there for over a minute....doh. Now I know what I will be doing before Buffalo - practicing T1 transitions! I saw Derek and Suzie come into T1 while I was still fumbling with my helmet. Derek got out of there before me and I know exactly what he was saying under his breath as he ran by me with his bike...Kort, get outta here!
The bike went OK - but Suzie caught me on the way up to County Road 24. I caught up to her, but there was another biker with us as we were making a right turn and I wanted to make sure we weren't drafting, so I dropped back 4 or 5 bike lengths, but then she took off like her pants were on fire and I didn't see her until we were back in T2. Julie Hull caught me on the bike too - both girls are mad crazy bikers!
After really pushing it, I caught up to Julie and Suzie on the run, but was having some trouble getting the right footing on the trails and pulled a glute muscle coming up a hill and Suzie blasted past me. As we were going into the woods I knew it was going to be a mess in there. I came up to a big mud pit and saw a lot of people taking pictures. (now I know why) As I planted my shoe into the ground, my foot came out, but my shoe decided it would prefer to stay in the mud! I said a few choice words under my breath and turned around to retrieve it.
Paul Phillips from Competitve Image snapped some great play-by-play pictures (above)...I guess I wasn't the only one out there that lost a shoe in the mudbowl! I stopped to put my shoe back on and started running, but then I slipped and fell. I was trying to catch Suzie, but at that point I knew it was a lost cause. I gutted my way up the monster hill to the finish line in fourth place. It was pretty funny to see everyone all muddy and laughing about the situation out there.
Photo taken by Steve Stenzel
I wish the day would have gone a little better, but it is always great to come home to the boys. They help me take my mind off of the racing when I see them smile and give me big kisses when I come home. Keaton is now walking like a drunken sailor all over the house and is so proud of himself.