Rapha Women's Prestige
May 10th, 2014
108 miles of goodness of road and gravel with a 10,000+ feet of climbing, including a visit to the top of Mt. Diablo. This race is part adventure race / part team time trial. Teams are required to finish with all six members together.
Red Racing Team was 6th last year
Sunny - 50's to start and 70's by the end. Windier each hour.
Andrea, Cheryl, Elise, Ivy and special guest star Katie Evans
Stay together the whole time, get the best result we can on the day and have fun!
Remember who won the race between the tortoise and the hare. Have a plan of pacing, navigation and stops and stick with it. Don't get caught up in the competitiveness at the beginning, stay at a pace sustainable for the whole group and communicate.
We held a conference call, yes conference call, on Thursday before the race to discuss the course and our strategy. We were psyched to have veteran Rapha Prestige rider and all around super star Katie "Turbo" Evans join as a late addition to our team. Cheryl and Andrea stepped up to do recon of the trail portions of the course so we would have some clue about what we were in for. We recruited some east bay parents to provide food and water on the course. We painted our nails blue and yellow to match our kits and we were ready to go!
The race is handicapped and our team started 13th out of 19. We lined up for our start, rolled out and 30 seconds later had to stop at a traffic light and then another one. The most challenging part of this race is to not stress too hard about anything because a) its not even a real race and 2) there are a million things beyond your control that will happen through the 108 miles.
After just a few miles team Mikes Bike's/Bar Fly literally flew by and we jumped on and rotated through with them before we started the first climb. As soon as we started up Morgan Territory we stuck with our disciplined approach and let Barfly go (where they went we still don't know) and another team pass us. I won't bore you with a description of the next 100 miles but I was continually impressed with the amazing teamwork displayed by every member of the team. Everyone rode strong and steady and worked together the entire time. Here are some highlights and lowlights.
Miles 45-55ish/Mt. Diablo - We had a great time climbing together and hamming it up for the film crews that were out there capturing the event. We stuck with our pace and stayed as a tight group. This was a huge contrast to most of the other teams we saw on Mt. Diablo when women were either by themselves or in small groups of twos and threes.
Miles 68-78 - Every race like this has its ups and downs and for me, the lowest point was probably the actual lowest point of the race. The 10 mile decent of Mt. Diablo made my body tense of and my blood sugar drop - starting to ride again was HARD. Andrea's amazing mom was at mile 68 with a professional level aid station set up. However, I ate too much and all the blood went to my stomach vs my legs and any effort seemed difficult. This is where Katie Evans took some MONSTER pulls and kept us going through what turned out to be the windiest, most traffic heavy part of the course.
Miles 80-90 - I think we all got a second wind as we got to Redwood road - a beautiful and mellow climb. We mentally prepared for the gravel and refueled at my parents car at mile 90. They said they had only seen one team come through which surprised us - right as we were rolling out three teams showed up at that intersection - they were hot on our tail!!
Miles 90-108 - We got through the gravel section ahead of the other teams (no thanks to Katie and I who had to dismount at one point) and were thrilled as we pedaled through two busy towns a few more painful little climbs (and a lot more stop lights) to get back to the start. When we rolled in we were surprised to find out we were the third team to arrive back! The time results are still TBD.
Third team to get to finish in the handicapped race
As Elise likes to say, "we nailed it"
We each burned about 3,500 calories:)
Preparation and sticking with the plan pays off.
East Bay parents rock the nation.
Our team was amazing -everyone contributed - there was not one complaint in 108 miles. I am sure each of us wanted to go faster or slower at some points of the race but we suck together - There was nothing but positive vibes and hard work! I was so proud of our team! TMBFY