Ore to Shore race weekend was much freaking fun that I’m still floating on air thinking about it!I had been looking forward to this race for most of the year and it turned out to be so much more than I could have ever dreamed! Racing my bike is always a blast, but doing it with this guy is 1000 times sweeter!
New Foundry Race Kits!!!
Okay, let’s cut to the chase…Tom took home the Morgan Ore to Shore crown this year edging me at the line by a whopping 1.8 seconds. Boo!!!Note to self, drop this cat earlier in the race next year! Some people were surprised he didn’t “let me win” the race.He’s like “I don’t think these people know who I’m married to!”
I had a preferred start this year which allowed me to have an awesome warm up and roll right up to the start gate just in time to hear the National Anthem playing. I lined up right behind Jenna and since she’s a phenomenal pro racer I figured I would just do whatever she was doing and try my best to keep up.The pace was intense from the get go with lots of slow down and then get out of your saddle and mash to stay up front.I was actually pleased with my start and was only about 10 yards behind Jenna when we entered the dirt.This is when I seriously felt like I was riding training wheels as a zillion dudes and speedy Sue passed me and I couldn’t grab onto a wheel to safe my life. There was a small crash that I managed to only have to step down and scoot around….I stayed calm and remembered that usually this “I feel like ass” phase only lasts briefly and I smoothly climbed Lucy hill and then was shortly passed by Diana and Cooper.Man, I really needed a wheel at this point…and then finally I heard “on your right” I looked to my right and there was no one? So I turned to the left and yep, there was Tom!!(apparently he is still trying to learn his rights and lefts).He slowed slightly so I could grab a small break on his wheel.Wow, I so needed that. Thanks babe! Then about 30 minutes into the race we all came to a screeching hault.What on earth?There was a stalled TRAIN blocking the trail!Ha!At first I was panicked thinking that it totally ruined the women’s race, but then was pleased to realize that everyone but Jenna was also stopped by the train.
Most people were super annoyed by the train and the fact that all their hard work was wasted, but I was rejoicing in the fact that I could catch my breath!!People were mostly confused and not sure what to do.Tom took a piss along with many other dudes (so unfair!!) and he even had time to give his spare tire to his buddy Jason who had a second flat!Finally we all got smart and just rode around the train.Tom and I traded places for a bit for the next 10 miles and I thought I had dropped him right before our hike up Misery Hill, but then right as we crested the top I heard his voice.Bah!
Okay, honestly I was happy to have him there, especially as we entered the long uphill pavement section of the race.I had no idea at this point what place I was in, but I was determined to maintain or improve my place in the race.We both did our fair share of the work on the climb, I high fived Michelle who was doing hand ups, and I was starting to feel totally awesome!As we were nearing the top of the climb Tom’s buddy Seth passed us and Tom made a move to stay with him.Most of the race was downhill from here and I figured I would never see Tom again!With about 5 miles to go I had finally bridged the gap!We traded places a bit and I think I would think I had him on the uphills, but then he would crush me on the downhills.With about 1 mile to go I was riding his wheel into a single track section and he got hung up on a root and had to step down.Um… “On your left, dear!” I looked back once we hit a pavement section and I had about a 15 yard gap. Yikes!! I plowed my way through the last double track section passing our buddy Evan who was killing the race on a fat bike.Shit! I figured this was not going to help my cause as there was no way Tom would let Evan see him go down without a fight.I pedaled my heart out and as I entered the pavement for the final push I looked over my shoulder and saw a dreaded smirk. Crap, he had somehow bridged the gap. He was the cat, and I was the mouse.On the final turn he went for the pass and I smashed my legs into the pedals as hard as I could and I just couldn’t muster up enough power to even grab his wheel as he flew past me crossing the line only 10 yards ahead of me. A stone’s throw!! Argh!
What a freaking blast!!We were both stoked and I was really happy with how I raced!I felt really strong last hour of the race and at times I didn’t even feel like myself. I knew I had put forth my best effort.Single-track is pretty sweet, but not much can replace the post race glow of a 3 hour sufferfest!
Tom rushed over with my race printout and it said 5th place!!!I was elated!!Last year after racing Ore to Shore I remember thinking how stoked I would be to make the podium this year. Achieving this goal was really just icing on the cake!!!
Our friends Danielle, Evan, Brian, and Will crossed the line shortly after us and Kelly also finished the 28 mile race!We all spent the rest of the day celebrating BlackRocks brewery style with Jeff and Anne. I lost to Tom at bean bag toss (that's enough arlready!) and we ended the weekend reminiscing over a bonfire.
Huge thank you to Evan for letting us all camp out in his living room.Having a house to stay at for a race is so incredibly nice, and mostly we just enjoyed hanging out and catching up with great friends.Does life get much better than this?!