5 women dressed all in black (Bri was taking the photo and is clearly anti-smoking) pulling out our best Johnny Cash attitudes. We composed the entire women’s field on day two of this pre-season sufferfest. Impending rain on steep, winding descents kept all but those who’d driven 7 hours from competing. We decided to make it one hell of a mini team camp and got our money’s worth.
First, a huge thanks to Panaracer for supplying us with tubes. This cinder-laiden course was hell on every kind of tire and we flatted 4 times in the first lap, and once on the second–we were not alone. The course, aside from gritty road surface, was just plain mean. In the first 7 miles, we climbed, leveled out, climbed, leveled, climbed and had a good descent. I’d heard the beginning was hard and as my chest pounded and burned (along with my legs) I thought, “OK, I can do that a couple more times. Whew!” Just then, I realized I was heading up a steadily increasing incline where I couldn’t see the top. I think panic set in as Bri steadily motored up to me and says “Come on, Chris, this is the ‘toaster’. You can do it.” Time to settle in. We all did. Climbed with tenacity. Descended with guts.
Character builder. A very apt description from the website: “Do not attempt this course if you’re scared of the following: hills, narrow twisting descents, massive winds, cold, more hills, high heart rates, getting dropped, cramps, etc…. ”
After all the flatting and repairing, we ended the 3 hour / 31+ mile ordeal together across the finish line. Literally. And I know we all walked (or limped) away much better for our experience in Kentucky. Thanks very much to Scott Denny for organizing such a humbling event. Hope to see it again next year.