The race start was set for 6:30 am, of course a painfully long race has to begin painfully early! They combined the Pro 1-2-3 women with the Cat 4's and Masters 35+ so our field ended up being pretty big. I was freezing (teeth chattering and all) for the first hour and a half! I found myself looking forward to hills or inclines of any kind just to get my heart rate up in the attempt to warm up a little! It warmed up once we hit the chalk creek route and just kept warming up. This is a slight problem when your bike handling skills are slim to none and you have arm warmers on...as you can see above they stayed on till the finish (saved me from sun burned arms, but left me with a lovely mid-glove-sleeve tan line on each arm:) ). The race got a bit interesting around the second or third feed zone. As a group we had decided to ride by, grab the musette bags, and keep riding a mile or so down the road, then stop to pee in Wyoming where we were less likely to get in trouble for a mass road side pee. Unlike the men, we can't pee right off our bikes (while still in motion), and when we stop to pee it doesn't just look like we are facing the other way enjoying the scenery...it is an epic scene probably described by passers by as nothing short of a mass mooning! So that was the plan, however as we passed the feed zone and continued down the road I noticed that all of the ski utah girls were missing! I pulled to the side of the field asking each girl if they'd seen where the ski utah girls went...not one person in a group of about 25 had seen where they disappeared to. At that point I was MAD, attacking at a feed zone is pretty messed up, however I know the ski utah girls fairly well now and they are all very nice and very respectful riders who I didn't think would ever do that...needless to say I was confused! So I started riding like I was chasing, at one point we got to a spot in the road where you could see about a mile ahead and a mile behind and they were nowhere to be seen!! Either they TT'ed like crazy and were way ahead or something went very wrong and they were way behind!! The confusion continued. At the next feedzone I asked if any of the volunteers had seen any ski utah girls...I continued this at the next couple feed zones and no one had seen them so once I hit mile 100 I figured they had to be behind us. Then I felt bad because I wasn't sure what had happened to them, and I was afraid they would think we left them on purpose.
Ohhh there they are...couple miles behind us. After the race they told me they flatted and that the people at the feed zones kept telling them we were asking about them. So we were racing like we were chasing...and they were actually chasing...lots of confusion, sorry about that Ski Utah! :)Anyway back to the racing...we got to our first climb somewhere around mile 100, my booty was already on fire and I was thinking holy crap 70 more miles, with two climbs thrown in...again this scene came to mind. Once we were climbing we got moving at a pretty good pace and whittled the field down to three, Inge, Stephanie, and I. The first climb is the reverse of the high uintah road race so we went over the other side of bald mountain.
When we got to the feed zone at the top of Bald Mountain I was beyond happy...until I realized we still had 50 miles and one more climb, ouch!! We did get to descend for awhile and I was so tired I threw my usual caution to the wind and didn't even touch the brakes! (That's right Tease...NO brakes!!;) ) It felt like descent, flat, descent, flat, descent, flat, forever until we reached Kamas. I had a little bit of false excitement because we only had 15 more miles to go...then we rounded a corner onto the highway and saw the ten mile climb we had ahead. Half way up the climb it levels out and tricks you into thinking you are done, until you go another mile and realize there is still more climbing to go. At this point Stephanie and I had dropped Inge on the first climb by standing and accelerating, so we were pretty pooped when we saw that final climb...she spoke for both of us when she saw it saying, "OH F*$@!!" With four letter words running through our heads and out our mouths we reached the top and enjoyed a small descent to the frontage road. This I will call the frontage road from HELL because I swear it never ended! I had 163 miles on my computer when we hit the frontage road, so I was just thinking 7 miles, I can do just 7 more miles. But 7 painful miles came and went and we were still going!! Apparently the race is really 172.6 miles. I thought that last 2.6 miles was gonna kill me. We finally reached the parking lot where the finish was, a flagger pointed us right and then there were two tight turns. I wanted so badly just to be done so I cut hard on those turns and sprinted with everything I had left (which wasn't much) and crossed the line. I remember thinking, "All I want to do is get off my bike and cry" the entire time we were climbing out of Kamas...so that's exactly what I did! Tears of pure and painful excitement! My Mom, Ernie, and cute Sister were all there to cheer me on...and to pick me up off the ground once I sat down and couldn't stand back up!;) Thank for being there guys, and thanks to ernie for toting my bike around while I sat there dazed and extremely confused for about an hour and a half! We had a brief scuffle with the always ornery as hell officials who claimed me and Stephanie tied...um excuse me I wouldn't call a 20-30 yard gap a tie (which we had on camera...but they wouldn't even look at it because that is not "official" haha) They ended up fixing it after a little back and forth, it kind of takes the excitement out of taking 1st when you have to fight with the officials to prove that you actually did. Poor Matt flatted twice in his race and ended up having to ride 100 miles all alone, I can't even imagine!! All in all it was a pretty incredible experience, I've never wanted to get off my bike more in my life, but I've never been so glad that I didn't. Thanks for all the support Mom, Ernie, Sister, and Matt, I love you all!! :)