Its a wrap. Again. What an event! More than 5000 winter fanatics gathered on “Les Plaines D’Abraham” for a competitive, fun or family race. The first couple of years I did it in the solo category and soon enough realized that after spending most of my time on the tandem and in California, my winter sports form wasn’t soooo…great:).
So Saturday I raced in the tandem category (you guys know by now I love tandem;)) and on Sunday I raced on a team of 5. Sharing the pain with friends is the best way to do it.
All lined up in our cycling clothing on a 100m wide start line…then GO!! You run, on snow through the start arch, around the block for 300m, grab your bike and cyclocross style jump on – to try to catch the front group!…Good luck with that one, the front group is packed with national team athletes, cyclocross national champions, mountain bike top-ten finisher at worlds etc. You’re do 4 laps for 18km total, every lap you ride through 200m of soft snow where you can ride or run depending on your skillzzzzzzz.
I was the first woman crossing the transition line followed by a young and very strong woman, Evelyn Blouin, who was doing it alone! I got to my chair, changed my shoes, Audrey was there cheering me on and off I went right away for a 5.2km run. A good run for me and I passed the chip to Audrey for the 9km cross-country skiing and then 7km speed skating. I ran around to cheer her on – she was in her element, coming from the far north she always skied and skated when she was young. It was a little rough getting back into it but she did awesome. Back to the transition area, my turn again for the last leg: the 5 km snowshoe run. SOOOO HARD! its like running with 5 pounds of butter stuck to bottom of your shoes! I managed to stay focused through the pain – eye of the tiger – a friend of mine posted that to a photo later on that day…into the last 500m, a hamstring cramp came to say hi, never left and stayed with me sprinting against a guy coming from behind! Audrey and I won the women’s tandem.
My friend Audrey is a 6 foot tall, beautiful brunette with a heart of gold. She is a very talented athlete and has now started to pilot a tandem, just like I did, on the Canadian Para-cycling team…A Heart of Gold.
For me up next: The Jay Peak and Owl’s Head ski-mo races this weekend!