The spring event that everyone is looking forward to.
You would think that a short 35 mile race would be peanuts to complete, but no. Spring in Vermont can be a little tricky, to say the least. The dirt roads are soft, it might rain or snow and if it’s sunny, well it’s not the real Rasputitsa.
I’ve participated in all but one edition since they started and every year my body hurts. I get so excited to see the 6 to go mark…And when I realize it’s 6km not 6 miles!! YEAH!! The mud in your glasses makes it a challenge to see the pot holes and the flying bottles from people in front of you but without them your eyes are hmmm…a chocolate pudding.
The Rasputista is like a big family gathering, it seems like everyone has a connection somehow and the food and beers just complete that very feeling! This year Heidi and Anthony, the 2 instigators of this race, asked Tim and I to design a cross course just at the finish on the slopes of Burke Mt ski area. Some cyclists were surprised because they hadn’t seen it, some were happy because it made the race! Jeremy Martin was dropped on the last dirt road climb of the day coming into the cross course finish, but his skills and strength came back quick enough as he powered through the ski slope like it was nothing, passing the other 3 riders in style and won the event! Seeing all the riders like ants going through the course at the end made for a great image.
I enjoyed every moment of it, from putting the tape around the course on Friday, dinner with Chef Seamus Mullen (his new book, Real Food Heals
is great!) and his girlfriend, my husband, Bruce Rychlik and photographer Chris Milliman. Then seeing all the young girls lined up at the event, to the battling the last kilometers with my 2 great friends Jf Blais and Benoit Simard. But my favorite part was waiting for the lantern rouge; people that don’t necessarily race, they do it for the love of riding, for the scenery and for the challenge against themselves. When you hear a women say to her husband coming into the finishing area: “I’m so proud of you! ..Are you mad? She was thinking that after 6 hours of riding he must be..And his responce was: “Why would I be mad? This is awesome!” And yet, this 60+ man would finish 2nd to last. He had a great day. A woman named Jen was the lantern rouge. She’s diabetic and a couple of times while on course, had to check her blood sugar just to make sure. Now thats a great achievement and challenge to yourself, finishing no matter what. Jen is a pro dealing with her diabetes, but it is still always a concern for her husband Kurt waiting for her at the finish. Lovely couple.
After my finish I was interviewed and one question came up: “Lyne you still look fit and are winning races, what happened to your retirement?” I simply responded that I race only the fun events nowadays, which are all about a great group of people, healthy competition, friendships and sharing the beers!
Thanks to Heidi and Anthony, all the volunteers and the photographers who captured this great Saturday in Vermont.