Monday, December 17, 2012

Thanks Schwalbe for your support...

Thanks Schwalbe for your support...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

6 Hrs Markham - 2nd Place - 67.5 Miles Offroad...

I didn’t race in Markham Park for a long time despite it being my favorite park for quite a while now.
The news about the 12 Hour race here came out of the blue when I was completely ready after going for whole year straight from previous biking season to Xterra season to current biking season and finishing the journey last week in Santos with the final race.
Besides my already low energy levels and this race bing third week now in a row I decidet to give it a try. Just one more race before the holidays and the end of the year... 

Since our plan of putting an awesome girl team for a 12 hour Team Race didn’t fall through I decided to give it a go in 6 Hours Solo. I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride. Recently I am never home; or I’m at work putting in a million hours to make up lost time for my races every week, or I’m traveling to another race, pre-riding the race course or racing it and then driving back home and going straight back to work. It has been tough. But on the other side I was looking forward being able to compete in a local race and support local trails, so this was my opportunity.
I didn’t get a chance to pre-ride the course as I usually do and I knew that first lap will be all about taking my time and learning the track. I didn’t bike here for quite a while now and some things would pop out on me out of nowhere.
Through the woods I go
Girls doing 6 hours solo took off from the start like little speeding bullets. I had no desire to even try to stay with them. I knew I was here for the long haul. Riding first lap was very interesting and I got surprised by the course on numerous occasions and especially on my least favorite Route 66 which was muddy, slippery and had some obstacles that didn’t go well with me. I lost tons of time there. Rest of the course was really sweet however and I enjoyed the interesting layout and the new smoother image of the park. My first lap was 46 minutes long and after that I was able to speed up some. I lost at least 3 minutes to the two girls in front. There was one more girl right in front of me and I was able to make a nice pass on the second lap. Third lap happened to be my fastest and I had a great group of riders that I just passed on my back. This was a motivation to step up a little and have a great lap. One guy sat on my wheel for quite a while and after time we started to chat, I asked him a million times if he wanted to pass me and he asked me if he was bothering me. Lol. He was not; I just wanted to make sure I was not interfering with his race. His response was, “no worries, I think it will be my fastest lap”. Ha. We were all good than. After that I kept slowing down and then remember starting to get more and more tired. There were less people on the trails on each passing lap and I wondered if everyone just stopped racing. It was great to see once in a while another soul out there.
At the end after 67.5 Miles
At some point coming out of the forest I looked at the time and I was at 4 hours and 30 min and told myself “Great, maybe I will just finish this lap and I will be done”. I must have been quite tired already since I was completely sure that in 30 minutes my race will be over. There was Wally waiting for me with my husband both telling me that I’m doing great and have some 2 more laps to go. I was like “two laps!”, looked down on my gps and realized my mistake, “shoot, this is 6 hour race”, I still had long way to go.  After much biking, everything in your body starts to hurt, your knees, your hands, arms, butt, and neck. I started to feel very sleepy and kept on spinning in a half awake state. What was weird about it is that I handled the terrain perfectly fine despite being really fatigued and I had better balance on than off the bike... I had a feeling that most of the girls already stopped biking since when crossing lap 6 one of the girls that was a head to head with me still on the beginning of lap two now was already in the tent just cheering me on. Little later on the Gunrange trail I passed a lady who apparently I was lapping and ended up being fourth for the day. When going to the last lap I saw a girl that had been on the second position for whole race also on the sideline sending cheers my way. All I had to do now was just to keep on going and finish the final lap, which is easy to say but not so easy to do when you are already biking for six hours nonstop and your body keeps on telling you how much it doesn’t like bikes! :)
I am just a little tired...

I took my time and finished second with 8 laps completed. Lead rider was so far ahead that she was able to start her 9th lap before the cutoff time. All I can say is that some people are made of steel and I can only applause them. When I crossed the finish line I walked a few feet away, looked down at a chosen spot and just collapsed. I couldn’t and didn’t want to move even by an inch for quite a while. It was such a relief not to have to bike anymore, and just rest.  Next thing on my mind of course was the food, which was thankfully right there within reach. Race crew did an awesome job organizing the event, bike shops put an extra effort and set up awesome big projection screen where a very cool mountain biking movie was played. Bunch of great people getting together, riding bikes, having fun and doing the right thing at the same time summarizes the perfect Saturday one could wish for.
Now is time to heal however…

2nd Place

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thanks Salomon for the new Trail Shoes

Thanks Josh and Salomon for the new S-LAB Sense Trail shoes.
I can't wait to take them out for a run...
Since I can remember I always loved Salomon shoes. My trusted favorites are: XA Pro 3D and Speedcross 2 and 3.
I know by now that no other brand can guarantee me this perfect fit, no matter what shoe model it is, they all work. And since I always used and loved the Speedcrosses I secretly dreamed and designed new updated version of them just in my head while out there on the trail... I though what could be redesigned to make it just perfect...
But when I found out that Salomon had decided to take actually create this ultimate ultra-light, breathable and foot hugging racing shoe that I was hoping for quite a while now; I could not express my happiness. I had to have them! :-)
And now after all those years of being so loyal to the brand I could not be more happy to have Salomon’s support!
Happy running everyone!

Salomon Sense

Salomon Sense

Only 151 Grams !!!

Misty had to get a picture with the new Salomon's

And this is my Salomon Collection...

From S-Labs Sense's to Ultra's to Mantra's to Speedcross's (2 and 3) to XA Pro 3d's to Advanced Skin S-Lab Belts and Flasks

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Florida State Series Race Points Sport Women Champion

If not competing in the World Championships of Xterra in Maui on Oct 28th (Where I came in 9th in the World in my age group), the same day as FSC #6 (My Home Track) where they gave away 15 FREE points just for showing up (had nothing to do with riding a bike), I would have placed First in the Florida State Series Overall with 222 points.
Instead I took 4th but am proud of how I did in the first year of Sport. Next Year I will be moving up to Pro/Expert where things will get interesting...

Me, June, Kathy, Candace, Jane...

Big congratulations to all the fast girls of Florida! You are all incredibly strong, stubborn and skilled. Wish this podium could hold you all! Thank you for the amazing series, awesome competition and truly unforgettable experiences. You all rock and I'm happy to be part of it!
Also big thanks to Berger Family from GoneRiding (Dave, Terry and Austin) which makes all of it possible, gives us reasons to get out and bike even more that we sometimes wish and allows us to meet tons of great and happy people. Until next season!

FSC #9 - Santos - 2nd Place

It was great to come back to the Santos Trails and race here for a second time.

Last year in the base class the fight was fierce and all five girls got to the finish line within 15 seconds, it was so close. This year in the new class things were very different.

First of all the weather was great, nice and cool. Beautiful fall leaves were covering most of the track; weak morning sun would pick through the branches of half leafed trees and light gently the trails.

My husband and I did spend some quiet quality time on the trails here. Took our time and enjoyed the scenery and challenge. The course was little different than last year and two technical trails were ran in the opposite direction. Also a new fast and rocky section was added.

It was a very good layout I must say. From the start you went to the fast 1.5 miles of the course, which turned to 1.5 miles of very tough and demanding Tom Brown trail running backwards to switch back once again to another fast 1.5 miles of snake like and highly flyable single track.  After that was a mix of challenging rocky trails, faster sections and a very bumpy rooty and rocky covered tight trail right before the finish of the lap.

It was a constant challenge but also you had an opportunity to recover from the most energy consuming parts. I really liked this course, since it had a bit of everything. Power climbs, fast sections and technical tight single-track and of course great weather. I loved it.

On the start line there was not that many of us girls; I assume only ones that were in contention for overall standings showed up. Either way it was a strong set.

The start was hard, with all of us circling the invisible pond on the sloping tall grass. This took out a lot out of the legs right from the beginning. Then, we went through the shoot and into the single-tracks.


I was in 5th at this time and coming to the first sharp right turn where I saw Candace which was somewhere close to the front just washed out on the loose sand. I saw girls going around her and her picking her bike up and trying to go… When I went around her she said “damn it!” since her chain come undone.
I sprinted after the leaders and in no time I was on their wheels. I felt fast, the course felt fast, I knew I could accomplish a lot today with such a great feel. We approached some rocky parts and I was right there trying to pass what I call “The June and Jane train” and asked for cooperation again and again. It didn’t happen, I kept hitting my brakes and kept backing away seeing that pass is not happening. I got a response “not in the final” and things were left at that. I handled the first lap with no problems and stayed within distance on the technical parts. We shot to the second lap and things were the same.

The train was still in front and I just wanted to go faster. Finally on the path crossing a nice opening I was able to speed up and get by June, sped up some more and ended up on Jane’s wheel. After a while of trying to get something worked out I was told that “there is no red carpet here” and no one will be making any special arrangements for my pass. Wonder how pro/expert guys go about this situation? Hmm… I tried left and right on all those sandy turns and it was tough to pass. Wasted a lot of energy for no reason but Jane kept speeding up more and more making us both get faster and those were all good news.  She kept looking back however to check on June and had to realize at some point it can’t go like this forever. At one point I was so close that our wheels touched and the loud rubber grinding noise come out from our tires. We went through the most technical part of the course once again and after that finally Jane decided to cooperate and gave me space on the trail for the safe pass. I thanked here and took off. I wish it happened earlier however since I already wasted half of the race.

I biked fast and was making great time to see in the final mile of the second lap leader Kathy right there just what seemed like one switchback ahead. Another turn and I saw her once more and she looked back at me. I was sure it was matter of little time and we will be next to each other, but for some reasons I did not see her again. She had to use some “secret boost canister” and take off very fast.

I had good third lap clearing the whole course once again flawlessly, however I could feel my energy starting to run low. It was a very long (22.5 miles/almost 2 hours) and very technical race. From 15-20 seconds to the lead I somehow finished little over a minute behind. Rest of the girls were four minutes back and more. I was expecting local Robin to do awesome on her home course but seems like something happened to her bike since I saw her walking on the trail at one point of the race. Also Candace that was currently in the first place for the series unfortunately lost her shot for victory after the bad start of this race. June was now in contention for first but by arranging the race the way she did and not allowing me to go early in the race and putting me on the end in between herself and Kathy, she allowed Kathy to collect 3 extra points and take the series title instead. If I had won this race things would stay in the undisturbed order, but in the race environment like we all learned already anything can happen at any time and cards can turn very quickly.

After all I’m still very happy with my performance and I feel that I have raced a very good race. I had a blast catching up to the guys and having a great ride with few of the racers on the last part of the course where everyone was already so exhausted and just happy to be heading toward the finish and also be part of the whole experience...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Speedo and me...

I love to work with the companies that I grew up with. One of them is Speedo.
All of it just reminds me of my college years in Poland where I had blast tackling all the sports that exist on this planet.
One of them was swimming which I always loved. Of course right there I was using Speedo products.
Now, quite a few years later, living on the different continent, speaking different language, competing in the different sport I still use Speedo. My Speedsockets are the most trusted goggles on my every Xterra race. I am very glad to be supported by the brand I believe in.
I just received the newest FastSkin goggles and cap and love them both and bunch of other great training and racing gear. Thanks Speedo!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

FSC #8 in Alva, FL

It was my third time now riding and racing in Caloosahatchee Regional Park.

First time that finally I had an opportunity to get out and race there was thanks to our great friend Wally who convinced me after some 30 minutes on the phone to take a leap and race once again after a terrible injury. I didn’t feel ready yet and was still recovering from two fractured elbows which finished my 2010 season right on the beginning of it. I was pretty gloomy and actually getting out to the park was a very electrifying experience for me since I had moments when I thought I would not race again. All I remember is the flat twisty terrain, lots of happy faces and the amazing weakness in my arms when I was trying my best to finish this 15 mile course. I was struggling to hold on to my handle bars, my elbows were still wrapped in the support braces and I remember how exhausted I felt after I crossed the finished line. I placed 11th out of 16th if I remember right. This race however jump started my season and got me back to racing.

A year ago in this park I still raced base and remember being in the lead from the start to just crashing on one of the off camber slippery downhill’s and totally going off the concrete and flying into dead palm stump and a big bear hug on it. My ankle got hurt and all the girls zoomed by me. My whole race from there on was a catch up game. I think I made it to 4th. Oh well.

And here we come to this week’s race…

Good part of it is that our friend Wally once again was here with us and this time it is him coming back from a little injury and getting back into the racing environment.

It seems however that I have very little luck on this course and poor results and just came to the conclusion that the park just doesn’t suit me.

I feel there is no flow in those 14 miles of switchbacks of the flat course and few technical parts which go up and down from sudden turns. I can’t get there into my grove and race ends early. To add to it I had bad start and my left food didn’t clip in, I corrected it quickly and sprinted out and managed to get into a decent position just inches from crashing into the tree. I was 5th and after a short while I was able to pass two ladies. I had my eyes on the 2nd rider and still could see the leader far ahead. I was sure I will make some ground and catch up shortly while on the contrary with more passing time I was losing more and more ground and when I got to the tight, root covered, dark, getting hit on the head by the branches and impossible to keep good pace on forest; I had everyone right on my wheel. I didn’t get anywhere. I made some mistakes on the steep climbs and allowed two girls to pass. I did stick with them for a while and was completely certain I will pass them back in no time after we get out of this trail. This however never happened. I lost a big chunk of time.

I crossed the first lap mark in 5th, a good 45 seconds behind. I didn’t take it to seriously knowing I will make my time up shortly and I felt like I was having a pretty decent (not awesome however) pace. But once again I got to those annoying sticks and some boredom got to me on the 5 miles of turning left and right with no purpose that I even got other riders behind me. I guess my mind drifted away too much and when I did get out once again from the technical climbs that I actually cleared just fine this time I was pretty far back from the pack. Thanks to my husband giving me splits and telling me to catch up I picked up my pace. Very quickly I started getting closer and closer but miles disappeared way too quickly. I had only maybe 2 miles to go and was trying to get back into the game having some pretty good speed. When I come out into the open for the final series of switchbacks I could see the 3rd and 4th in front of me just few turns ahead. There was not enough time for me however to make up this gap unfortunately.

I could wish for an extra two miles and girls would be mine; but the race was over and I saw them approaching the finish while they were completely within my reach. Frustrating experience for sure, but also a learning lesson of sort… I can only reflect on what went wrong, hope to learn from it and hopefully come out even stronger for my next battle. If two broken arms didn’t stop me before, I don’t think one weak finish will also. So the game is still on.

Monday, November 12, 2012

FSC #7 in Lakeland Florida

And we are back to racing after an awesome trip to Maui. I missed only two races but for some reasons when checking in at registration I realized I forgot my racing number! Really, it was not that long time ago! Either way I am happy to be back and challenge a crazy trail system of Florida. I never raced in Loyce H Park before and heard some stories about the Fingers trail. I figured it will be fun, not really too scary and was looking forward exploring a new place. When I went on the pre-ride with my husband Pax I quickly realized that there was definitely lots of truth to what people said and more. Some sections were hair rising scary especially when you are riding them for the first time! You bike on the high and supper skinny mound where you have sometimes a whole foot of path to ride on, roots, drops, tight technical and bumpy descents, almost impossible climbs, roof top like ramps and all of it with having drop offs to the water on both sides! I got my adrenaline rush there and it was funny to hear some people saying that they will never race there again. We all know they will! With more practice the course becomes more familiar and manageable but there was still no place for any mistakes. And this is the tough part when you are with a bunch of fast riders all over the place, your heart is beating like crazy, you are panting like a mad dog, you are getting more fatigued with each passing minute and still going full speed. Oh the good times. That’s why I think we love it. I think all of us bikers have this never ending need for adventure, challenge, exploration, self-proof and self-punishment and we need this adrenaline rush that fills our bodies when we race.

We stood today on the start line 10 ladies strong. When the gun went off I was in the lead which quickly diminished with Jane passing me before going into single track. This girl just loves to lead on the first lap. After a while I was in 4th having in front of me now also Kathy and Melibe.  I had to work my way up slowly and keep making my progress toward the leaders.  I made a great pass on one of the girls on the steep concrete climb where girls got stuck on the top. This saved me some needed seconds and I was closer now to the leaders. All the technical sections went almost without any incident during this race. I went a few times back and forth with Jane and June who managed to squeeze right before me to very tight and technical single track. There was nowhere to pass but both of them had actually great speed and it didn’t affect me in any way.  Until I had the “men’s leader freight train” passing through when the 3 fastest men were trying to get into an impossibly skinny trail on the uphill at the same time as I was… Two managed to go by with me slamming on my brakes with third one being too far behind and just bringing everything to the halt when we both got stuck wheel to wheel on the canyon like uphill with place only for one bike. I did let him go and had to run up two sections that I could easily bike.  June was right behind me stuck in this mess. Than I had to bike a roof top ramp with only one foot clipped in and almost no speed. Shortly I had fourth guy catching up and also wanting to pass. I had to find space and time it properly to let him go so his race is not being affected to greatly.
Little Air :)

I blame it on a very bad timing and I could only hope all those passes took place on the vast straight ways that we had in between those grainy trails.

Some time got lost there but this is all part of the game also. I found myself falling behind leading Kathy for over a minute being in the 2nd position, when I still had June in 3rd right on my wheel and rest of the girls right behind her. I felt like I was going fast, but obviously I was more fatigued than usual. Was it still the past Xterra race that still kept my body not completely recovered or maybe too much of the riding day prior to the race when I had trouble backing off my excitement for those crazy trails here?


One way or the other my lap times went slightly slower and slower with each passing lap which is very unlike me. Long part of the course toward the end of the lap where you are all in the open against strong head wind didn’t help the situation and just added to the misery. On the final lap when coming out of the forest I knew June was right behind me but I still could not see her in the windy section which made me believe my position was safe to the finish. The leader however was so far ahead today that I would have to have a completely different race to be in contention.

My final reflection from the race is very positive however even though I didn’t snag the win.

I like this park a lot for its challenging terrain and I’m glad I had an opportunity to race here. I enjoyed a truly great getaway weekend with my husband Pax and fun time with my Big Wheel Team mates on and off the trail.

I loved the competition from all the amazing girls racing in my class.  What is more incredible that our finishing times were so unbelievably close that medals were presented for top 5 instead of top 3 riders which I found being a great call. Everyone deserved a medal today the race was so close and tough!
And the icing of the cake was David the race director announcing my 9th place finish in the Xterra World Championship in Maui while I was taking my podium stand.  It added some happy coziness to the whole experience…

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thanks KT Tape and Selle Italia

We get home from Maui and we have 2 Brand New Carbon Selle Italia Saddles and a whole bunch more KT Tape... Thanks KT Tape and Selle Italia.

Monday, October 29, 2012

XTERRA World Championship Maui - October 28, 2012

Race Report

Total Time 3:46:35
9th out of 32 in my Age Group and 4th in US Age Group.
Not Bad for my first year of doing Xterra :)

Place  Name                              Swim     Bike       Run       Overall
   9     Beata Wronska #804          33:42    02:13:00  00:59:53    3:46:35

Xterra 2012 World Championship Highlights

I would like to Thank everyone that followed me and cheered for me on during my amazing adventure. Also huge Thanks to all my sponsors that helped me with making my dreams come true.

I had an incredible race and everything went as planned. I consider 9th place in the world in my group as a great start! I'm sore but already hungry for more.

Weather was awesome, besides the tsunami that was coming our way the night before the race! When we got back to the beautiful Kapalua villa from the nice Night of Champions dinner to our complete surprise we heard the news about an earthquake in Canada.

I was supposed to get to bed early to be rested for the morning race and unfortunately I found myself sitting in front of the TV and not knowing if what I’m seeing is real. The newscaster said we had less than two hours to evacuate and a 6 foot tall tsunami wave was heading directly at us at 600 mph speeds. Everything went through my head that night. It was pitch black outside and I could only see the ocean outline and a siren out of a helicopter. I imagined this huge tidal wave coming straight to us, over the beautiful cliff we were on and just washing the villas away. I could not believe it. They said no one will be allowed to step to the ocean for weeks because of the disturbance and possible strong rip currents. OMG, but we are supposed to have the World Championships race tomorrow that I qualified, trained for, went to and now race might be cancelled? Race without swim? No race? There were a million things and scenarios that I created. I felt like I was in a dream. I did not panic I just could not believe it. We watched people already stuck in traffic evacuating from other parts of the island. My husband walked over and spoke to the neighbors in the villa next door and he was told that wave would have to be some 50 feet tall or more to affect us in any way. Apparently we were on a 80 foot tall cliff and were safe. It didn’t feel safe to me but we decided finally to go to bed still not knowing if we were racing in the morning.

When I woke up I thought to myself how destroyed the DT Fleming beach will be and that debris will be up to the transition area. We will be doing a duathlon and all my swim training will go into nowhere. I was concerned of the swim but at the same time I wanted to test myself. Later this morning Xterra crew announced that the race surprisingly will go on and that all the warnings had been lifted. Apparently nothing happened and we didn’t get a tsunami. Oh yeah. I had my breakfast and headed on my bike to the transition.

I got set up and went to the end (oh where is the end!) of the body marking line of some 200 races at least. I was there so long that when I was done I think 15 minutes was left to the race start. Oh shoot, I still didn’t eat my gel, warm up in the water and put this chafing cream on! I ran as fast as I could to do what I had to do as quickly as possible and jumped to the water. I think they already wanted all of us out but I really needed to get the feel for it.

Ocean was definetly not calm today but also not super angry as in the previous days. There were still some big swells on the water and it got very choppy all the way to the buoys. Even though it was not so bad but still it was the roughest swim I did so far in my life. Right before approaching the first buoy I saw a sea turtle below me and then the camera man! That cheered me up a little. It was a very long swim and I know I could have done better, but at the same time I'm glad I got back to the shore safe. I took my turns wide to avoid water traffic, this did good and bad for me since people close to the buoy instead of turning total 180 they were swimming on some weird diagonal angle and pretty much crossing and swimming over me and my lines. Considering the current in the ocean and bad direction from my co-racers I drifted twice too far to the right making my swim longer than it should be. My choice was to be swum over and suffer or get away and be by myself but swim peacefully. I chose the latter. Thankfully I didn’t get thrown out from the ocean by the shore break as some people did and I headed for a long run to transition. My vision stayed clear Thanks to Speedsocket from Speedo.

My transitions were too long. I really need to work on them! Finally after trying a few times to stand straight on one leg and trying to put my socks and shoes on I was successful and headed up and up to the mounting line.

Bike ride felt not as brutal thanks to the north winds and some cloud cover that we were lucky to have that day. All the climbing was tough however and there were tons of people on the single track leading to the higher mountains. Exactly on the parts of the course that I felt confident I could ride fast.

My bike ride right from the transition started pretty much this way with me announcing: “Passing on your left”, “on your right”, “left”, “right”, “thank you”, “can we go any faster?”, “why nobody is biking!?”, “pedal pedal!”, “please don’t stop now”, “will be passing on your left”, “thx”, “have a great ride!” Yes, all this talk is part of Xterra too. I had to convince a whole row of riders “walkers” walking the pine forest to move to the side and allow people that are still on their bikes to bike up the hill. It worked! I was pretty tired I must say but I managed to handle all the ups, pass tons of people, master the technical parts of the single track and what’s best to Bomb the descends at 30.2 mph that I reached on the “dusty hill” that was leading us toward the ocean below.
I was so proud flying down this red dirt path so fast and just wanted my husband to be there with me so he can witness it himself. I handled great all the technical parts of the course, especially when there was no one there to stop me from doing what I know how to do best, bike.
I was thankful for not getting a mechanical on those long 2 hours of riding. On the hike a bike climb I noticed my Floridian friend Melissa right in front of me walking her bike up. After a while I was able to catch up to her and make a pass on the wide dirt road that was still taking us up and up on mile 15. I was able to finish strong and stay ahead for the remaining miles. Final two technical miles were fun. I found no problems with them even with running quite slick tires for such loose and sandy conditions.
Finally I reached the transition and got ready for my run. Grabbed my belt and took off. Run course took us however straight up and I did find out quickly that it was not going to be as I imagined. Simply in the first quarter of the mile my legs started to give up, they didn't want to cooperate at all. They felt heavy and didn’t like the steep angle. This steep angle and constant up just didn’t feel natural to my body, especially coming from flat Florida. It was tough, very tough. A minute didn’t pass and my Floridian friend just jetted by me and little later some girl from my age group. “Oh my” I wondered if everyone that I just passed on the bike was going to pass me now back. It was not pretty. I had to implement the walk and jog scenario to keep moving forward. However to my surprise on the second mile brought me also a second wind and some relief and I was able to find my pace finally and start running. I felt better now and it was more like what I had in mind. It was painful on the ups, some little fast descents and up again but I did handle it fine. On the 3rd mile half way through the steep hill I was with my friend Melissa once again. This time she was walking up slow and steady. This girl is made of steel, but I kept moving up and was able to make a pass. After that I reached the lake and had one more climb before reaching the top and starting to head straight down. After this point I knew that it was a matter of staying safe and going as fast as you can at the same time. The run down was very challenging but also super fun! I flew once again through the technical parts and was happy to see that actually I was passing people again and making ground. It got tough again and hot on the last two miles however and I was just hoping not to pass out. 

On the final climb of the road crossing I noticed a girl from my group right in front of me. I had to have her now. I picked up my speed and parked on her heels for a smooth, fast run on the edge of the red mountain that was leading us to the beach below. On the turn I made my pass and went even faster. This way or another no matter how fast I run I kept hearing super-fast steps right behind me. I figured this girl really wanted this spot so badly, she will fight for it to the end. I wondered how long I will be able to go at this pace! But I didn’t want to give it away. We passed cactus alley and the final road crossing and were about to jump to the gully when I looked back and there was actually some other girl behind me not the one I was worried about.

Now all I had left is to do the final beach stretch. 

Reaching the beach finally seemed to be relieving but also it was so hard to get through. People were yelling, “great job”, “you are almost there”, “keep pushing”. My legs stayed strong Thanks to KT Tape.

On the approach to the finish line all the emotions started getting to me and it was a moment I will never forget. All this hard work, all the training, hurting, dreaming and planning came to this one moment. Tears started just pouring from my face. I could not stop, it was so emotional. I waited for this moment for so long…I accomplished something that I wanted so badly with all my heart. I still have tears now writing about it. I don’t even know anymore when the beautiful lei flowers were put over my head and one of the volunteers just rapped me in this nice and cold and wet towel, held me on her shoulder while I was crying away for a long time…

I had my husband, family and amazing team mates waiting for me on the finish line. My friend Jen who finished just before me, just picked me up, and spun me some 100 times in the circle and we both just laughed and cried for a long while…

Me and Jen
Volunteer consoling me

Me, Melissa and Jen (MTB girls from Florida)

Also Xterra Style - Must Watch !!!

After the race in front of our villa.

My husband and I after the race on the day we go back home.

Me at the shores of Napili

Pictures from the bike course and my Garmin of the Bike course.