My third Bearscat 50, which is one of my favorite races, was on June 2, 2013. 50 miles of brutal, rocky Wawayanda and about 5,000 total feet of climbing. My goal was to finish feeling strong and in the top 10. 22 women registered in the Pro/Open women's category, but there were 16 at lineup. The weather was hot & humid and the rain held off. I was a bit nervous because just a few days earlier, I didn't even know if I'd feel well enough to race it due to a high fever and back pain. But, I was feeling better and ready for the challenge.
Once we started the race, I unfortunately didn't get out front like I wanted to, which meant I was in for a lot of bottle-necking in the first few miles. But, once we spread out a bit, I was able to get back on track and just race my own pace. I felt like I was riding the technical really well, passing a few more women and catching up to several guys. But, the ride felt extra bumpy. Uh oh, fork issues again. It was internally locked out, so I was basically racing rigid. I was still able to ride the rocks well, but I couldn't clear all of Nature Jim's bridge. And mile by mile, I started to feel just how rigid it actually was. One lap down at at around 2:20 according to my Garmin. And one more lap to go.
As I started lap 2, I thought I'd take it down a notch, lower that heart rate and just focus on riding well. Unfortunately, the broken fork was killing my hands. And the heat and humidity were killing me. I knew this was going to be an extremely tough lap. I honestly didn't even want to continue on. Three women caught and passed me on this lap. I was losing places. I figured I'd just keep pushing to make it to the 3/4 mark and see how I felt from there. Fortunately, I made it there in time without being cut, even though I was going pretty slow. And knew at this point, I absolutely had to finish the race, regardless of how bad I felt. I had lots of Accelarade, bloks and gu's. I persevered. I finished my third Bearscat. In my eyes, this was the hardest one yet, with the broken fork, heat and humidity...even though last year's was wet & muddy. I knew I'd be mad at myself if I quit, so I'm really happy that I pushed myself and finished this race. And more than half of the total racers that started did not finish. I lost a few spots and finished in 9th out of 18 in Pro/Open women. I'll take that finish with a smile.