So the logo for the ORAMM is a scared bunny, or angry bunny (depending on how you look at it), riding the breaks.
I really couldn’t figure out why this logo as on NONE of my practice rides prior to the race (all two of them) did I see a bunny. I saw plently of bear poop and bear paw prints, but no bunnys (perhaps due to the amount of bear evidence detected). In fact, I saw sooo much evidence of bears, I felt it prudent to carry with me what I deemed “my bear whistle” and instructed my hubby (Mike) and friend (Freddy) that “one whistle means I fell” and “two whistles means I am being eaten by a bear”….
sorry, I digress- so, i was feeling more like a bear at the 44 mile mark than a scared bunny…And it was also at the 44 mile mark, things were about to turn downhill both literally and figuratively. I had raced close to the top of the female overall at the end of a lot of climbing and knew that the strong girls always show their strength on descents (and I was a strong girl–right?)….After the final OFFICIAL hike a bike of the race, I was ready to descend and nothing could be as bad (or so I thought) as the single track switchback descent down Kitsuma from the beginning of the race…right?
wrong….Heartbreak ridge, it turns out, was named appropriately. Kitsuma’s single track seemed like doubletrack after this and one by one, as i rode my bike like the scared bunny from the ORAMM logo down the ridgeline, girls (and guys) I had passed on the climb flew by me on the descent. “What a bummer” I thought to myself, but this thought was only quickly replaced by the thought of “why in the world should I have any expectation for this race, I was not a mtb bear, I was a scared roadie bunny…”
Needless to say, I was happy to make it down that descent alive, and happier at that point to finish the race. I appeared to be on schedule to meet my “goal time” of 8 hours, in fact, just under my goal time UNTIL getting to the top of Kitsuma the second time and simultaneously a thunderstorm opened up on me. I decided no need to be crazy, just finish the race without taking the straight line down the hill (the tumble method). I wiped out once on a switchback, losing my back wheel on a rainy rock, but was ok with it and kept on riding. It is no suprise that when I got to the bottom of Kitsuma, I had a shit eating grin on my face I couldnt wipe off…
Here is some great vid of the race by a guy who apparently was riding next to me at the start and pretty much the entire beginning of the race (I am in a black/pink/yellow Rose Bandit Team kit, as is my hubby and my friend Freddy–i am the one with the braid)….
I finished the race in 8:49, about 49 minutes slower than I had hoped; however, after a long, long, long, day in the saddle, I now feel more like a mtb bear and less like the scared bunny I felt like on Heartbreak Ridge and I am definitely ready to take on my next MTB Endurance Race….In fact, that is ALL I can think about recently…