I had never ridden in Breckenridge, CO so when I realized I didn’t have plans for the weekend of July 14th out came the credit card and I registered for the Breck 32 (part of the Breckenridge 100, but the way more reasonable course option!).
So let’s see… raced this course unseen, only had heard of infamous portions like the loose rocks of Little French Creek. First major thought is how much damn road, both paved and dirt, it involved. I no longer own a hardtail, but aside from some rooty sections on the Colorado Trail, hardtail would’ve been nice for all the road racing portions and slogs up dirt roads. Or a road bike. Or gravel bike.
I don’t know where my body was for this race, but it wasn’t on my bike in Breckenridge. It was probably still sleeping in the hotel. Or back in 2016. One of the two. The start involved a paved slog up Boreas Pass road, which I took pretty chill as I knew there was a lot of climbing on tap. Have I mentioned how much I hate climbing paved roads on a mountain bike? Yeah, ugh.
Little French Creek led to some of the first hike a bike sections, which I’m horrible at. I can hike. I can bike (barely). But I can not hike and push a bike at the same time. I legit forget how to walk. It’s odd.
Pretty much I was just in the race to survive. I had nothing. I’ve never stopped so much on climbs in a race in my life. I even peed, I never do that! One point I ran into two older gentlemen and started chatting them up and then realized they didn’t have number plates so I started pleading that one of them take mine and finish out the race. I’m really good at apparently finding ways to waste time as the clock is ticking, ha! But it’s always nice to socialize. I mean, I wasn’t going to win!
What really killed me was getting so out of breath while descending. It was strange. I think the max altitude of this race is 11,100 feet, give or take, which historically isn’t high enough to trigger any sort of high altitude reaction from my body. But I wasn’t relaxing on the downhills.
Honestly, ugh. Such a negative race report, but this was a struggle bus the whole time for me. I know I have my limits physically due to deconditioning and my body still in some weird hormonal mess, but I have some big mental barriers, too. It’s just not fun anymore. Mountain bike racing. I don’t like how it hurts. I had so many thoughts during this race about how I could instantly walk away from the sport and not look back.
I finished in 4 hours 57 minutes. About 90 minutes back from the winner of my category. OMG. But I finished! It’s honestly a race that is not easy to DNF at if you don’t know the area and roads and how to get back to Breck. The easiest way for me was to just follow the course. And this, friends, is why I like single loop endurance racing 🙂
I got 2nd in Cat 1 30-39 women. If I was in pro, I would’ve gotten 2nd and a payout. But alas, no pro license anymore… Much to my utter surprise, I pulled off 2nd place in the Colorado XC Mountain Bike State Championship series with my points from this race. My podium photo made me laugh as I was not prepared for that. Made me happy, though getting 2nd for racing 1 out of the 3 races is a debatable accomplishment. But hey, I showed up on a hard ass
road race mountain bike course and finished, which broke the tie with 3rd place and I as this was a higher ranked race.
I have two MTB races left for the year… LMBS tomorrow night (might be a likely DNF due to the fact I can barely walk my legs are so sore from Breck 32 + a quadruple 14er hike the next day) and Laramie Enduro in two weeks. I’m kinda sad the season/summer slipped by so fast, but also kind of relieved my attention can turn to cyclocross shenanigans when I back from Iceland.
As always, my nutrition for Breck 32:
700-800 calories of Tailwind Nutrition naked and green tea endurance fuel
2- Clif banana pouches (which I discovered to my horror have been discontinued and these were my last two… *cries dramatically*)
8 oz of water
I filled the 2L bladder at the second aid station, diluting the bit of Tailwind I had left.