Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kootenay Krusher - 50km Mountain Bike Race

As the ABA mtn bike race season comes to a close, this past weekend I participated in a few non-ABA sanctioned races. Saturday I participated in the Corporate Challenge mtn bike race at COP, and helped two of my coworkers get a taste of what it feels like to win a Gold medal in a mtn bike race…even if the competition is not part of the ‘race’ community and you almost feel a little out of place. The people I work with would disagree. I have never done a race before and had the announcers tell me I need to ‘slow down out there’ Isn’t this supposed to be a race?

Sunday was the 1st (now annual) Kootenay Krusher – a 50km singletrack mtn bike race at Nipika Mountain Resort. If you are not familiar with Nipika, outdoor enthusiasts should be. www.nipika.com Nipika has so much to offer year round. Lyle and Dianne Wilson have created an outdoor haven on their 1500 acre piece of land with kilometers of XC ski trails and sweet singletrack mtn bike trails. Lyle, a former Olympic XC ski coach, has taken the opportunity to start up this new race, and plans to continue it for years to come. About 100 racers took to the start line under chilly conditions Sunday morning with a 10:15am start. With dark clouds looming about in the sky, racers took off for a 50km epic day. I have never seen so much carnage mtn biking as I did on Sunday thanks to slippery roots and trails. During these difficult 50km, I came upon a few crashes, one in particular I had to stop on a sketchy, steep descent and help a girl who was trapped under her bike, and I couldn’t tell which were her limbs or parts of the tree. I got her bike off of her, and luckily a marshall was set up not too far away due to the nature of the trail. He heard what was going on and came to the rescue. I was able to carry on, and she apparently was able to finish the race so her injuries weren’t too bad. At that point, a girl caught up to me and we ended up pushing the rest of the 23km we had left together. We met up at the right time, as both of us were getting mentally wounded because of how rough the course was. A lot of hike-a-bike, and not a lot of flow beat up our bodies and minds pretty good, so that 23km seemed so far away. For both of us, meeting up turned into a hammer ride, overtaking the mentality of a race. About 200m from the finish line, she asked if I was in her category, I was, so we turned it on for a sprint finish. I rarely race with camelbaks, but because I wasn’t familiar with the course setup, I figured I was better off to wear it. My reasons for disliking them have been confirmed, because while I was taking the sprint, the nozzle rubbed off on my leg, and poured cold water all over my leg and shoe causing my leg and foot to instantly freeze up. I tried fumbling with it, and she caught me, taking 4th place, leaving me in 5th, with exactly 3 seconds between us. I didn’t think a sprint finish was possible in an endurance mtn bike race, but anything is possible…including a camelbak mucking up your sprint finish.
This was a very well organized race, at a great venue with such a fantastic job at designing the course…races like these take loads of work and they appreciate every minute of your enjoyment out there. I enjoyed it a lot, and I will be back next year!! Thanks Nipika and thanks to the volunteers!

Next up is this weekend’s Bow 80, the last ABA sanctioned Mtn Bike Race, if winter doesn’t have its way and force a cancellation.


David said...

Nice work!!!

I did the corporate challenge race a few years ago, before I actually raced bikes. It was hard. I imagine it would be a bit easier now.

Lainey said...

Glad we found this account of the race! And, glad you enjoyed it. You're right, the slippery roots made for a tricky race that day and thankfully there were no very serious injuries. We were so fortunate to have the first Kootenay Krusher run smoothly... Hopefully you'll be back next year to improve your time. We've attached this link to our Nipika Mountain Resort FaceBook page with hopes that your review will help encourage future racers next year!

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