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Wahine Warrior All Women’s MTB Event

September 26, 2010

Yesterday was the first, hopefully annual, Wahine Warrior Women’s MTB event here in Phoenix.  The event organizers were looking to put on race that welcomed and encouraged women to get out, and enjoy a race without the pressure of racing with men.

The race was out in the McDowell Mountains, run on some of the very same trails that made up the Cactus Cup race from years ago.  When we pulled into the parking lot, it looked like every other local mountain bike race, except that the riders prepping to race were all women.  They had 3 events, an endurance race, time trial, and cross country.  I had registered for the cross country, but decided to do the time trial as well.

I hadn’t had a chance to pre-ride, so the time trial was my introduction to the 3 mile loop.  The course was fast and flowy, all single track, and surprisingly, little sand.  I was able to complete my lap in 18:43, good enough for 2nd place in the Cat 3 group.

And we are off!!!!

The cross country race started at 10am, and the temperature was already close to triple digits.  This was my first MTB race in probably 10 years, and I was debating where to line up…in the front so I had a good position for the hole shot, or towards the back where it would be safe to just hang with the pack.  In the end, the front won out, and as the race started I hit the single track in 4th position.  I was hoping I had enough lungs and legs to hang with the fast girls.  Within a few minutes I figured out that the rider on the front was setting a pace I could keep up with, and I just settled into the race.  I was waiting for one of the riders in front of me to pass, and thought I would jump on their wheel and go.  I waited, then passed one rider, and waited some more.  Finally, the rider in second position went, and I went with her.  We were able to gap the group, and I spent the rest of the first lap trying to hang on to her wheel.  Once we hit lap 2, I was worried about blowing up.  I was downing CarboRocket the best I could on the twisty single track, but was fearful I wasn’t getting enough to drink.  I started to get goose bumps on my arms – never a good sign in the heat of the desert!  I kept drinking, and tried to ride within myself.  That second lap seemed like an eternity!  I had a brush with a cactus, got passed by some, and passed others.  Finally, I crossed the finish line – very thankful that I didn’t have to complete another lap in the ever increasing heat.  In the end, I was 4th overall Cat 3, and 1st in my age group.

A hazard here in the desert!

The race organizers succeeded in creating an event that was great for first timers, as well as those who were looking to stretch their legs after a long, hot summer here in the desert.  They succeeded on both counts, and hopefully events like the Wahine Warrior will get more women out experiencing the fun that mountain bike racing is!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 27, 2010 8:14 am

    Awesome that you did two races in one day! Congratulations on fantastic finishes in the blistering heat. I look forward to doing this race with you next time! PS: Nice cactus wound shin shot.

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