This past weekend our team took back the champion title in BendRacings 4th Annual Smith Rock Spring Sting. Last year we lost the win by 41 seconds. This year we took it back with an extra checkpoint and 4 min ahead of the Portland based power house Team Castelli. We are so excited to have such a strong competitive adventure racing force here in the northwest! For more stories on all of the awesome teams including Adam and his 10 year old daughter check out the full race report here. This years race was by far the toughest 8 hour AR we have ever competed in. Complete with class III whitewater, swift and HIGH river crossings with our bikes and over 5,000 ft of elevation gain.. this race was no joke. Days later, my quads are still sore from all of the steep down hill running!
After a year of not racing, I welcome the soreness with a mixture of gratitude and melancholy. For my first race back 12 weeks after the traumatic birth of our two sons (one with us here physically, and one with us in the spirit world) I was excited to even be on the start line. The hardest bit was the emotional part. But I was prepared for this, as were my amazing teammates. They helped me through my panic attacks and pushed me up the overwhelming and suffocating hills of grief and sadness. The crux of the race for us was riding up to the top of Grey Butte, it was the last of our many climbs, that came shortly after swimming across the icy cold and very swollen Crooked River. My legs felt like jello, my lungs burned, and my eyes welled up with tears, but what got me to the top was my drive and determination to spread some of Spirit B’s ashes. I knew he would love it up there.
Once I got to the top, I wept hard. “I love you Spirit B.” I said as I blew him from the palm of my hand. Daniel, Stephen and I all took a moment to hug and take in the beautiful landscape before enjoying the amazing ride down to the finish line.
At the finish, Max, was there waiting for me – hungry and very happy to see his mama. “This” I thought, “is the best prize of all time.” A few minutes later, I looked up and saw a hawk circling the finish line area. “Hi Spirit, thank you- I love you.”