Racing with Ian is not something I get to do very often since normally one of us is on the sidelines hanging with the kids. The Honey Stinger Steamboat Stinger gave us the chance to race as a duo coed team. Originally we thought we would do the hand-off of the kids when coming through the lap and trading off but thankfully my mom came into town and was able to watch the kids. I don’t think the kid hand-off would have slowed us much but it made it much easier for Ian to warm up for the second lap without having to tow the Chariot and worry about snacks and naps.
It was decided that I would go first which I was excited about as I am not good with waiting around to race. After a quick warm up, I jumped on the line to start two minutes behind the open men. Our group caught the back half of the open men within a few minutes and I wished I had warmed up more and gone out harder to have gotten in front of more people. But I can only learn from my mistake so I sat in a long line of people all wishing they were up a few places and I passed on the short road sections when I could.
As I descended down to the backside of the course, things opened much more and I was able to pass a bunch of racers on the road before jumping back onto singletrack for the remainder of the race. I was fortunate enough to be able to climb the next four miles with Honey Stinger owner, Bill Gamber, who knew the course well.
I crested the final long climb finally starting to feel ready to race and finished much stronger than I had started and raring to go. Oh well, I hope that means I will be getting faster as the Leadville 100 miles pile up. I handed off to Ian knowing I had a few minutes lead over Caitlyn Vestal but many minutes behind Jake Wells. We would have no idea which couple would win until the finish line.
Zack Vestal came across looking as if he was out for a Sunday stroll with Ian just 24 seconds behind him working hard to sneak up on Zack. Linda Wells finished just a few minutes back making the top three in the coed duo race super close. We had a great day and were happy with our finish. The inaugural Steamboat Stinger went off ridiculously well thanks to Len Zanni, Colin Osborn, Nate Bird and their entire team of volunteers. The 95% singletrack course is on the top of my list and should be for you next year as well.