"There's a fire just down the road from us!"
"You aren't answering I'm coming over to help you!"
"We need to get are valuables now!"
Driving back from the Bailey Hundo pre-race meeting Friday June 15th, my phone suddenly went off with numerous text messages from my neighbor. I don't typically check messages while driving, but my phone didn't stop going off, my heart sank and I knew to look because something was wrong. My foot hit the gas pedal and I would not let up until I arrived home. My dogs were in the house and I could see the fire blazing.
Smoke filled the house. I tried to keep my cool as I ordered my dogs in the car, grabbing the necessities, and trying to get a hold of my neighbor about the situation. The fire was less than a mile down the road from us, and if you cut through the woods, it was literally just a few hundred yards away. This was NOT how my pre-race night for Bailey Hundo MTB was supposed to go!!! Wyatt was not answering his phone. Repeatedly, I text and called and text and called.. so he would know not to bring himself and Maya up to the house (don't think authorities would have let him through anyway). Finally he answered an waited nervously at a nearby restaurant for the outcome.
As I waited in my car, for updates to evacuate or not, a few hours passed, and firefighters were confident that they could put the fire out soon. Meanwhile, out on the bike course I was supposed to race in the morning, another fire blazed up... 5 acres would burn.
Wyatt made his way home so I could eat, and TRY to sleep, while he monitored the situation.... by morning all fires were out.
I woke up (if I even slept..) with a sick stomach and totally "off." I tried my best to regain balance from the lack of nutrition the night before, and breathe some deep breaths of fresh air since the smoke was clearing out. It didn't work that well but I was still determined.
My goals for this race were 1. podium 2. get a good start 3. ride all the technical parts I wanted
I felt accomplished as I hammered into the finish line. Despite a rough day due to tummy sickness, dehydration and just pure exhaustion from the night before, I had accomplished my goals. Finishing 3rd female overall, riding better than ever, and treating the start like I was doing a 5 mile race not the hundo, all was satisfying. ...but I can still do better :) !!! There is a lot to learn with mountain biking!
MAJOR THANK YOU TO THE ELK CREEK FIRE FIGHTERS AND VOLUNTEERS.. and my neighbor :) !!!! AND MAJOR SHOUT OUT TO ALL OF THOSE WHO DONATED!!!!
So what else? Up next, Silver Rush 50mtb.. I'm feeling a bit unprepared due to numerous things but the one thing that most of you know i'm obsessed with, Run Rabbit Run 100 mile race. I was quick to plan a training weekend there last weekend after hearing about significant course changes. I will be back again a few more times to enjoy the beauty of Steamboat and run the new sections of the course, but I'm feeling more confident than last year that I can a. finish b. finish competitively. My new year's goals included getting stronger than ever, so I hope it works! So as you can see, my body will bike some over this part of the summer but my mind is captivated by RRR already.
Bottom line, it's all about the experience. Sharing life, adventures, expeditions with others... hard times, good times... RUGGED RUNNING, RUGGED RIDING, RUGGED LIFE.
Find out more about living the "Rugged" life with other Rugged Runners and Riders here...
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