After last year’s mud-suck fest, I really procrastinated signing up for this year’s Iceman. I had used last year’s prize money to replace bike parts and then Iceman decided to raise the entry fee to $100.00. ..I just wasn’t “feeling it”. But there is one thing that draws me to that race and it is the feeling I have when I get to hang out with my Founder’s Team Family! The wives all come up which makes for more girl power & we all just have such a great time together! It all starts on Friday evening with a group of us meeting at “the campsite” to pre-ride the end of the course. (& toss our after-race clothes in Kim & Ernie’s camper.) We HAVE to pre-ride because you never know what Iceman has up his sleeve, so it is a good thing to check it out. Then we all head to the Packet Pick-up Zoo with a zillion people who all tend to make me nervous. Where’s my Founder’s Family in this sea of people? No worries! We all head over to North Peak Brewing for a giant “Brady Bunch” style table. Other teams are envious when they see the fun we have as a team…so we invite them to have a seat! Just being together makes the nerves roll away. Then it is time to TRY & get some sleep.
Race morning arrives and I am SO thankful it is not pouring rain! I feel ready as I line up with my team mate, Jane and a great friend from GRBC. We all take off & when I say “WE” I mean “THEY”…for some reason, taking off in one big blob makes me super scared. My first Iceman I saw a horrible crash at the start of the race and I have never been able to erase that memory…until I hit the singletrack. I can feel my shoulders relax as my wheels hit the dirt trail. Now I am ready! I settle into a groove and try to reach my goal times at each timing mat. Dockery 31:53, Williamsburg 1:13, Zebra 1:41 ALMOST THERE! I see the red race chute barriers & get so excited I am nearly done!! Then I watch a man 2 riders in front of me ring himself silly against a tree on the last stretch of single-track! He is laying on the trail and my heart gets a sucker-punch as people ride over him! No race is worth being a jerk so I stop and help him unwrap his bike from the tree and get his booty off the trail. I ask him if he’s okay and he doesn’t answer but gives me a thumbs up. I tell him to run the rest of the race because there isn’t far to go & he just sits there and waves me off. I cross the finish with a 2:06:04. A personal best which put me into 3rd place. (Ironically I had gotten on the podium the past 4 years as a FOUNDER’S TEAM racer but had not gotten a 3rd place…until today.)
But now the FUN begins! The Founders Family knows how to celebrate. I am not just talking about the world’s best beer, I am talking about the world’s best team families! We all bring food…lots of food and eat like we had been racing for days! We dance, laugh, cheer other racers on and then take the party back to our condos where we all re-live the days events and hope that Scott Thenikl will pull out his Michael Jackson moves! Lucky for us…this was the year! A great way to wrap up a 2015 season! I am the luckiest girl in the world to ride for such a cool team!