Better late than never…to tell you about my experience at this year’s Barry Roubaix.
For those of you that aren’t familiar, Barry Roubaix is this epic gravel road race that draws approximately 3,500 riders from all walks of like to the quaint little town of Hastings, Michigan.
This year was my first attempt at racing the “Killer” 62-mile course.
Leading up to race day, I was really nervous. As unpredictable as Michigan weather can be, you never really know what it’s going to be like until the day of. For instance, last year, it was 18 degrees outside with patchy ice. This year turned out to be in the 70’s and really dusty and dry.
As I rounded the corner to reach the first stretch of gravel I watched the really fast racers disappear into the plume of dust. That’s when I realized I would not be finishing the race with a group. I was disheartened at first but I felt good and was having fun so that’s all that mattered at that moment.
For the first 30 or so miles, I felt great and had a good pace. Then, after a while, I slowed down, my legs started getting stiff and I was loosing steam. I cursed every hill. I also, blew past one of the aid stations without refilling my water. I had 1 bottle left and thought I’d be fine. I regretted that decision at around mile 55. There were a few times I wanted to quit. I had a dozen conversations with myself during that 62 miles, I am sure most of you reading know exactly what I’m talking about.
I wasn’t sure how many women were ahead of me on the road…or behind me. I only saw a handful of them on the course. Each time I passed a woman, I felt a little better about the race. Then, she would pass me about 5 miles later. Darn it! It was a day of ups and downs like that. In the end, I finished in 3 hours 57 minutes…3 minutes faster than my personal goal but almost 49 minutes behind the fastest woman!
I’ll just have to come back next year stronger and more prepared with a new goal.