BaseCamp alumnus Tracy Gravlin shared her experience at the Barry-Roubaix Killer Gravel Road Race in Barry County, Michigan.
This past Saturday I participated in my third ever gravel race. After trying to do it the last three years, I got it done finally! Barry Roubaix Killer Gravel Road Race in southwest Michigan. 4500 other cyclists, and I was very intimated going in. There are climbs that I was warned about, and the massive amount of racers had me jittery. At 67 years old in a 56+ group, I just wanted to survive and not limp in. Believe me, against others out there (including several other BaseCampers), I was not fast. Going in I was hoping to do the race in no more than 2:45 but dreaded it would be closer to 3 hours.
I was not near the front at the start and was cautious. But once I felt some space, I took off toward the first hill climb. The Three Sisters. My legs felt great, and I just stayed on the left, passing people pretty well. It did not feel bad at all. I was encouraged. More hills to come , and they all seemed "easy." The best thing that happened during the race was after several climbs, this young man came up next to me and said, "I just want to tell you that you are a beast!" My jaw dropped, and I said, "Oh my gosh! That is so nice. Thank you! It is because of my winter training with BaseCamp. He said, "Well, it worked." Later I passed him on a very long paved climb and he said, "There is that winter training again." Boom! Now it is all relative, we were nowhere near the lead. But in our pack it was great! I had a hard time riding a 1 mile plus 2 track that was sandy and riders falling all over the place. I tried to run with my bike when I was off it.
Coming into the last three miles I was starting to cramp, but my BaseCamp training kicked in, and I cranked it to pass as many as I could. The last 1/4 mile I put it all out there, and now glad I did, as I passed two 56+ women and finished at 2:29, well below what I thought I would do. Racing for myself I was extremely happy with how I felt. I ended 14 out of 41 who finished in my age group, and 89 out of 240 women. Fellow BaseCampers Marilyn Kamp and Kimberly Turner podiumed and did great!! But this fairly neophyte 67-year-old "racer" was extremely happy with how I felt the whole race. I have NO DOUBT it is because of Basecamp coaching and riding with you all this winter. Fires me up for more!!! Dusty fun with my nephews ! A proud aunt to be out there with them!