The last race in the 2013 American Ultracross Championship Series was the Gravel Grovel, in the Hoosier National Forest, Indiana. 60 miles of beautiful, rolling, forested gravel roads with a few short, steep climbs. The way the points worked, if I had won the Gravel Grovel and Ruth had come in second, we would have been tied for points, and since the Grovel was the tie-breaker, I would have won the series. It was a tight margin with little room for error!
For the first part of the race, Ruth and I rode together at a fast clip with a group of otherwise male riders. (We were the first two women.) Around 15 miles in, we entered a road called Combs, which was narrow and muddy and more like a trail. On a perfectly harmless downhill section, I was right behind Ruth and my front wheel caught a rock hidden under some leaves. I crashed pretty hard on my left hip. By the time I got myself and my bike together a few women had passed me. It was hard to pedal due to my sore hip but I kept going as best I could, and ended up fourth in the race.
After racing 6 of the 7 Ultracross races in the 2013 series, I finished second overall in points. Completing the series this year has solidified my love for Ultracross: I am determined, motivated, and focused to race my best season yet in 2014. In fact, I can’t wait for the series to start all over again – with Southern Cross this February in Dahlonega, Georgia.