It was an unseasonably hot one at Michaux Maximus, the first stop on the Volvo Michaux Endurance Series. I hadn’t raced Michaux for a couple of years, but wanted to get a hard rocky race on my new S-Works Epic 29 World Cup that I’d just gotten built up the Friday before. So, I packed plenty of GU Brew with me as I loaded up the car 5 a.m. Sunday morning for what promised to be a great adventure.
And a great adventure it was. Perennial Michaux favorite and RDCRacing teammate Cheryl Sornson who had been crushing it down in Marathon National Championships in Georgia the day before was missing in action, and I hadn’t checked the start list ahead of time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured I would just line up behind some of the familiar faces who always toe the line at the front of the pack in Michaux and hope for the best.
We got the 10 second countdown and I gunned it behind Brandon Draugelis and Aaron Albright—two fast and steady wheels I’ve clung to (albeit for short stretches) at other events. We throttled behind the lead moto for just over a mile before hanging a right into the woods and starting our day in earnest. I decided to not look back for the first 5 to 10 miles and just race with eyes forward and see if I could establish a healthy gap.
It worked. I felt pretty strong all race and only put a foot down twice, which is unheard of at that place, so it was indeed a good day. I started to see spots about 24 miles in, when I ran dry on Brew and the aid station I’d been anticipating actually ended up being 3 miles further into the race. But a quick refill and dump of water over my head revived my spirits and I was able to pick it up again for the final home stretch. Ended up keeping my lead and getting the win for the day.