Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Championship Race.

So....it's been about 4 months since USASA Nationals and I'm craving snow.

Is this thing on?
Last season was amazing. I had the opportunity to race against some incredible riders, felt Jb's progression and training plans work on the snow, and won the National Championship for Masters Women boardercross.


The USASA Nationals course at Copper Mountain was fun. It started with a quarterpipe drop in to a wu to a jump to a left turn, then a series of rollers, banked turns, and jumps along the rest of the course. We weren't allowed to mount GoPros on race day, however I recorded some footage during the "official" practice day so you can see the course.


Boardercross Official Practice Day -- 2014 USASA National Championships from teamhaleakala on Vimeo.

Race day was pretty intense. Jb and I left the condos early in order to drop our gear at the start area and go through some warm-ups. We had an inspection run and a couple of practice runs through the course, and then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. Due to an issue with the timer during time trials, our start times were delayed, which added to the race day anticipation.

I broke my wrist a few weeks before leaving for Colorado, and was stuck with a cast on my left forearm that added an extra challenge during the race, as it affected my ability to pull with full strength out of the start gate.

Some self-motivation

Art
I placed second during time trials, and won the semifinal heat (both racers in my semifinal round advanced to the finals, since the top two out of three racers advanced and there were only two of us). Waiting in the corral for the final, Coach KC from KMS heard on the walkie talkie that Jb had just won the Legend Men's championship race. Inspired by his win, I pulled in to the start gate and kept my eyes fixed on the course, and focused on turning my brain off so I could allow my body to ride and execute the results of all of the training from the past few years.

Focused on my line right before the drop
Riders were called to attention, and the gate fell. We all dropped in to the start, I heard a bunch of commotion happening behind me, and fought myself to keep focused on the course ahead. During the entire race, all I knew was that I was in front and kept focused on keeping it that way. I had learned in prior championship races to keep focused on both sets of competitors -- the other racers, and myself -- and made sure that I kept increasing speed while maintaining control.

After the start wu

I crossed the finish line, and allowed my brain to turn back on again to acknowledge what just happened...I was the first place finisher! After a moment of mixed exhilaration and wonder and thankfulness, I celebrated with Jb...two National Champs! Nick made it to the end of the course shortly afterwards and we celebrated some more. (Many thanks to Mel Diaz for capturing the finish and celebration on video.)

Whoah.
Mountain Athletes Unite!
It was amazing to finally reach my goal of winning the National Championship, and it only was possible due to the incredible amount of support and encouragement from Nick, family, friends, and colleagues over the past few years, the focused and results-driven training plan (both in the gym and on the snow) from Jb, the support of my sponsors (theMountainAthlete.net, Peak Performance Personal Training, Banana Peppers, David Calfo, Purl Wax, and Willi's), and the amazing women I raced with during the season.


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