Race Report: Pierre’s Hole 100 MTB

I wrote the first of a 2 part series on this race a few weeks after it happened. Clearly, I never made it to publishing. Or part 2. So instead, here’s a quick photo recap, and you should definitely go read Caroline’s report :). Most pics are from Caroline’s photos along with my mom’s album she decided to call ‘Pierre’s hole monstrous mtn bike race’. Which cracks me up, but is also pretty accurate.

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To start the weekend, I drove from Seattle to Missoula to spend a night with my lovely host Lisa. Fueled by sleep and coffee, I continued on through the wide open west to reach Driggs, ID/Alta, WY.

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Race Day: start line at the base of the ski resort

After checking in at the base of Grand Targhee resort, I went for a quick course preview at the advice of the race director – up the fire road, then down the singletrack that would be the first sections of each lap (fire road lap 1, singletrack laps 2-3).

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The course. The red section was the singletrack (oh, thank goodness for more miles and climbing…) used for laps 2 and 3 instead of the green section.

 

It was… hard. Altitude plus climbing, after as much prep as I could muster checking out new trails in Seattle (oh, and only 2 weeks after the WR50 running race)… I wasn’t sure my fitness would really hold up. Or that my 34×22 gearing was really appropriate.

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…we don’t really travel light

I got off the trails right as a storm rolled in and it started raining – time to go meet my parents at our cabin down the road, and get lots of food!

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Is this enough food for 12+ hours of racing? I guess we’ll find out…

Caroline met us at dinner, then we set to the task of arranging all our race food. Everyone got some sleep, then in the morning Caroline made us breakfast burritos.

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Then we packed up the car and headed to the start line!

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My parents drove up to crew for us. It was awesome. They are the best.

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I promise, it’s steeper than it looks. Or, it will be in about 20 ft. What a way to start a race/every lap…

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The flyover to make the figure-8 course a possibility. It is also more intimidating than it looks.

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Lap 1! Repping all my favorite teams and… still looking awkward. I actually got comments on both the Gravel Worlds jersey and the Fat Cyclist shorts… people apparent know about big things happening in the midwest! Or, Dan Hughes is a badass.

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Back up the hill.

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Into the mid-lap aid station

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Caroline grinding up the hill like a beast

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And the hill. Again. I think my parents liked watching from this spot. At least it was sunny out!

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And finally… I actually finished!! Didn’t quite make it under 12 hours, but also didn’t get pulled from the course. I rode my steel singlespeed bike nearly 92 miles, up 12,000 ft, and survived the surprising afternoon heat in the sun. Even better, I was only second to last (yay!) and finally finished an NUE race. Strava link for anyone interested.

After the race, we got a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and just vegged out in the cabin. The next day, I went out to a trail work day in memory of AJ Linnell – a super badass local SS dude who passed away in a helicopter crash last year. The AJ spirit contributed a lot to Team Noah, which in turn contributed a lot to me, and generally from what I know he was a super rad dude who was always smiling and pushing people to be their best and explore the mountains. I’m sure I got through the race on some SS love.

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Digging trails, making friends

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There wasn’t a trail, now there is one!

Pierre’s hole was an awesome, crazy challenging race. I know I wouldn’t have made it without the support of my parents (always waiting when I came through, offering a wide assortment of energy bars, snacks, and coke!) and the cheers of friends and strangers. The course aid stations were also super stocked, although I never really had the chance to check them out before heading straight to my cooler! The trails were fantastic and fun, brutal but beautiful. Hopefully next year I’ll manage a bit more altitude (and bike) training 🙂

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My finishers mug has become a prized possession.

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