Getting Higher- Les Femmes Soar at High Cascades 100

Our ladies of Perpetual Endurance had an outstanding day in Bend, Or on July 21st, 2012 for the High Cascades 100 mile race. Our Kona Pro, Alice Pennington took the open women win with Beth Ann Orton in 3rd, with a 6 + hour improvement over last years time in the Cat 2 19-34 women. Lisa Belair won the 40+ group on her singlespeed.

Top step for Lisa

Laurie Hotovy and Margi Bradway in what I believe was their first High Cascades 100, finished 17th and 10th in the open women group. Laurie said the day was beautiful and she was very happy with how the race went in her sub 13 hour time. Margi beat her goal time of 12 hours 48 minutes.

Beth Ann, Sarah Tingey, Margi pre race

See the following race report from Beth Ann:

High Cascades 100 – Plus 12 Minus 7

Last Saturday, I partook in one of the funnest mountain bike rides I’ve experienced, to date:  90 miles of Central Cascades single track, amazing weather, stunning scenery, and good legs. Lucky for me, it was also a race,  Mike Ripley’s High Cascades 100.  Boasting some of the best single track in the NUE (National Ultra Endurance) race series, this race begins in the town of Bend, Oregon and traverses all the way around Mt. Bachelor through sandy soil dotted with lava and pumice, before ending in an awesome 20 mile descent down some of the most rippin’ trails Bend has to offer. It was a stellar day.

Last year, this race was everything but fun.  It was comprised of 16 hours of saddle time, poor nutrition, crashes, knee pain, inexperience, and tears. Yes, I cried. Lots.  Then I pulled through the finish line, ate a crusty pork sandwich left over from the post-race buffet (thanks, Matty!), swilled some beer, and promised myself a repeat, minus the extra hours of riding and self loathing.  As it happens, a year passed rather quickly, oops!  At 5:30 in the morning on Saturday, I faced round two of mountain bike doom; there wasn’t enough coffee in the world to make the idea of this race seem chipper. Friends at the start line made things seem, fun?  Thanks to Margi, Sarah, Laurie, and Matty.  We were all in this together!

Apparently, I left my nerves at the start line, because pure fun ensued after the whistle.  It may have been the 7 mile neutral roll-out that helped sooth things, but once we started racing, I  had a blast.  I intended to keep my teammate Alice (Pennington) and Serena (Gordon-Bishop) in my sites, but they went out much too fast.  I was afraid of cracking too soon, and decided to settle in at my own comfortable pace. I’d forgotten my Garmin at the house, so I spent the ensuing 100 miles jamming along at a pace that felt brisk and fun, but not horrible-my pace, not my computer’s.  Alice and Serena opened an almost immediate 1/2 an hour gap, which, stayed the same throughout the race.  Reason states I might have been able to stick with them the entire ride if I really wanted to, but the reality is that probably would have resulted in total self destruction! I road with Jana Repulski from Boise for a while, before taking off to enjoy the rest of the day by my lonesome (minus some amazingly chatty single speed fellows) on trails I know and love, while beating away tunes from the most recent and awful pop-superstars.  It’s simply my fault for having horrible taste in music.  It was a good day.

The course was amazing;  it never felt like a race.  I had two low moments: One at mile 50, just before the first aid station, where nausea was knocking at my door.  Scott Bradway saved me with electrolytes at the Dutchman aid drop.  How nice to have a friend who recognized the “I’m starting to unravel” look on my face.  The second low point was ascending Kiwa Butte at mile 80 (such irony).  I sat up in my saddle to open a Coke, which, promptly exploded in my face.  The climbing wasn’t disheartening, but the loss of soda definitely was!

I completed the course in 9 hours 18 minutes, a nearly 7 hour improvement over last year’s time of 15:56.   I finished in a safe 3rd place, 26 minutes behind Alice and Serena.  I would have liked the gap to be smaller, but those gals are deadly fast, and I couldn’t be happier with my improvements.  By all accords, it was a very good day.  Although the course was different, I think the greater difference came with my riding ability; I have many amazing friends and mentors to thank for that. There remains immense room for improvement, but I think I’ll leave that for my future self, and enjoy the successful weekend for a few more days.

Most importantly, Team S&M experienced great rides and stellar finishes, through and through.  Everyone I started with exceeded their time goals with a smile on their face:  That is the marker of a good course, good friends, and an awesome sport.  I cannot wait to test my legs again next year.

Let the sun shine in!


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