I wouldn’t have changed anything about how my race went. I felt good throughout the race. I felt like I managed myself well. I hydrated well through the race, managed my nutrition well, recovered well and consumed enough calories to get through each day. My bike held up well, only needing to get a minor service once, and that was just to get the shifting tweaked.
I really wanted to do the whole BCBR experience and I truly feel like I did. I did massage, I saw the penguins, took part in the bacon station, experienced tent city, hanging with Johnny Rock, got a waterfront tent in Powell River, and I even visited medical to get some hotspots on my toes taken care of. I really don’t have any regrets about the race. I even managed a few things I hadn’t expected (selfie with Tippie, being fed watermelon by Tippie at an aid station, no mechanicals or crashes).
Even today, two weeks after finishing I am still in awe that I did it. After many years of following the race, reading race reports, hearing people’s stories, and dreaming about it, I finally have my belt buckle. In fact, about a week before the race started I dreamt about crossing the finish line and receiving my belt buckle.
All the gear I took with me worked well. I had a battery pack with an integrated solar panel. This charge my phone and watch throughout the week which meant I didn’t need to use the on site charging stating, which was a bit of a gong show. As I said above, my nutrition on cause worked well. I did a consult with Infinit a while ago (August 2016) and Darcy helped me tweak my formula based on that. What I drank while racing provided me with ample calories, nutrients, and electrolytes that were easily absorbed, but even better I had plenty of sustained energy. I love using Infinit for my long rides. As soon as each day was complete I would drink a bottle of Infinit Recovery which helped me recover from the day and got me through to the next meal.
My bike, although bigger and heavier than most on the course, was comfortable to me, and was a lot of fun on the descents. I really appreciated the extra travel in North Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler. It did make for more difficult climbing, but I wasn’t doing the race to win, but to experience it.
The weather worked out perfectly. It was a little hot some days, but I’ll take that over cold and rainy. There were many conversations about the weather, and everyone agreed that it would be a much different race in the rain. Not only race, but tent city would be fairly awful in the rain. I really cannot imagine being soaking wet for a whole week, riding in the rain for 4+ hours a day.
I really did luck out with my support. Sue was amazing throughout, and it allowed me a few luxuries like real showers in Powell River and Sechelt. Sue did laundry for me which allowed me to pack a little less gear, or at least avoid having to wash gear myself. Having Sue and the kids at the finish line was great too. The whole family was impacted by my training, and for the kids to see/experience the finish and show them what hard work can allow anyone to accomplish was priceless.
I’ve been asked if I would do the race again. I certainly would. It will be a different experience next time, but I would likely train a little harder, and push myself a little more in the race to try and place better. Either that, or I would do it as a team. There were a lot of parent/child teams that I met. If one of the kids were interested in 10 years time, I would definitely do it again. The other option is if a friend wanted to do the race, I would do it again with pretty much anyone!
What a race though