Friday, May 29, 2009

As a newcomer to this sport

As a newcomer to this sport, I am still fascinated by the level of intensity and endurance and suffering that the athletes who compete in AR undergo. My name is Becky Sutter and I did my first AR in 2008 at the Longest Day sponsored by NYARA. It was a 12- hour race, and aside from having a bike that was 4 inches too small for my 6 foot frame, I was sorely under prepared. Thus, I got my butt kicked, but…man did I love it!
I’ve been very fortunate to race with great people in 3 other races including the host of this blog, Berlin Bike. I’m enjoying the 2009 season partly because I can watch and learn and Ben, Ernie and Kerri have been more than willing to teach and assist. I have been graced with their experience and strength. So far, Berlin Bike has had a great season. I’ve only raced in 1 event with them, where we took second, but their other finishes have all been top five. No small deal especially when you’re playing with the big boys and girls.
My last outing with them was a training day sponsored by Racing Ahead LLC over in a state park in NH called Pawtuckaway. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and we met at the park a little late so we were appreciative that the organizers let us start anyways. They called the event a Trifecta as it were. It included a canoe-o course, bike-o and foot-o. All three courses had to be completed in an hour with 3 point penalties for each minute over.
We began in the canoe and Kerri and I used my stock racer (Jensen 18) so we were moving along pretty good considering we’d never paddled together before.

Ben and Ernie had the maps and basically pointed us in the right direction. We cleared the course (70 points in 57 minutes.) Next was the foot section. (51 points in 63 minutes.) I purposely weighted my pack with 10 pounds as this was a training event after all. We were running the whole time pretty much. It went by quick. With 8 minutes to go we were pretty far out and had to actually run at a pretty good pace. Ben towed me from the 5 minute point as I am definitely not the fastest of runners. The last leg was on some great single track and pretty challenging bike terrain. (65 points in 59 minutes.) I wound having to walk most of the single track and then whack out with Ben to meet Ernie and Kerri on the road. We hauled back to the start as pretty much the last team on the course. We wound up first overall with 186 points in 179 minutes. I had a great time and can’t wait to team up again in a few weeks for my first 24 + hours race!! I let you know how I feel after that one. Peace Out!!
Becky Sutter