Hot, dry, and dusty; everything the Peavine Challenge is supposed to be. We were however graced with cooler temperatures than originally forecasted and even a few scattered raindrops at the start line.
The start was fast and crowded, but I was able to jump up into second place before singletrack. I figured if I was able to jump out in front I could at least stay close enough to make up my ground on the downhill in the latter half of the race. Things did not go exactly as planned and my legs just couldn’t keep up. My brother David passed me after a couple of miles in and slowly just opened up the gap. A couple of miles later Matt Balzer passed me as well and looked really strong.
At this point I didn’t know what to do, whether to do whatever I could to try and chase down Matt and my brother or just admit to myself that they were stronger than me. I would like to say that I admitted to myself that they were out of reach, but really I just continued hammering and it was barely enough to hold off both Dustin and Katerina who were coming up on my wheel fast. Once we got to the Halo trail, I was riding with Dustin on my wheel, and that stayed the same all the way through the finish line 90 minutes later. I did my best to drop him on the descents, but I was never able to put more a few seconds into the gap. Apparently Dustin was just as smoked as I was because I was just able to edge him out at the finish for what I thought was 4th at the time, but later found out that it was 3rd due to Matt Balzer unfortunately missing a turn.
Overall I am very pleased with the way my race went. It was a great way to test out my legs and my fitness, and I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It’s always fun to race on the local trails and I had a great time!