by Sarah Cooper, Ultracyclist
I’ve always said that I would have a hard time writing about a race that went well, and such has been the case for Race Across the West. 928 miles, from California to Colorado with over 50,000 feet of climbing. Yes, it went very well, and mostly according to plan. The race plan my coach put together had me arriving in Durango pretty close to Leah Goldstein’s record time from 2012 [2d 14h 3m]. Even with the extra 68 miles on this year’s course, we beat her record and his prediction, arriving in 2 days, 11 hours, and 59 minutes. The overall win was a bonus, and a tribute to my skilled crew.
We had our share of trials. Three flat tires, and a loose headset resulting in a severe case of speed wobbles on a fast descent. A support vehicle that had to be towed out of the desert sand. Temps as high as 112, and lows in the 40s. Sandstorms, tough crosswinds, road construction, traffic, elk and wild horses on the road, hypothermia… and a rider determined to push the limits of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. We managed it all with good humor. I am so proud of my crew, and thrilled with what we accomplished.