Trans Iowa

  • Trans Iowa v13: Sarah's Report

    by Sarah Cooper, Ultracyclist

    Sarah Cooper ready to race Trans Iowa v13Trans Iowa v13
    Grinnell, Iowa
    April 29–30, 2017

    I had all but given up on blogging since Race Across the West last year, but I’ve ended the blog hiatus to do at least one post on Trans Iowa v13. It’s hard not to want to talk about your experiences at a race like Trans Iowa. It’s unique, it’s brutal, and in any given year you never can say if or when you’ll finish. Now I’m two and two: two finishes and two DNFs. Both finishes were on an even numbered year, so I’m holding out hope for a TIv14.

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  • Trans Iowa v11: Sarah Cooper's Report

    by Sarah Cooper, Ultracyclist

    Trans Iowa v11
    Grinnell, Iowa
    April 25–26, 2015

    When Katherine and I were talking about Trans Iowa in the last few days before the race, she wanted hashtag ideas for tweeting during the race. The days of me sneaking off to a race and telling people about it after appear to be over for the short term. I don’t speak hashtag, I rarely tweet, and I am a silent observer on Twitter. The only idea I had, but did not share with her until the day before the race was #TIV11#weareallDOOMED. No one appreciates a pessimist, or even a realist in the face of what was certain to be a really hard day, so I kept my doubts mostly to myself and a few friends. I continued to plan, and contemplate what I would need to do to complete all 331 miles, but as the weather forecast continued to disintegrate, it was hard not to think about the possibility of my first real DNF.

    The extended weather forecast looked good, but it also did last year for TIV10. In the last three days preceding that race, the rain chances and wind speed were dialed up significantly. The same thing happened this year; the forecast went from sunny to progressively more rain and higher winds. One of my last texts to Katherine Friday night before I finally tried to sleep was “I hear thunder.” Grinnell ended up seeing more rain than was predicted for both Friday and Saturday, with 20–25 mph winds and gusts over 30 mph. I didn’t really expect good weather, but this was atrocious weather for riding, and would turn the course into a mushy, muddy mess.

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