Saturday May 26th was an epic day of bike racing in Pemberton, BC. The weather was hot, the skies were clear and trails were in mid-summer condition. There was a total of 378 racers at North Arm Farm for the start of the 3rd annual NIMBY Fifty – 6 of which were from the Muddbunnies Race Team!
Sponsors arrived, tents went up, banners were slung, and a village of sorts emerged near the start line. Racers lined up to collect their plates, while Red Bull pulled in with ‘Sugga’ and sound waves filled the air. After some tunes, the mic went to Brett Tippie. At this point the vibe at the farm was energetic to say the least, and it only intensified as the day went on.
The Nimby Fifty drew some big names in racing this year – World Cup racer Catharine Pendrel was in attendance to get her suffering on. She was awesome enough to drop by the Muddbunnies tent for a photo!
The Nimby Fifty isn`t a typical cross country race by any standards, its been labeled as a soul sucking and shattering experience. But six mighty Muddbunnies Race Team members lived to tell the tale this year – Kimberley Beck, Jaclyn Delacroix, Sandra Hardy, Laurie Kalf, Michelle Lachmann and Crystal Lambert.
Here is an interview with 3 of these powerful gals:
Q: Why did you want to conquer the Nimby 50?
Laurie – I am a masochist and love TORTURE! Seriously though, I did it last year and it was an amazing event so I had to do it again. Fabulous singletrack, challenging downhills, breathtaking views, wonderful organization and volunteers, excellent food, live entertainment, and beer after!
Michelle – I had heard so many great things about the riding in Pemberton, as well as how challenging this race is that I just had to try it!
Sandra – Love the marathon distance and heard it was a tough race so wanted to try it. Also a great training race for the BC Bike Race, and I’ve never ridden Pemberton before so always love to try new trails.
Q: What was your impression of the trails in the race?
Laurie – I LOVED The “Big Nimby” 101 switchbacks, AWESOME! “Overnight Sensation” was FUN singletrack. Mosquito Lake area I suffered big time and pushed my bike alot. It was very HOT, dry, and dusty! By the time I got to Ramble On, Moby Dick, and dark forest I was sooo relieved to be almost done!
Michelle – The climbs are very long with steep technical switchbacks, but the downhills are so fun that it is worth it. The whole course requires you to keep your technical skills in focus, which, in my opinion, is what mountain biking is all about.
Sandra – Loved them. The switchbacks were about as an enjoyable way as possible to climb that high, and the downhill sections had a little bit of everything. Was pretty dusty though, which I hadn’t ridden much since the end of last season!
Q: What did you learn about xc racing from this event? I think you should add â€œmarathonâ€ here â€“ from what Iâ€™ve heard and experienced, this race is like no other XC race out there!
Laurie – My legs cramped up very bad, and I was close to tears many times as I pushed up yet another steep hill. This was the first hot day of the year and it knocked the wind out of me! I went into this race feeling like I could beat my time from last year but I was wrong! I learned that I need to train harder!
Michelle – I learn something at every XC marathon race, no matter what kind it is. Racing XC is so humbling and motivating and even a little bit addicting. The two main things that I learned from the Nimby is that I didn’t eat enough 2-3 hours before the race (I had my main meal too early……and ran out of gas near the top of the climb). I also learned that I should start off at a slower pace (even if you are feeling great!). Adrenaline has a way of making you feel super awesome – but it can trick you when racing a marathon XC event.
Sandra – I think you should add â€œmarathonâ€ here â€“ from what Iâ€™ve heard and experienced, this race is like no other XC race out there! It was another great example for me that races rarely go as planned. You have to be willing to adapt and just go with the flow. Also, it was a good reminder for me that while we’re riding solo, it’s really nice to feel like part of a team and to feel like there are friends and helping hands out there!
Q: What was your funniest, most challenging, and most memorable moments of the race?
Laurie – When I crossed the finish line I stopped, and I couldn’t get off my bike!! My legs were completely cramped up and I couldn’t move! A kind person saw me suffering and helped me disentangle my legs from the bike, and layed my bike down for me, and got me some water. and I hobbled off in so much pain. It was so embarrassing.
Michelle – Ihave three memorable moments: 1) During the big climb, about half way up the Big Nimby, I started hearing loud, bellowing swearing a few switchbacks ahead of me. As I got closer, a guy was by the side of the trail swearing at the top of his lungs (think ” ‘roid rage). It was a bit un-nerving because he seemed a bit unstable – I didn’t want to look him in the eye. Turns out he busted his derailleur and I guess his ride was over. 2) On one of the last climbs of the race in the Mosquito lake area, I saw this guy up ahead lying down off the side of the trail. I thought sh$(# this guys had a heart attack and quickly tried to review CPR steps in my head. Turns out he had had enough and was having a nap by the side of the trail…..I believe that he said “Its come to this……” 3) On one of the steep climbs near the end of the race, I was pushing my bike up and this guy came riding up behind me and was trying to make it so I pushed him up the trail. He said thank you and that he wanted to kiss me. Thank goodness he kept riding because the feeling wasn’t mutual! It made me laugh though!
Sandra – Double flatted; first time half way down Overnight Sensation, and the second time about half an hour later. Can’t complain as I’ve gone a long time without a flat (and need to work on getting faster at putting in a tube!). Then about half an hour after the second flat came across a fellow Islander who was really struggling, so rode the rest of the way with her to make sure she made it home safe.
Q: Who would you recommend this race too?
Laurie – An XC rider who loves a challenge with amazing singletrack!
Michelle – Anyone who loves long technical rides in beautiful scenic places on awesome trails…….and can take a bit of pain.
Sandra – Intermediate to advanced riders with a good sense of humour.
Q: What kind of training did you do for this race?
Laurie – Obviously not enough! I ride group rides Sundays and Wednesdays, and I ride a hard ride Fridays with the boys where I chase them for 3-4 hrs.
Michelle – My goal this year is to do 5+ type of endurance XC events, so I have been “training” since January (i.e., increasing my mileage and since April, adding some intervals). I have a great group of training partners so we keep each other going. So far I have completed 3 marathon XC races (the Dirty Duo, the Sunshine Coaster and the Nimby)
Sandra – Lots of hours spent on the bikes, both road and mountain.
Q: Are you keen to do more?
Laurie – YOU BET! Can’t wait for the Test of Metal!
Michelle – Yes!!!!! I have a feeling that this race will be replacing my annual Test of Metal race for me, as far as marathon XC races go.
Sandra – Absolutely.
Q: Anything else you want to add??
Laurie – It was so great to have Muddbunnies racing team there for encouragement! Thanks! Not to mention its pretty awesome to ride in the same event as World Cup Champion Catharine Pendrel.
Michelle – I had a Redbull at an aid station and it seemed to work! Maybe I will be adding that “fuel” into my race regime. Also a big thank you to the Muddbunnies support tent and Red Racer Beer – boy did that taste good after a long, hot dusty ride!!!!!
Sandra â€“ too tired to answer!
We are sooo proud of all the ladies! The Muddbunnies have come a long way since 2005 and I am sure we had the biggest female team turnout!! YAY Bunnies!
A huge thank you goes out to our 2012 Muddbunnies Race Team sponsors! Our racers have the opportunity to race because of these wonderful sponsors, please take a moment to visit their sites:
Red Racer Beer: www.redracerbeer.com/
Reflect Sports: www.reflectsports.com/
Dirty Girl Designs: www.dirtygirldesignscanada.com/
Design Out Loud: www.designoutloud.com/
Caps New Westminster: www.capsbicycleshop.com/
Different Bikes: www.differentbikes.ca/
Velocity Cycles: www.velocitycycles.ca/