Tennessee Bellas place 4th overall at Gulf Coast Triathlon

May 23, 2007

Race report by Missy Hulbert

Here’s how it all went down, from my perspective… I’m sure we decided over cocktails some evening that putting together a relay team for a Half-Ironman Triathlon would be a fabulous idea. After we drew straws to see who would do what, it ended like this – Abby Olson, Swimmer Extraordinaire, Dee Davis, Cycling Queen and Missy Hulbert, Runner (sort of).

L to R: Missy, Dee, Abby

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The day started with a 4:30am wake up call from the ‘Sarg’ – our swim coach, Ashley. There would be no over sleeping today. As we made our way down to the beach, we made a ‘name’ for ourselves. We were a trio of pink with tons of flare. If people didn’t know our names, they soon would. Abby was first to launch as our swimmer. After a few kidney punches and dunkings in her first competitive open water swim, she made her way to the relay transition tent in third place (of the female relays). It was then she realized that the burning sensation on her face was jelly fish stings…nothing a little vinegar won’t fix.

After a dramatic transition and pass of the chip from Abby to Dee, Dee was off like lightening in the bike leg of the race. She looked especially fancy in her new time trial helmet…not to mention, fast. As Dee came screaming into the transition area, and I do mean screaming, “MISSY, MISSY, I’M COMING…” I was getting psyched for my leg of the relay. As Dee stripped off her helmet and shoes, she ran to meet me at the relay tent. I have NEVER seen her move so fast in my life and I mean that! She was #1 in the transition and third in the bike for female relays.

Dee dropped to the ground; I grabbed the chip and took off in my pink glory. By the time I started the run, I think it was ~90 degrees, no shade, and asphalt. I’ve never been so obsessed with putting ice in my bra in my whole life. When I hit mile 11, I was in a delirious state. The ONLY thing that kept me running and not walking was the fact that I was part of a team. The team was counting on me and I couldn’t let them down, they did their part and it was time to do my part and finish it off. Abby and Dee caught me towards the end in my blurry eyed daze. We crossed the finish line together as a team, Velo Bella TN – Abby, Dee and Missy (4th on the run).

Overall, we ended up in 4th place with a 5:29 total finish time. I promise, no one had as much fun as we did, pink tiaras and boas, no extra charge. Thanks to Abby and Dee for a killer time!

Natasha Cowie snags 1st place at Tsali 6 hour race

May 23, 2007

Natasha Cowie, pro southeastern Bella, took first in the 6 Hour Solo Women’s division at the 12 Hours of Tsali on May 19. She was also the only woman to complete 6 laps. See goneriding.com for full results. Photo courtesy goneriding.com.

May 22, 2007

Tuesday Night Time Trial, MN
3rd, Sheryl Gollin, Women 40-49
1st, Brook Lemm-Tabor, Women 50-59

Gravity Girls in Cyclingnews

May 22, 2007

From the Barb Howe diary

Kern County Stage Race

May 22, 2007

by Erika

Bena TT:

In general I consistently suck at TTs. Madera with camelback over the skinsuit — case in point. I usually have not set my clock, or have forgotten my HR monitor, or have a loose bolt on my tt bars, or i ride off the road into a ditch, or go all out and fry up in the first ten minutes. i have tried listening to my breathing but it’s not the best gauge, I find, because usually it tells me to pull over and get off the bike. i like the idea of having someone up ahead of me by thirty seconds. i think that this rabbit might make me go faster. but the rabbit just gets smaller and smaller until a new rabbit appears ahead of me which in turn gets smaller and smaller. but i got me this new light bike this year and glitterboy slapped on some TT bars and tipped them so my back was flattish. and for some unknown reason i managed not to completely suck. i’ll take it.

Walker Basin Circuit Race:

i wanted to puke on the drive over to the course. nothing too magnificent. just a few diced carrots, perhaps. it was going to be such a long day, with two stages, requiring much intensity and focus, two things i try avoiding whenever possible. i figured the firestone girls were going to be feisty and aggressive, try something and get away. “uh-uh,” Sabine had said the night before, “they’re not getting away, uh-uh”

She was so right. in fact it was quite the opposite. they were reacting to our moves all race long. While I sat on Sonia’s wheel and did my best dingleberry interpretation, the Bellas attacked and attacked. Soni, followed by Laura, Linda. I never once was in the wind, unless Sonia cut some.

I was relieved of all responsibility, all pressure and free to focus on one thing only, preserving the 10 seconds between us and perhaps getting a few more in the sprints. Andrea from Left Coast (soon to be a Bella) would let me in to follow Sonia. Or move to the right of me to protect me from the wind. Linda would ride up next to me and remind me to move up.

I’m not great at seeing the big picture in races. At one point, Soni was up the road with Laura Perdew on her wheel. I was riding along, eyes focused on Sonia’s ass, when i noticed Janet from MVV was to my left sort of stuck between the center line and me. I thought she wanted Sonia’s wheel. “Let her out,” Sabine said, and so I let a gap open and sure enough Janet attacked which allowed Sabine to get pulled up to the Soni and Laura. It was so perfect.

So every lap while the Bellas attacked and chased, I got pulled along and was set up fresh as a daisy (not ours) to do my bit.

On the last time up the hill, Sabine put in a massive attack and Sonia’s ass slipped out of my vision just a bit. I saw an opening up the middle that seemed to be my only chance. Things got a little dicey at this point and I remember thinking, “wow, this is sort of like the last lap diciness.” not realizing until I crossed the line that the race was over. I thought we had one more to go! (See above about the big picture). So a splendid team effort.

Breckenridge Hill Climb:

I loved this hill climb.

The temp was beautiful, and we were many miles from a dump. The plan was to stay with Sonia, stay at her pace and then when the time was right to have me or Sue get away. I could tell from Sonia’s heavy breathing that she was having a hard climb. Still her teammates were setting a steady pace and I just sat in. I looked to my right and there was Triki and looked behind and there was Chechu. What a very nice sight.

All around was heavy breathing from the Firestone girls. I listened when Sue came alongside me and not a sound. Oooh, it was going to be a good day. A very good day. And when the road pitched up a bit, Sue smoothly came to the front. She was riding so effortlessly. I said, I’m here. And so she picked it up a little. And then a little more. It was so beautiful. It was like one of Linda’s Tour videos (except for the icky Lance part).

Unfortunately when I looked back Chechu was gone. Only Janet (MVV) was left. Triki bumped it up a little more and POP she too was gone. I was so delighted. This was Sue’s stage and we were going to drill it to the finish. But then she told me to ride on, get time. And that Sue can be VERY persuasive. So I went on. There was Bob blowing his clarinet. Lovely. And then there was the “1 to go” sign. One ‘what?’ to go I thought and soon discovered it was 1 hundred fucking miles to go — or so it seemed.

I came in first, followed shortly by Triki! So much fun.

Woody Road Race:

Excellent riding by all. I had 3mins 45 seconds going into the stage over Sonia Ross in 2nd so I felt a little bit of the pressure was off. I just needed to get through it without any mishaps.

It was so good seeing Linda get over those climbs and be there to help slow the descents. Soni and Sabine did some great pacing up the climb, hard enough to get the Firestone girls to breathing deep but still keeping the group together. On the second lap before the dirt right turn, we were all chit-chatting and being nicey-nicey. I was looking forward to finishing, having one of Miss Mary’s boiled eggs and maybe some totellini when WAM! Julie Kaplan blazed to the front. My first thought was no! don’t make it hard! Then, WAM Sabine was gone with her.

All the Firestone girls were at the front and the nicey-nicey went out the window. I folded up my napkin and put my head down to make sure I wasn’t dropped. Poor Janet had her work cut out for her and strung it out. I didn’t know about her seeing Ryan and Tracie up ahead, but the pace slowed as Janet was surrounded by Firestone.

On the rollers to the finish I was happy to see Sue get a gap and keep it going. And Janet too. I watched Sonia put in a super hard effort to close the gap on Janet but it wasn’t to be. (There’s some Karma in Janet getting back those 11 seconds, I believe.) When I crossed the line I rolled down the hill to find out that Sabine had won the stage and Sue took second place (and moved to fourth overall). Aaah, a perfect ending.

Gear West Duathlon RR by Rocker

May 21, 2007

I love how Friday was 86 degrees, and Monday is going
to be 84…but Sunday? Well, heck! Let’s race in the 35
degree range with gale-force winds :p Gotta love MN.

IN answer to your question, Marjie, Gear was fine.
Cold. Frigid, frigid cold. And HELLO???? WTF IS UP
WITH THE WIND???? But fine. I ended up about 3 minutes
slower than last year.

I slogged thru both runs at about the same pace as
last year (and as a side note, whoever designed this
course should be shot. It has more twists and turns
and cambers than something that is…well… really twisty
and turny and full of cambers. :p And those three
hills right at the end I could do without, as well…).

Which means I lost most of my time on the bike. At
first I was annoyed—the bike is my strongest event
(well, okay, it’s my ONLY strong event, as I’m no
longer a strong runner, and I certainly am no
swimmer—not that swimming was necessary here, this
being a duathlon, and it NOT raining…and admitted
oddity for Gear.). I usually try for a split in the
top 1-5 people. You can out run me, but I WILL beat
you down on the bike. And I felt strong out there,
despite the nasty wind and muscle-cramping cold. The
bike course for Gear West it probably my favorite out
of all the races I’ve done. It’s just roller after
roller after roller, all thru beautiful countryside.

Yet, like I said, I was 3 minutes slower. Oops. Grr.

But after some consideration, I realized I haven’t
been riding. And despite the fact that the bike is my
strong suit…I can’t really expect to not actually ride
and still do well. :p

SO all in all, I was happy with the day. It was nasty
out, but still fun. It’s impossible to NOT have fun on
that bike course, I think. It’s just one of those
rides that reminds you why riding your bike is a joy.

I ended up at 22:54 for the 6k; 51:04/20.0 mph for the
17 mile bike; and (ouch) 21:36 for the 4k. Total of
1:37:35; 20th place OA. Not my best finish, but like I
said, I’m not quibbling. :-) Onward and upward, y’all!

how i lost my mtb racing virginity– by manda

May 20, 2007

the course: Salem Hills (Harmon Park) in Inner Grove Heights.

the race: one of a series of 10 in Erik’s spring cup

the verdict: following the metaphor in the title.. it was like being in high school, and hooking up with a fellow high school student– with bad planning and not a lot of skill. but in the end, no matter how EH it was.. you know you’ll probably do it again.

bad planning: I did get a new bottom bracket for my mtb… but didn’t manage to install it. Based on Rocker’s TT report, I need a pre-installation idiot check, AND during the install idiot check.

Oh well. Maria and Baba had already assured me the course was do-able on my cross bike.. and I can definitely swap my tires on and off! So.. sweet! i had a ride for the race. My ex, who has done/maybe raced this course before, thought me + cross bike + course == dead panda. I figured 2 outa 3 wasn’t, so I off I went to the race… to ride the Sport class (citizen is sorta like cat4, I’m thinking… but they don’t really enforce it)… under the premise… “same amount of money. more time on the course. it starts at 11 instead of 9:30”.

Ran into Hollywood when I got there… got style points for having the cross bike. w00t! I will DFL in style.. and that I did… with some haggling with the officials. They had me down as 2nd in my age group.. as I thought it was like a cross race, and you’re done when the lead group gets down. Apparently this was not the case. I shoulda did my 3rd lap. DOH! When I mentioned this, they wanted to DNF me, but… I asked for DFL, because… it seems slightly better.

The race didn’t start out too bad. It all sorta fell apart, when I tried to stop my front wheel from rubbing (the tire was ripping at the bead…and the tube was bulgey). The guys in the front will pass you really calmly and really well, but the deeper you end up in the middle of the pack, the scarier it is. I can get passed by all sorts on the road, and it is good.. ’cause you got one side of the road. this.. you got single track. UGH. MTB being not only a skills thing, but HUGE mental thing… this was bad bad bad.

oh. and skills. in cross.. at I think Lake Rebecca, the officials say “oh hey. there’s this one really really sharp turn at… blah blah blah.. but that’s the only really sharp turn…” Some of the turns on this course, made that infamous turn look straight… eep. must get better at this turning thing.

May 20, 2007

FireCracker MTB, Falls City, OR
3rd, Shannon Holden, Pro/Expert Women

Skyline Park MTB, Napa, CA
2nd, Kathleen Bortolussi, Expert Women 35+

Xterra MTB Triathlon West Championships, Vail Lake, CA
6th, Elizabeth Caraker, Women 40-44
7th, Rhonda Geiszler, Women 40-44

White Lightening MTB, Grand Rivers, KY
1st, Angela Brown, Beginner Women, 30+
2nd, Jennifer Moorehead, Sport Women, 19-29

Gear West Duathlon, Orno, MN
13th, Kristy Powell, Women 25-29
7th, Megan Gerst Rocker, Women 30-34

Columbia International Triathlon, Centennial Lake, MD
2nd, Nicole Shue, Women Military

Granogue MTB, Montchanin, DE
6th, Melanie Swartz, Expert Women

UVAS South Bay Triathlon, San Jose, CA
4th, Amy Fischer, Women 30-34
15th, Deb Sell, Women 45-49
19th, Liz McAfee, Women 45-49

Encinitas Sprint Triathlon, CA
10th, Elaine Bergeron, Female 30-34
8th, Marcie Alberts, Female 35-39

Cycle Sports Criterium, CA
5th, Angela Aldrich, Women 3/4
10th, Tracy Loper, Women 3/4
24th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 3/4
25th, Sabine Dukes, Women 3/4

May 19, 2007

CCCX MTB #6, Fort Ord, CA
2nd, Eliece Horton, Beginning Women
10th, Daphne Hodgson, Beginning Women

6 Hours of Addison Oaks, MI
3rd, Dana Nevedal & Kim Sokol, 2 Person Open Sport

12 Hours of Tsali, Bryson City, NC
1st, Natasha Cowie, 6 hour Solo Female

Bakersfield Triathlon, CA
6th, Stacy Bruner, Female 30-34

May 18-20

May 18, 2007

Kern County Women’s Stage Race, CA

Stage 1-Bena Time Trial
6th, Stella Carey, Women 1/2/Pro
14th,Tracie Nelson, Women 1/2/Pro
11th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women 3
13th, Ryan Hostetter, Women 3
1st, Marian Hunting, Women 4
11th, Denise Ramirez, Women 4
13th, Julie Porter, Women 4
3rd, Erika Donald, Women 35+
8th, Sabine Dukes, Women 35+
10th, Laura Sanchez, Women 35+
11th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+
14th, Linda Locke, Women 35+
1st, Monica Neilson, Women 45+
4th, Andi Mackie, Women 45+

Stage 2-Walker Basin Circuit Race
10th, Stella Carey, Women 1/2/Pro
14th, Tracie Nelson, Women 1/2/Pro
4th, Ryan Hostetter, Women 3
12th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women 3
7th, Julie Porter, Women 4
14th, Denise Ramirez, Women 4
15th, Marian Hunting, Women 4
1st, Erika Donald, Women 35+
8th, Sue Lovecchio, Women 35+
10th, Laura Sanchez, Women 35+
11th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+
13th, Sabine Dukes, Women 35+
14th, Linda Locke, Women 35+
1st, Andi Mackie, Women 45+
2nd, Monica Neilson, Women 45+

Stage 3-Mt. Breckenridge Hillclimb
9th, Stella Carey, Women 1/2/Pro
15th, Tracie Nelson, Women 1/2/Pro
7th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women 3
10th, Ryan Hostetter, Women 3
2nd, Marian Hunting, Women 4
10th, Julie Porter, Women 4
15th, Denise Ramirez, Women 4
1st, Erika Donald, Women 35+
2nd, Sue Lovecchio, Women 35+
7th, Laura Sanchez, Women 35+
8th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+
9th, Sabine Dukes, Women 35+
13th, Linda Locke, Women 35+
1st, Monica Neilson, Women 45+
3rd, Andi Mackie, Women 45+

Stage 4–Iron Mountain Stage Race
12th, Stella Carey, Women 1/2/Pro
8th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women 3
1st, Marian Hunting, Women 4
13th, Denise Ramirez, Women 4
1st, Sabine Dukes, Women 35+
2nd, Sue Lovecchio, Women 35+
6th, Erika Donald, Women 35+
9th, Laura Sanchez, Women 35+
10th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+
14th, Linda Locke, Women 35+
1st, Monica Neilson, Women 45+
3rd, Andi Mackie, Women 45+

Overall GC
11th, Stella Carey, Women 1/2/Pro
8th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women 3
1st, Marian Hunting, Women 4
13th, Denise Ramirez, Women 4
1st, Erika Donald, Women 35+
4th, Sue Lovecchio, Women 35+
7th, Laura Sanchez, Women 35+
8th, Sabine Dukes, Women 35+
9th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+
14th, Linda Locke, Women 35+
1st, Monica Neilson, Women 45+
3rd, Andi Mackie, Women 45+

Tour of Kensington Valley, MI
Stage 1-Prologue Time Trial
1st, Monica Tory, Women 4
Stage 2-Criterium
4th, Monica Tory, Women 4
Stage 3-Road Race
5th, Monica Tory, Women 4
Overall GC
2nd, Monica Tory, Women 4

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