Coldest Race with the Worst Weather conditions- When I enter a race in La Quinta California (which is the desert) I expect to be comfortable, warm and dry. This was not even close to reality at the Desert International Triathlon in 2010. It was so cold that I didn't think had feet until the last mile of the run and I had to grunt at a volunteer to open my GU packet cause my fingers were frost bitten and immobilized. You think I am exaggerating but the blue lips on my fellow competitors post race confirms this! Of course, I have no photographic evidence, my camera is not made for sub Arctic use!
Best After party- This category was hotly contested between two events. One race, MOMAR Cumberland included an after party that went until 2am for all its athletes and family to attend. This was awesome, and the fact that we had all bonded in life harrowing near death experiences out on the race course made it seem like we were partying with all of our closest friends. Another race, Sedona Marathon had a beer garden at the awards but that was nothing compared to the after party that my friends and I threw for ourselves. Thus Sedona takes this category. I warn you though, in order for you to experience this awesome after party, you need to have this group with you. Drop me a line, I am sure we can be bought for the right price! (although, I warn you, we don't come cheap, buying us a round of shots will not get you an invite to our party!)
Yes, we ran a marathon today!
Best Starting Time-Hands down this goes to the Tuesday night mountain bike series in Irvine, Over the Hump. I ask you, how can you beat a 6pm start time. Perfect summer evening event! Crushed it's competition, especially those that had 6 am start times! The only other races even close to having a shot were the cyclocross races with their mid morning, early afternoon times but those times were just too close to lunch so they lost out.
Most Life Threatening- Do you really need me to tell you who won this award? Did you not read my account of the Thirsty Beaver? Of course, you need to take into account that I was severely under prepared to take on this event and was on the most mismatched team in the whole race. I was dead weight around my team mates neck! This race left me visibly scared but like any good harrowing adventure I came out stronger, even though I now have a rather inconvenient Beaver phobia.
Best Scenery- Throughout the year I raced in some spectacular places. Running a marathon amongst the red rocks of Sedona, adventure racing in the pristine forests of British Columbia, mountain biking amidst the Colorado mountains and cyclocross racing throughout parks in Seattle. However, all scenery paled in comparison to what the island of St. Croix offered up when I race the Half Ironman there in May. From the moment I entered the water until I crossed the finish line I was astounded by the beauty of nature surrounding me.
We started on that beach!
Most Painful-Nope, this doesn't go to that 100 mile mountain bike race at over 10,000ft. If I could award it to more than one race I would give it to each and every cyclocross race that I did. However, rules state that the awards must not be shared so I have given the honor to the first cyclocross race I undertook. Simply, because I had no idea how much it would hurt to go that hard for 45 minutes. After the first one, I knew I would feel like I was going to bleed out of my lungs while simultaneously, puking. Starcrossed was a great initiation into the sport of cyclocross and I am now hooked. Reading this back, it sounds like I have a problem and should seek some help:)
Best Schwag- No contest, Leadville 100, how much cooler than a belt buckle does it get? Plus, a duffel bag, t-shirt, water bottle, sweatshirt with my name and finishing time printed on it and a necklace. Come on other races, pick it up, that t-shirt with all the sponsors logo plastered all over it is a good bike rag and that's about it. Note, MOMAR did have the coolest t-shirt design but lost out by not offering bling!
Not to mention the hug from the race director!