My fourth Inland Sea Race (now Al Adaid Desert Challenge) and I finally came away $800US richer (the cheque says $750 but I actually got $800) with a first place finish in the toughest race in the Arabian Gulf! And more importantly, smashed my previous time (2:31:30) by more than 35 minutes with a time of 1:53:45! The event was well-organized and gets better every year.
So proud of John and his amazing 4th place finish (up a spot from last year!) in a strong men's field! His recovery continues and he is getting stronger all the time.
This year, we were all thankful for a tail-wind for the first part of the race - normally it's a strong head-wind nearly the whole way. So our times were already faster this year, but I also saw big improvements in my approach and skill. Thanks again to coach Szymon Wasiak and all the support from our Cycling Academy friends. My training this year has helped me immensely!
My #RockyMountain Thunderbolt with 27.5" wheels helped me ride up (almost) two of the dunes, which saved a lot of energy. I was also spurred on by my race-within-a-race with Carbon Wheels Bike Shop teammate (in the UCI cat) Julie Melville who challenged me on the flats and overpowered me in the end to place second in her category against former Olympian and MTB World champion Pia Sundstedt. As usual, pushing the bike up the dunes was the hardest challenge, and the headwind we eventually encountered was a major obstacle for me at a point when my legs just wanted to rest.
I always love crossing that finish line to see John Henry Hancock waiting for me with a proud smile and a hug. He has helped motivate me to get to this point, and without his dedicated bike maintenance, I would be lost 🤗
Overall, an exciting day with lots to celebrate! Thank you to the UCI, event sponsors, organizers and volunteers! It was very professional and still kept the nice casual vibe with the majilis and hanging around the desert for a few hours getting to chat and socialize.
Also, thanks to all the photographers who help document the event! It's amazing to see the pictures and get a sense of the whole event outside of your own piece of the experience.
Can't wait for next year!!