I just wanted to write a quick update on the 24 Hours of Light for family and others. I'm not going to expand on it too much right now because I am in a pretty somber mood. The friend who I have been coordinating with on the Great Divide Race updates, Pete, was the first on the scene at a horrific bear mauling at the 24-hour race in Anchorage - which was going on at the same time as my race. The attack involved a young girl he knew. I hope everyone involved will fully recover, but that still remains uncertain. Also, Geoff is having pretty serious doubts about continuing with the Great Divide Race. I can only imagine there must be some deep and dark self doubt involved with the decision-making process, but I have as of yet been unable to connect with him to talk to him about it. A bit of a dark day, and I could feel it, I could, even as I was surrounded by the cheery festival atmosphere of my race in Whitehorse.
I won the female solo division of the 24 Hours of Light, which I did by simply showing up. I rode my one required lap and 14 extra victory laps, which netted me second overall in the solo category - 15 laps to Jeff Oatley's 18 laps. I rode about 200 km of rough trail - lots of tight, winding singletrack with ~16,000 feet of climbing in 15 laps. I didn't spend myself. I took lots of breaks and a long nap, ate full dinners and breakfasts and hung out with friends, broke my chain and walked most of a lap after discovering I bucked my chain tool out of my frame bag (the trail was rough. Really rough. My butt misses my softtail.) I could have done more to push harder to reach the private places I seek when I do extreme endurance races. But I didn't dig deep and I'm not necessarily disappointed about it. The race organizers did a great job; besides the chain breaking, everything about the race flowed perfectly; I had a great time riding with friends and netted about $400 or $500 worth of Pearl Izumi schwag for my "win." The fact that I now feel about this race in a similar way that I might if I just went to a fun party or saw a really good movie must mean something. I'm sure I'll explore it more after I have slept a bit and hopefully have a clearer state of mind.