From the start I knew last years winner Brandi Heisterman would be the one to watch, and it was a good battle to end. I think my lack of high end right now paid off because I didn't go out like my normal bat out of hell and blow up. A couple of wheels behind her up the first long climb, I worked hard to try to pass her into the first single track but she nabbed the first prime and stayed in front of me.
Into the Nimby climb, 101 switch backs up to the top...yup that's right, I was a couple of wheels behind and set a comfortable pace that seemed to match Brandi's. Last year being my first year here, I attacked the bottom of the climb and ended up walking a lot of the last third of the course where the climbs just get punchier and punchier. This year, much better plan of attack. About 1/2 of the way up I had moved right behind Brandi's wheel, she dabbed on a corner and I was following a little too close and really dabbed. Off the bike and running, she managed to put a good distance between us and it took me some good time to catch back up to her. As soon as I caught her wheel, so pulled over with seatpost issues, but that didn't slow her down as she was charging hard.
Into the Red Bull downtime I had 15 seconds on Brandi and was excited, I rocked the downtime last year. But this year, I road it like a donkey, not very well at all! Not sure what was going on, but I definitely didn't feel great this year. At the split in the trail, I couldn't remember which way I took last year, so I took the smooth route this year.....that ended up being the wrong decision. The smooth route ended up climbing back up a little, going a long way out and finally back towards the downhill, easily twice as long.....at least it gave my arms and hands a little brake. As I was meeting back up with the rough line, Brandi popped out right behind me....Gaaaaah, lost any advantage I had.
Up through the feed zone, and into the last loop of the course....the Victoria style trail, steep punch climbs and rock face trails. Up the first climb I was feeling good and put in a little effort, slowly pulling away. This gave me a big encouraging boost and I had saved enough from the first half to charge. I worked hard to create a gap, going over the bars on one section just putting my wheel in the wrong spot, haha, it was a picture perfect form over the bars. Through the last of the singletrack my only thought was smooth is fast, smooth is fast. The Kenda Kozmik Lite II always seems to amaze me, with the Stan's Race Gold wheels and sealant I ran 23/24 psi no problems, tracked really well in the dry and muddy corners. Smooth is fast, and no flatting is even faster!
Out on the rail way, hammer back to the road and a good 2 km in the headwind to the finish. I was in no mans land, running scared of Brandi charging behind me. Took my first Nimby 50 win by only a minute twenty. Thanks for the awesome race Brandi! Huge Thank you to the organizers and many volunteers of the Nimby 50, love this event and I will definitely be back next year and year after and year after and............