New Swagman ambassador Amy Morrison recently won the Enduro competition at the 2018 Sea Otter Classic ahead of a loaded field of female riders. Here’s a recap of the experience from her latest blog post.
It’s always tough to know how your effort on a pedally course matches up to the competition. Finding out the results was exciting with my teammate, Jimmy Smith!
I headed down to Santa Cruz Monday after the TDS Enduro. Feeling beat up after the race, I took it as a recovery day. On Tuesday, Jimmy, our team manager Lauren Gregg, and I met up with the Performance Bikes guys to do a video shoot in Santa Cruz. Performance Bikes is our apparel and shop sponsor this year and talking about how we can represent both Performance and Fuji brands was exciting. On Wedneday, I pre-rode stages 2 and 3 with David. He kept my “I can’t believe how pedally this course is” attitude in check by reminding me that I am a strong rider. Unfortunately, stage 1 (the DH course) and stage 4 (the Dual Slalom course) could only be practiced early race morning.
Race morning, I tried to get an early start so I could practice both stage 1 and 4, but getting in line for Stage 1 30 minutes before it opened still resulted in 40 plus riders ahead of me. I did a run down the DH course, but I couldn’t ride at race pace because of slower riders in front of me. At the bottom, shuttles were not running and I found out my fresh light casing WTB Trail Boss tire wasn’t holding air. I added air to the tire so I could climb back to the van and get more sealant. After getting sealant, I decided I did not have time to pedal over to stage 4 for a practice run. Most racers were just sending the dual slalom blind. I pedaled back up to the start of stage 1 and joined the “are you ready to pedal” banter going on among the racers. I had decided that this race was going to be interval training for me. I knew stage 2 and 3 were going to be hard on the lungs and I would give it my all and benefit from the training that the hard efforts would yield.
Stage 1 went well, better than my practice run. I’m sure as more riders raced down the DH stage it improved, but it was pretty grassy and rough for us Enduro racers. Stage 2 was pedally, but did have a downward grade for most of it. The sight lines were limited by brush, but I knew from practice that I could mostly stay off the brakes around the corners. An uphill sprint on a fire road at the finish came as a surprise (I hadn’t noticed it in practice) and my legs and lungs were burning by the end of the stage. I pedaled up to stage 3 with my friend Dillon Santos. I said I was worried about the beginning of Stage 3 as it started with a flat/uphill climb for about a minute. He broke down the sections and gave me confidence that I was strong enough to power through and be a contender for the race. I survived the first brutal minute and had fun on the lower section. Stages 2 and 3 were what won the race for me. I put seconds into the field and was able to hold strong on the shorter 1 and 4 Stages. Once at Stage 4, I walked over and viewed the course. Grassy off camber turns led into built up berms and tables and then back into grassy corners and a sprint to finish. I dropped in and other than a good skid from almost missing a gate halfway down it was a solid stage.
Without knowing results at the finish, my response to everyone asking, “How did you do?” was “Alright, I think.” An hour later I received a text from Rachel Strait saying, “Holy shit girl!” and a link to live results. I had a feeling it was a good result with what Rachel had texted. I was stoked to share the live results of my win with my teammate Jimmy, Lauren, and the Performance Bike crew when I saw the results!
With the Sea Otter title under my belt, I’m fired up to keep the training going strong. Up next for me is two weeks up on the great trails in Washington State – and then I fly to southern France for the 3rdstop of the EWS in Olargues!
For the complete blog post click HERE.