For the first time in 3 years, I am not in New Hampshire with my friend Fran for Timberman. With too much personal and professional obligations, I planned my race schedule without it —doing the Florida 70.3 in the spring and then Montauk in the fall. Part of why I love the Timberman so much is because of the atmosphere, traveling with my hilarious pal Fran and because of Make-A-Wish. It’s never more satisfying than to do a race in honor of someone else or by helping other people and for the past years I’ve been honored to do that for Make-A-Wish. As a bonus for my fundraising efforts, I’ve gotten to meet Chrissie Wellington personally and am the proud owner of her signed race jersey (which I wear at Timberman) and her signed wetsuit from her record-breaking race at Ironman Arizona. If you would like to donate to Make-A-Wish this year, they are still in dire need of funds and no sum is too small.
This year at Timberman I’m not only missing the hills but a stellar field of professionals fighting for a $50,000 purse and 750 KPR points. Linsey Corbin is making the trek from Montana and Rachel Joyce is coming via Colorado (not as far as her native London). Cait Snow considers this her local race. All three of these ladies are Kona contenders, as is Heather Wurtele who is also making the trip up to Lake Winnipesaukee, a gorgeous place to swim. On the men’s side, Matty Lieto is psyched to race in an area similar to his native Oregon. But Aussies Joe Gambles and Leon Griffin are likely to be at the front of this solid men’s field. Matty Reed will also be looking to redeem himself after a season that, for him, has been less than what we all know he is capable of.
I started my bike ride in the rain this morning doing a promised no-rain dance for Timberman. Two years ago we raced in the rain and it was absolutely petrifying going down the hills. Today wasn’t that bad but I was able to call it quits when it started to rain harder and the wind started to blow. In a race, you just have to HTFU and go for it. (safely of course!) Gosh I wish I was there to witness it myself but I will have to get by with phone calls and text updates from Fran who, on her new bike, is going to rock the 60-year-old age group on her new ride! Go Fran!