Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cohutta Race Report from Danielle

On April 25 I competed in the first 100 miler of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, the Cohutta 100 in Ducktown, Tennessee.

The race started with a 3-mile climb up a paved road. I found myself in the lead group of men and tried to tuck myself into the group to conserve energy. Temps were in the 50’s and my legs felt great. Eventually the road start to pitch into a higher grade, and the group started to break apart. I entered the singletrack as the first female and kept a fast pace to maintain my lead.

My new Tomac Carbide was amazing and seemed to float over all of the rocks and roots. Riding it was absolutely effortless and I found myself smiling every time I bombed down a descent. It was so much fun!

The first 20 miles passed in a blur and before I knew it the singletrack was over and it was time for some serious climbing. Eventually, Carey Lowery (Specialized) and Betsy Shogren (Cannondale Factory Racing) caught up to me on one of the long descents, and the 3 of us were within minutes of each other for quite some time.

By 10 a.m. I started to feel the effect of the heat. For the past month in Michigan I had been training in 40-50 degree weather. By noon the temperature had risen to 88 degrees and it felt absolutely BRUTAL. I could feel my power fading and focused on remaining hydrated. By the time I reached Aid Station 4 (Mile 65) I had worked my way back into 2nd place but had a mechanical shortly after.

This cost me some time and I rode alone for most of final miles. I finished with a time of 8:33, which was good for 3rd place. More race coverage and photos can be found at:


In two weeks I’ll be returning to Tennessee to compete in the 12 hours of Dirt, Sweat and Gears. It’s race #4 in the USA cycling ultra endurance series, where I’m currently tied for 2nd place.

Thanks again to all of my sponsors!
Danielle Musto