Monday, June 22, 2009

Danielle on the Podium at Lumberjack 100

Race #3 of the National Ultra Endurance Series, The Lumberjack 100, happened this past weekend in Manistee, Michigan. It was really nice being able to race a National race right in my home state!

Two things separate the Lumberjack 100 from the rest of the races in the NUE series. First, the Lumberjack is 99% single-track, comprised of short, steep climbs, a few switch-back sections, and lots and lots of Michigan sand. Secondly, the race has a lap format, meaning that we had to do 4 loops of the 25-mile course. As a result, the Lumberjack is known for being the most mentally challenging of all the races.

After the first 25 miles I came through the pit area in 3rd place, minutes behind Betsy Shogren (Cannondale) and Karen Potter. I grabbed a fresh hydrapak and tried to make up time on the 2nd lap. Things went "downhill" for me quickly when I hit some wet roots at the bottom of one of the fast downhills. My bike stem slammed into my knee-cap, taking me out of the race for a good 5 minutes.

Eventually I was able to get back on my bike and start pedaling again. The women's field was pretty stacked with about 25 racers, and I wasn't sure how far back everyone else was. I knew that I was going to have to hurry if I wanted to hold on to my position. It was pretty obvious that I needed stitches, but I figured that I could finish the remaining 65 miles of the race first!

After 8 hours and 46 minutes of riding I crossed the finish line as the 3rd place female, and placed 31st overall out of 280 racers! More coverage and pictures can be found at

Thanks again to all of my sponsors. My bike and gear worked flawlessly, and I couldn't do it without you! Next weekend I'll be racing in a local Norba Marathon, and then it's off to Colorado for the 4th race in the NUE series, the Breckenridge 100. This will be my first time racing at a higher elevation. I'm definitely nervous about it, but also very excited to see what I can do!

Until the next race,
Danielle Musto