I’d wanted to take on a multi-day expedition race for several years, but had been setback by knee surgery in 2009. After a full recovery in 2010, I set my sights on the Gold Rush Mother Lode Expedition race scheduled for September of 2011. I put together a strong team from my Racing With Giants crew, consisting of Susannah Cantrell and Adam Knight. I felt great about this team, as Susannah and Adam are both strong athletes, veterans of the sport (both having completed multi day races), and great friends! We started training in earnest, and setting our sights on a strong finish in the fall.
The race course really had it all. It started in Bridgeport, CA, on the East side of the Sierras, took us over Sonora Pass, and ended in Columbia, CA on the West side of the Sierras. Along the way we saw amazing scenery, spent countless hours on the bike and on foot searching for checkpoints, rappelled of 600ft cliffs, and slept only 2.5hrs (probably should have slept a little more). I navigated for my team, and had a solid outing. We cleared all of the mandatory checkpoints, and gathered a few of the optionals. I was impressed at how well our team worked together, battled through the hard times, and supported each other when needed. It was definitely a difficult event, but we finished with smiles on our faces.