Seven Naked Ladies traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to compete in the 25th Annual Dead Dog Stage Race. Many podiums were won in Cat 1/2, 3, and 4 fields all due to uh-mazing teamwork. Here’s Sharon’s perspective over the three-stage weekend.
If you want to test your mental and physical toughness you need to sign up for Dead Dog Stage Race. The Amanda’s did it last year but fled to another state this year so they wouldn’t have to race it. Chicken……….
Day 1: Road Race 53 miles
The 3’s started with the pro 1/2’s in this race. I told myself it’s better because I had Joan, Susan A, and Rachel to try and work with along with my Cat 3 girls Susan H. and Lanier. Trust me I was shaking in my pants and worried that I was out of my league. Take in mind my Cat 3 race record hasn’t been so great this year. Wheels of Thunder, 12th place, Superior TT, 12th place, Superior Crit 12th place, Superior RR, 12th place. I needed to get out of this rut or go buy a lottery ticket full of 12’s.
First 11 miles-easy. Everyone wanted to warm-up. After we made our left hand turn things picked up a little and once we hit the climb everyone took off and the field split up. I went as hard as I could but take in mind I was up against a tough field. After a few minutes of being alone I saw Susan A. and knew she was going to be my savior and get me through this tough hill climb race. I can’t tell you how wonderful she was to work with and has a great wheel to follow. In other words she was my “butt of the day”.
Susan and I hung together, grabbed a couple other girls and next thing we know we hear mama Joan asking us to slow down so she can hop on. Now I was really happy. Two teammates to try and hang onto for dear life. Whatever they told me to do, I did. We went up hill, we went down hill, we did 11 miles into a nasty wind and we made it to the end. Actually I had to have a little coaxing from Joan to stay on her wheel and she pulled me in (and pushed me up that last hill). I could never have raced this well if it wasn’t for these 2 wonderful teammates.
When Susan H. finished I asked her if she was going to kill me because I did talk her into coming and doing this race with me. She looked at me and said, “Yes, I’m going to kill you. “ I was so proud of her that she conquered this race. The last 11 miles which are the worst, she did on her own. Congrats Susan.
Day 2: Crit
This started with Rachel taking me through the course a couple times and showing me the correct turns and where to be and not to be. This helped immensely on one of the corners. Rachel went into this crit being in 3rd place overall Cat 1/2 and I went into this crit being 3rd place overall Cat 3, so Rachel, Joan and Susan A. came up with a great game plan for Lanier, Susan H. and myself. These are great girls to learn from, and they are good at strategy.
The 3’s started right after the 1/2’s turned left on the corner. The goal was to have a slow start and eventually after a couple of laps let the 1/2’s catch us so we could jump in and work as a team. Lanier and Susan H. did great making this happen. After a couple of laps the 1/2’s were passing us. I immediately jumped on Rachel’s wheel. I told myself this was going to be my butt for this race. My goal was to stay close to the front and keep my contender Meg H. in close contact at all times. The best thing Rachel said to me before we started racing was, “remember when you are hurting everyone else is also hurting so don’t give up”. I can’t tell you how many times this ran through my mind. Three laps to go Lanier went to the front and picked up the pace. I just held on to Rachel’s wheel and in to the final lap, Rachel told me to stay on and I hung on for dear life. She got me across that finish line. Thank you Rachel for all the tips, having a great wheel to follow and believing in me.
Day 2: TT (yes, straight from the crit to a TT)
After the road race I realized I forgot my skin suit. Oh no, should I go on the computer and see how many seconds I’m going to lose not wearing a skin suit? Should I have my husband drive it up to me? What am I going to do? Lanier came to my rescue. She wanted me to keep 3rd position and try to get into 2nd so she gave me her skinsuit to wear. Is that an awesome teammate or what? I can’t thank her enough for that kind gesture. That’s what is so great about this team. Someone always steps up to the plate for a teammate.
I knew the TT was going to be tough because my legs were spent. All I could do was give it all I had. I knew it was going to be almost impossible to get 2nd overall but I didn’t want to lose 3rd position. It was hard, I was tired but I finished and kept my 3rd place position overall and took almost 3 minutes off of last years time. I thought age was catching up with me and I was slowing down but after this weekend I realized I’m stronger. I’m racing in a much tougher field this year but now I know I can do it.
I want to give a big thank you to all my wonderful teammates.
Susan H. was my co-pilot all weekend. She took care of me and watched out after me before, during and after every race. She told me I didn’t snore but if any of you hear anything differently please let me know.
Lanier, where do you find all this energy and enthusiasm for racing? You amaze me. You are there for me at every race and willing to help me out. You loaned me your skin suit to keep me on top and I am forever grateful.
Joan, you are a worker dog. You are there for every teammate and you were there for me. You gave me great tips you guided me and most of all you believed in me.
Susan A., what a joy to spend the day racing with you. I’ve never had the pleasure before. You have some a great steady wheel and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed being with you for those 3 hours. You helped me get in to the position I needed to be in for the next 2 races.
Rachel, warming up with you today helped calm my nerves. You told me exactly what I needed to do and I listened and raced well because of it. Thank you for dragging my butt all the way into the finish line.
All of you girls who have never done a stage race think about it. You will realize “it’s all about team work”.