Ingrid was invited to race track at the US Grand Prix of Sprinting last week (along with Amanda) to race not only national champions, but world champs too! Read how the races went down!
Last weekend, Amanda Cyr and I got the chance to compete amongst the world’s best track racers at the US Grand Prix of Sprinting track cycling event in Colorado Springs. In attendance was an all-star line up including , Sarah Hammer, Katie Compton and Sofia Arreola.
I entered the Omnium, which consists of 6 events, where racers get points for placings in each event, while Amanda entered the Sprint and Keirin events. Amanda and I also entered the Team Sprint together, in which we set a team PR for ourselves!
It was pretty audacious for me to enter the race and I had to remind myself not to spend time or energy feeling like a I should not be there! As a result, Amanda and I made a pact that we would not spend the two days talking about how under prepared we are, or how beginner we are, or any of the other self doubts that can creep into the infield conversations. Track racers spend the entire day together in corrals under shade tents in the infield where they warm up on rollers, eat, hydrate, and chit chat between races and heats. There’s nothing worse than having an annoying “Debbie Downer” in your corral complaining while you mentally prep for the next event. Unlike other kinds of bike racing where you can retreat to your car or a quiet spot to warm up, track racers spend the entire day together in close quarters. You can’t really move once you’re parked with all your stuff; rollers, cooler, etc., so there is some etiquette to being in your corral. Keeping yourself from being annoying is one of the best ways you find yourself with options for sharing the next race.
There were 12 women in my Omnium, including teams from Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, other parts of the US, as well as some other young local up and comers. I was completely thrashed and the Omnium was more grueling than any stage race on the road that I can remember. The intensity combined with hot temperatures during the day–not to mention and the high calibre of racing–took its toll on me and I found myself working hard just to make it through the event. While I held my own with top 10 finishes in a couple of the timed events, the mass-start races tested my high intensity endurance and let’s just say–I got schooled.
Having had a few days to reflect, I am really thankful for the opportunity to participate in such an event. While I have some natural talent on the track, it was great to see firsthand what it really takes to compete at the world class level. Sure, I can fantasize about how much better I’d be if I had more time to train instead of squeezing workouts in between my duties as a Co-Founder and CEO. To be a world class track racer takes more than just “more time to train”. It’s a huge commitment not to be taken lightly, it’s coming back day after day to make improvements that amount to fractions of seconds. While I was able to have fun and enjoy the races no matter where I placed, the other competitors had expectations, pressure, goals, and disappointments. I left the weekend with a humbleness and respect for these professional athletes. They give us all something to dream about.