Team OAM Now Takes 6 Podiums at Lowell 50, Amy Kimber Takes First Women’s 34-mile

April 17th, 2015 by Team OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors

By Elaine Sheikh, Team OAM Now Multi-sport Athlete

10339415_1068255683203803_332727949934892859_oThe Lowell 50, a classic gravel road race, offer two races: a 34-mile and a 57-mile race. This year’s race, held on April 11th couldn’t have brought us nicer weather to race. While the Barry Roubaix two weeks earlier had a starting line temperature in the teens, it was 45 degrees at 10 a.m. when the first wave, the 57-milers, left the start line. What a difference two weeks in the spring makes!

In the 57-mile race, Team OAM Now was well represented by Dan Yankus, Collin Snyder, and Leonard Van Drunen. After that first wave, most of the 34-mile men rolled out, followed by the master’s men and the women 34-milers at 10:08. The race started with a mile neutral roll-out. Immediately, I knew I was much farther back in the pack than I wanted to be. I had my eye on some strong women, but they were so far ahead of me I would have needed to weave my way around a lot of men to get to them.

Sure enough, as soon as we started riding hard, they were gone and I was still stuck too far back to keep with them. I settled into what I felt would be a sustainable pace, since I had no wheel to draft off of, and committed myself to slowly gaining on anyone who fell off the pack I was behind.

This was my first race since I suffered a pelvic fracture in January. As such, I had only ridden outside once since January, and while my coach Mark Olson has done a fantastic job getting me into shape on the trainer, I definitely forgot how bad a steep hill could hurt! Still, I felt much stronger than I thought I would, and I was able to pass many women quite easily.

At mile 13, I finally saw the jersey of a friend, Heather Goss. I knew Heather to be a solid wheel, so I dialed up the effort level slightly to catch her. She was just falling off small group of men, and was quite open to working together. We were able to keep each other motivated and steady until the end of the race. However, at mile 28, I realized I was in trouble. At that point, I had drank less than 6 ounces of water and hadn’t yet touched my sports drink. I was bonking hard, but without water in my stomach, it would be impossible to get and keep a gel down.

11157405_1068256076537097_6794193076170367318_oA group of men passed us at mile 30, and I tried as hard as I could to hang with them. By mile 32, though, I was barely hanging on. Heather stuck with the men and I slowly fell back. It was everything I could do to keep peddling. I looked down at my computer and realized how close I was to the finish. I started riding as hard as I could. I finished just 30 seconds behind the group I had ridden with at the end of the race, landing me a solid 5th woman overall and 1st in my age group for the 34-mile race. I was pleasantly surprised with how strong I felt, especially since I have been injured. I guess the whole “winter miles make summer smiles” saying is true, even if those winter miles are on the trainer!

Team OAM Now had a great day, and though we didn’t have a lot of people racing, we did secure six podium slots. Amy Kimber won the women’s 34 mile race, Collin Snyder and Daniel Yankus were both 2nd in their age groups in the 57 mile race, Tristan Greathouse was 2nd in the 34-mile boys’ 13-17 category, and Steve Buccella was 3rd in the 34-mile men’s 50-59 race.

Team Results:
Collin Snyder, 2nd place men 18-29
Daniel Yankus, 2nd place men 30-39
Leonard Van Drunen, 5th place men 50 and over






1511551_10206332064448332_2296972789804243070_o34 mile:
Amy Kimber, 1st place women overall
Elaine Sheikh, 1st place women 18-29
Tristen Greathouse, 2nd place boys 13-17
Steve Buccella, 3rd place men 55-59
Larry Strayhorn, 9th place men 55-59
Jim Allan, 12th place men 60 and over


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