Mud, Sweat, and Beers: Patterson Takes 1st, Vanias Takes 2nd

May 6th, 2015 by Team OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors

By Kaitlyn Patterson, Team OAM Now multi-sport athlete

FB_IMG_1430745646470Over the past several weeks, I wrapped up an intense Nordic ski season and watched the ski trails progress from groomed corduroy, to icy hardpack, to mudpits, and finally to dry and fast mountain bike trails. The VASA trail was in perfect shape for the mountain bike season opener, Mud, Sweat, and Beers this weekend. Actually, the only mud to be found was the man-made mud pit placed strategically before the finish line for spectator enjoyment. The weather was perfect and the 73 degree temps made for happy racers and spectators.

Alex Vanias and I had the benefit of living close to the trail so we were able to pre-ride the course several times in the week leading up to the race. The race began at Mt. Holiday ski area and climbed through the Holiday Hills neighborhoods before entering the VASA trail system. The loop was a combination of fast, flowy singletrack and wide open trails. The Elite fields had several Team OAM Now representatives with Alex in the men’s race and Amy Kimber and I taking on the women’s field.

The first climb out of Mt. Holiday broke up our field quickly and created a four woman break. Each rider was experienced and strong and the pace was kept quick by rotating leads. About halfway, two of the riders fell off on a tricky singletrack section leaving me and last year’s winner. I knew she was strong and a good technical rider and the best chance I had was trying to drop her on some tough climbs about two miles from the finish. I attacked hard and she didn’t respond, allowing me to enter the stadium alone for an upset victory.

2015-05-04 09.19.13Alex battled return champion Jorden Wakeley over the entire course but finished just 6 seconds short of the win. Amy Kimber finished 8th in a very strong women’s field.

Overall, it was a great day at a fun, high energy event. Mt Holiday does a great job hosting the race and made it feel like a party all day. I even left with a quirky trophy to show for it!


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