Photo Recap of the Steamboat Stinger 2017

What does Emerson do while wallowing over fresh stitches on his chin, a severe wrist bone bruise, half a foot long gashes all over his body, and a shattered ego sustained from barrel rolling down the side of a rocky slope while still clipped into his mountain bike? He signs up for the Steamboat Stinger, a 52 mile mountain bike race that’s 90% singletrack with 7500+ ft of elevation gain!

I am so proud of him. He consistently trained for the Steamboat Stinger over the past 15 weeks, fitting in, at wickedly early hours, long rides, hill repeats, and other things that make me want to hide in bed (forever). On race day, within the first quarter of the course, Emerson encountered several mechanical setbacks and falls that he patiently, with his signature admirable mental fortitude, overcame. The course is no joke. I pre-rode one lap of the race course with him in July and was gasping dust by the end of it. That Emerson completed both laps at a quick clip in light of multiple unforeseen challenges and ended with all smiles makes me gush with joy that no combination of emoji can capture.

Emerson is going to write in-depth about his suffer-fest experience but for now, enjoy this photo recap of our experience in the Steamboat Stinger 2017.

Minor adjustments after a short pre-ride Friday afternoon
A small crack in the rear rim led Emerson to quickly throw a tube in (a futile effort as he’ll learn tomorrow).


Meanwhile, Ashley and Pig got intimate. I should note that Ashley is the greatest kind of friend because she consistently makes vacations out of seeing us suffer in endurance events (she also joined us when I did my Thelma and Louise Half Marathon) 😉
Dropped him off at 6am for a 8:20am start
Em took this and the next photo. He was getting rid of jitters with starting line pics. About 600 riders participated.

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 7.03.17 AM

I volunteered at the Cow Creek Aid Station, about halfway into a lap
Honey Stinger provided riders with all the sugar, electrolytes, and caffeine they might need
The aide station provided excellent views of riders entering the snakey Ridge trail
Coming in hot on the Ridge trail’s many twists and turns
Occasionally there would be a train of riders



Emerson approaching on his first lap. He grabbed water, told me about his flat and broken seat post, before jetting off
Pig taking a break from cheering on riders and snarling at the nearby cows and horses
Passing time brought more cramps, injuries, and mechanicals


After seeing many DNFs, I was excited to see Emerson blazing into his second lap
Much more chipper this time around!
After seeing the last rider off and breaking down the aide station, Pig and I met Ashley at the finish line
We watched some exciting finishes and people giving their all on negative juice in the final stretch
Was excited when this fireball turned the corner


Peddling as hard as he can for the last 20 feet
Pig and I fan-girling at the finish line (and so excited he’s alive in one piece!)
He looked real chipper for about 30 seconds


But then the agony sets in
Emerson getting a sandwich and walking off his cramps
But the agony kept coming back
He was more or less doing this the next 24 hours, as he should after a race well ridden!

Hope you enjoyed the photo recap! A post about the actual course and race experience should be coming soon, once Emerson can move like a normal human being again. He is currently impeded by achey muscles and devastating tan lines.

Cleaning off stinky success in the Yampa afterwards


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