Monday, July 29, 2013

British Cross Country National Champs

After been married for only 3 weeks, and still not a USA resident (which takes so much time and paper work!) I was unable to race US cross country nationals in PA (what a bummer, love that course), so decided to take a shot at British nationals instead. For once the race was to be held in Scotland on the 2014 Commonwealth Games course, so it was a great chance to stay at my parents house before racing, and enjoy having my mum and some friends there to watch.

I was slightly apprehensive about how the race would go as I seem to have been unlucky over the past few months with different types of colds/chest infections. I also ended up in hospital the night after the wedding with near-septicemia, after a bug or a thorn punctured my knee at some point during the wedding (maybe during the photographs), which resulted in a nasty infection with a red tracking line moving rapidly up my body towards my heart! A couple of days on IV antibiotics followed by a week of oral antibiotics were not doing my system any favors.

I arrived in Scotland on Thursday before Sunday’s race. Once I had recovered from the jet lag, I made the short trip from Edinburgh through to Glasgow to check out the course. It was nothing like the trails I was previously used to riding in Scotland before I moved to the US, and a far cry from my natural habitat amongst the rocks in PA: it was smooth gravel trail with the odd drop worked into a “A” line route. Despite it being completely different and my pre-race nerves, I was super excited to be racing in the national championships!

The "double dipper"

2014 Commonwealth Games course

Scotland has been experiencing a heat wave this summer (even I had to admit it was warm), but I prefer to race in warmer temperatures so was pleased to see the temps in the 20’s (oC) on Sunday. The race started at a blistering pace, and I managed to stick with a group of three other girls for a short while. They actually gaped me on a downhill section called the “double dipper”, which was a long section of steep berms with two lanes. The trick to going fast, I noted, was to launch the jumps. I was on the brakes too much, and would definitely love to go back and spend more time practicing.
The Team!

I had great support at the race with my mum and friend Katie Logan there waving Scottish flags and honking a big horn. It made me laugh every time I passed them! Mum’s friend Roger was there to take photos, and my sister’s neighbor who also races, fed me at the feed zone. What a team!

I was happy to cross the line in 9th place at nationals! Being in the top 10 means that I will also get some UCI points, which is always nice for future races.

After a few days in Scotland doing some work and catching up with friends, I flew back to the USA on Wednesday, in time to race the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Wilderness 101 on my home turf on Saturday.


  1. Great job, Vicki! And HUGE CONGRATS on your victory at W101!

  2. Thanks Liz! You must come and race the W101! Hopefully see you in NH