The Southeast Gravel (Tryon Gravel Gallop) race in North Carolina this weekend was an absolute blast! It was a beautiful day with perfect temperatures on a 77 mile route that consisted of a mix of pavement, dirt, gravel, and about 6,500 feet of climbing. The race started out at a fairly mellow pace but as soon as we hit the first climb, it was all-out. I managed to stay in contact with the front group even when things started getting hectic and held on until we hit one of the longer climbs on course about mid-way through where everyone got strung out and I fell off the front. After that climb, myself and a few other stragglers managed to get back on, and I continued to stick with the front group until we hit the long Pinnacle Mountain climb and I fell off again. From then on, it was only about another hour of racing and as hard as I tried, I couldn't regain contact with the front. Thankfully, I eventually found myself with a few other guys and we managed to work together and keep the pace high until the last significant climb where our group shattered. From then on, I was alone and rode at a steady pace for the final few miles to the finish, crossing the line 12th overall and 1st overall for the women. Ultimately I'm super happy with how strong I felt and how long I was able to stay in contention with the front group of guys. Other than my chain falling off once, I didn't have any other mechanical issues and I felt strong during the entirety of the race without any signs of bonking (always a win in itself)!
Massive thank you to everyone at Southeast Gravel who put on this amazing event. Every Southeast Gravel race I've done this year has been super fun, well-organized, and equal payout for the men and women. Also, thank you to Team TWENTY24, team partners, CoreFit Training, Split Rail Coffee and my coach Kristin Armstrong for the continued support. Without you all, I wouldn't be able to do what I do as an athlete.