The O2S is a 48 Mile point-to-point race: The course traverses some of the most scenic terrain available in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It's Michigan's largest mass start Mountain Bike Epic.
A year ago,
when I wasn't marries to Nathan and living in the states yet, I was visiting during that time. I couldn't join the race because I was injured. We did a little ride in the area: Hello Ore to shore | Ride | Strava
On race day for Nathan a year ago in 2022
it was kinda cold and rainy and I was kinda happy not having to race. I did a bottle handup for Nathan. He did so well. Such a close sprint finish got him a 3rd place overall. I also remember watching the women's podium and thinking "wow, these girls really went for it, I wonder if I would do well".
Now married to Nathan, living in the states and being racing my first full mtb season, Ore to Shore was definitely on the plan. Specific training sessions made me feel confident.
Not knowing the course and only hearing a little bit about some sort of "Lucy hill, Misery hill and sand pits" left me no choice but to just go for it and "trust instincts" on race day. I thought this might be an disadvantage to other women that have been racing this every year.
A day before the race, under light rain, we rode the course backwards a couple miles to check out the last miles to the finish.
I was a bit nervous and hoping it wouldn't rain or be too cold on race day, since the day before it was pouring rain before our pre ride.
I was determined to take the challenge as I did in Brazil with the longer races I experienced there. Mass start into a muddy adventure.
I called this race "Brazil style" because the only type of racing I knew before was mass start, mostly double tracks and all kinds of steep rocky climbs and mud pits. Except that the races in Brazil would have 3x more elevation gain.
after a quick warm-up with Nathan, we both lined up on the preferred start area. As soon as the start gun went off, racers increased speed following the neutral pace car for around 2km. After that it was a bit chaotic battle through the first narrow offroad double tracks, where a bigger rider pushed me to the side, causing my bike to slip on a plastic margin on that section, so I crashed. I rushed up on my bike and saw some women passing and knew they have been a couple seconds behind, since before the crash I was pretty much still with the front group.
Keep it moving, do your thing, grab wheels!
the first climb shows up and I just go as best as I can. Chaotic mud pits caused bigger groups to slowly break down as some riders make it through faster. So after a while I find myself on a pretty nice pace with some guys. It was so important having strong wheels to draft on, especially on some road sections. I suffered to keep up sometimes, but knew it was worth the "energy investment".
Towards the end
I recognize some of the stuff we pre-rode and got happy I had good energy in the tank and had to keep concentrated and make as well as I can to the finish, not knowing how far behind the next women was, but almost sure I was the first.
Crossing the finish line was super rewarding after almost 3 hours of racing, muddy, energized and the most important, not injured!
I had fun and like this kind of racing.
Nathan did pretty well with 5th overall regarding that he started feeling sick a day before.
The weather turned out nice too.
I'm thankful for the organizers and happy for everyone taking that challenge and being a part of this cool event.
First place amongst 82 female starters on the "hard rock" (48mile) course.
The prize money was good and helped with the expenses making it to the race.
Ohhh and I loved getting flowers!
Again thanks to all the supporters around everything that is needed to make a race like that happen.
Let me know what you think and what your experiences are with those kind of races or even if you have been to Ore to Shore!
I recommend ;)