Wild Boar GNCC 2022
Those of you that know me, know that I love sand more than I love a big piece of strawberry pie after a race! So, I was absolutely stoked for the Wild Boar GNCC in Palatka, FL. Most people do not like it because the sand is deep and the track is rough. Leading up to the week before the race, I pinched a nerve and maybe tore a muscle in my lower back. First part of the week, I felt crippled. Could not walk and could not bend down at all… it was rough. I continued to stretch and kept up with stabilizing exercise and took it easy. I seem to get 1% better every day.
Early Friday morning, I started my 16 hour solo trek to Florida. The drive was not terrible. I turned on some podcasts and was pretty entertained. I did not drive straight through but knocked out 12 hours of the trip. I got up early Saturday morning and finished it off. I got to the track before the AM ATV race…. And it was already hot out. Being from Missouri, it is still cold and snowing so the 90 degrees and full on sunshine was a brutal adjustment.. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sunshine and hot temperatures. I just have to get used to it first.
I biked part of the track to check it out. The good news is I could ride my Ebike better in the sand than I could in the SC clay. Makes no sense but it is true. Track looked rough but nothing super terrible. I was still struggling with my back so that is why I didn’t bike the entire thing.
I decided to camp in the van so I had no driving to do in the morning and got to sleep in some before getting ready. I made an awesome but easy breakfast in the van and started going through my routine. I was still stoked about racing but knew it was going to be extra challenging with my back.
I got to the start line earlier than last time and got a better spot, closer to the inside. I had a decent start, front part of the pack. 4 other girls and I swapped back and forth multiple times throughout the first lap. Getting through the traffic on the first lap was a lot harder than the last lap. I was catching so many people quickly. This race was a lot tighter so passes were a bit sketchy but I had to make it happen to keep going forward. I wrecked a few times on the first lap from getting hit but nothing real crazy. I liked how the course flowed. It had some deep sand sections, not so deep sections, and some palmetto sections. It was not super technical, IMO.
At the start of the 2nd lap, I could feel blisters starting to pop. Not a great feeling. It is wild, I never get blisters. People keep saying “WELCOME TO GNCC”. I felt decent on this lap up until towards the end of it when I could barely hold on from my ripped hand. At the end of my 2nd lap, it was time to get my bottle to work on refueling myself for the last lap. I usually grab it and keep moving while doing so but I came to a complete stop and killed my bike because I could not multi task with my blistered hand lol.
I started to feel the achiness of my back but I knew I could keep pushing. I was getting ready to make a pass and clipped a tree and went down hard. I laid there for a bit until someone came to help me back up and get my bike up. It was a struggle to chill out and find the flow again but I just kept moving forward. The tracks started to get a lot deeper and rougher… luckily I have ridden things a lot rougher than this. It prepared me well.
I finished P7 and a lot better than I did on the overall at the first round. I am still learning the craziness but feeling a lot better each time. Looking forward to Georgia this upcoming weekend!
Congrats to Leivan on his 1st place finish! Broc French was able to make it to this round also, finishing 3rd in the Warrior class.
Big thanks to everyone helping me at the races and helping me do what I love!
Since, it is back to back weekends of racing GNCC 12+ hours away from home, I am staying the week in between the two rounds. I spent a few days soaking up more sunshine and on the beach with some great friends before heading to Georgia to get some ride time in. I am super blessed to be able to do these adventures.