I have heard countless tales of the Snake and those who fought it, but since I fold under peer pressure like origami I jumped on the pre-reg band wagon. Then I watched a video of a prior race and broke out in cold sweat.
Fast forward almost three months and here we are arriving in Burlington brimming with anxiety. After some rapping, hip hopping and an impromptu dance party we head over to registration and this is where I get my first glance at the Snake. My heart skips a beat and my stomach somersaults 6 times (once for each lap we were about to do). I begin to negotiate with myself and my legs, since somewhere in the last few weeks I decided I wanted this podium. Things got blurry; I somehow registered, pre-rode the course, and almost missed my race (thankfully it was running a few minutes late). As we line up at the start and my legs begin to shake I hear my jam (“Throw Sum Mo”) being rapped by my fellow Spider Monkey comrades. So naturally we bust a tiny move and throw sum Mo. I imagine people thought we were insane but it was just what I needed to disperse my nervous energy a bit.
The whistle blows and we gun it for the Snake. Not knowing how the pace will be or how bad the snake will bite I was conservative and stayed mid pack to protect my legs and feel things out. The Snake did bite (A LOT) and my rear wheel kept sliding out more than I would have liked, but I managed to keep moving up on the climbs and even more so on the descends/corners. Being funsized I don’t descend as fast so I knew I could not afford to use my breaks, but thanks to the CWEC cornering clinic a week earlier I was able to corner at speeds not previously imaginable to me, so I was pretty stoked and giggled a few times even. I kicked things up a bit on lap 3/4 and found myself out in the front. The slight headwind in the back of the course (my Archilles Heel) managed to zap my legs a bit and soon Margeaux Claude (she is awesome!) got to me and told me to jump on her wheel so we can work together. She was in beast mode and I was not able to hold on to her wheel for too long. Soon another Minnesotan passed me. I was third on the last lap and was not able to see anybody behind me, but I went ballz-out on the last descend to ensure a spot on the podium. In the end Margeaux did a phenomenal job and dominated the Snake, 14 seconds later Melissa took second, and 6 seconds after I “sprinted” across the finish. In the end I was overwhelmed physically, mentally and emotionally. The Snake lived up and surpassed all of my expectations; it was the worst and best race EVER! It was especially amazing because a ton of Chicago ladies represented and dominated the Snake!!!
Special thanks to Spider Monkeys for hosting and taking care of me all weekend long!!! Could not have done this without you, nor would I have had as much fun.