BaseCamp member Amy Fowler shared her experience at the 2023 Monster Cross event in Pocahontas State Park in Virginia.
So hard! So awesome! This was a 50-mile gravel course consisting of two 25-mile laps. There were no big climbs, just a lot of rollers which made for constant pedaling. Started hard, eased up after the first 5 miles or so. Kept pushing the pace. Had a target completion of 4 hours, which I just missed. Legs felt like crap, but they kept moving. I had Amber in my head whenever I felt like giving up... "the power is in you." And it was. Started cramping in lap 2 and had to ease up a bit in order to get the salt stick tablets in me, which helped ease the cramps but didn't last long. I kept up with hydration really well and not bad with nutrition. Eating while on bike is a limiter for me which I am working on.
Unfortunately I finished last in my age group, which felt very defeating as I felt I raced hard and gave it my best. I haven't been riding long and only started racing gravel last year. Also being in the Master age group, I am racing people who may have been at this for a lot longer than me. While I realize that, it's still frustrating!!
Overall it was a great day and with 60° temps it felt amazing to just be in bib and a jersey, no cold weather gear needed!