By Michelle Graves, Director of Sponsor Relations
In attempt to provide our athletes with a better map for the mountain bike event of the Huntsman World Senior Games, CFO Derek Campbell and I decided we would enlist our course director Dave Smith to take us out and help us map out the race course.
We unloaded our bikes as the sun came up and Derek and I were almost giddy thinking we found yet another way to play and call it work! Little did we know, but quickly we found out, just how much we take our athletes and especially their athleticism for granted! As Dave, an incredible cyclist himself, pedaled slowly and with great patience, Derek and I labored up the hill climb. At the top of 2.1 miles and 674 ft. of elevation we were amazed to find that this course requires 3 important elements: Oxygen, Ability and Strength. First great life lesson: Sports teach you where your weaknesses lie!
Next we hit the downhill, at 2.4 miles and only 19 ft. of elevation gain it sounded glorious! Again we were surprised as we sat back in our saddle and proceeded forward as fast as we dared that Dave our guide kept looking back to make sure we were still with him. We were certain at this point his bike had super powers. Second great life lesson: Down is often as difficult as up and falling down will probably hurt much more severely than falling up.
Finally we had the cross country course left to complete. Now we are going to give ourselves a little credit because as athletes you do not do these events back to back. That being said we only did one loop (6.1 miles and 845 ft. of elevation gain) instead of the three loops our elite athletes are required to ride. And the result? Still challenging! Third great life lesson: There are many levels of fitness and success and there is always room for improvement!
Now don’t get the wrong idea. Besides coming back to the office and being appalled when we looked at our times against those of the Huntsman World Senior Games athletes found in the results book – we had FUN! And after we laughed and cried and maybe threw up a little in our mouths, Derek and I both resolved to be better, do better and prepare ourselves to be like you, the athletes we admire even more now that we have walked in your shoes or rode your ride as it were! Final life lesson: Age is relative.
The athletes that attend the Huntsman World Senior Games do have super powers! You are defying aging and we respect and look up to you. Keep it up! We certainly will try!