The first weekend in September always presents itself as a challenge, a true testament to ones cardiovascular fitness. Of course I am talking about the Steamer Hill climb.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with “The Steamer” it is an Individual road bike Time Trial up Mt. Revelstoke National Park. The road climbs 1700 vertical meters over a distance of 27km going from “Rain Forest to Snow Forest to No Forest.” Sound tough? You’re right it is.
Every year I talk myself into entering and every year, as I stand on the start line I question my decision. Too late for that now, the starter counts down from 5… “Go!” she yells. I sprint out of the start and attack the first hill. Halfway to the Park Gate I realize that sprinting may not have been the best idea but push through the early pain and ease into a manageable pace (by no means comfortable). The pavement is rough and the switchbacks are steep, every so often a fresh section of pavement presents itself allowing for a moment of efficient pedalling.
I’ve been pedalling for what feels like hours only to look at my watch and see it’s only been 20 minutes, about a quarter of the way there. Passing the 10km mark with a new personal best I was ecstatic and very optimistic that I could improve my time from last year. As I began to enter what most people refer to as “The Zone” I didn’t have to think about too much other than to keep pedalling!
With 5km to go I caught up to Andrew Lambert, the BC Ski Team Fitness Coach, now was not that time to let up and I pushed hard through to the finish.
“Quick check the time!” I thought to myself, 1:26.01. A little over a minute slower than last year but I considered the amount of biking I had done this summer compared to last and was happy with the result let alone make it to the top!
In that moment I remembered why I had signed up in the first place to overcome an obstacle. To push myself and experience the self satisfaction of knowing I gave it my all, that to me is far more important than worrying about placement.
To wrap things up we went to the Village Idiot for awards and check the official results. Thanks to the race organizers, volunteers and all the racers that came out to make this a great race! Check back for updates from Chile!