Bow Valley well represented at TransRockies Challenge
Marc and Amy Gagnon are trying to do it all.
Juggling two demanding careers (Marc is a pilot, Amy is a nurse), two young children and a general parade of errands, commitments and life events, the couple strives to balance the personal and the professional.
Throw in training for the toughest mountain bike race on the continent, and life becomes even more complicated.
The Gagnons will compete in the 2012 TransRockies ride, vying to be the fastest team across the seven-day, 322-kilometre course with its 11,750 metres of elevation gain.
Hours of babysitting, training commitments and logistics co-ordination will all be worth the effort beginning Saturday (July 26) at the kickoff in Fernie.
“We’re definitely looking forward to this race. We haven’t tried anything like this before,” Amy said.
The athletic couple recently cycled the Kananaskis section of the trail.
“We wanted to see how it felt. It was hot, so that was a good test,” Marc said.
The life balance has been challenging, but they’re happy to test themselves with such a large endeavour.
“I’ll have to introduce myself to my kids again,” Marc joked.
The couple are two of 13 Bow Valley riders registered for the 2012 TransRockies race which travels from Fernie, B.C to Canmore, finishing on Main Street on Aug. 3.
Dirk Dorenbos, Jonathan Firth, Tristan Berendt, Stan Magee, Colin McKinlay, Pete Neff, Evan Olauson, Brent Rosvold, Drew Simson, Margie Smith and Michel Tessier will represent the area.
The race has changed often over the past 10 years. The first race, in 2002, attracted 100 riders who slogged through 600 kms of road and singletrack over seven days. Gradually the race has cut out more of the field grunts and road sections, replacing it with quality singletrack that ribbons through the Canadian Rockies.
Firth is single-minded in his approach this year: he’s in it to win it.
After a week of light spinning, he’ll take a shot at the podium with Stephen Widmer of Vancouver and believes they have the skill and strength to win.
“It will take seven days of consistent riding. No mechanicals. It’s a seven-day marathon. You can’t blow it on the first day,” Firth said
Firth is a strong climber and has already scouted the legs of the course where he’ll plan to attack.
“The third, fifth and sixth will probably be my best days. On the third and the sixth day, we’ll climb 2,200 metres. You have to pace yourself,” Firth said.
Results and race reports of each stage will be posted at www.transrockies.com
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