Rebecca Places in the Trans-Sylvania Epic

Rebecca Rusch, KT Tape athlete and 24-hour World Mountain Bike Champ, has had a busy spring. First with a week-long stage race in the Australian Outback, and now long competition called the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Not to fear, this race is scary, but completely vampire-free. Located in central Pennsylvania, the Trans-Sylvania Epic is the longest stage race in the U.S. Rebecca struggled with her breathing throughout the race, but managed to come away with a place on the podium -- a 3rd place finish among the women. Way to go Rebecca! Here's an excerpt from Reba's own blog on the last few days of the race. "What a fun week of racing. Spending 7 days in a cabin wasn’t nearly this fun when I was a kid. I made so many new friends, re-connected with old friends, and can’t wait to do this race again next year. Pennsylvania has incredible riding, so ignore those people who make fun of the Amish. Stage 5 was fun mini XC racing, while Stage 6 was back to the asthma attacks, struggling to breath the thick, soupy air and just survival riding again for me.  It was really disappointing because the stage was really technical riding that required power and effort that I did not have.  I was flat as a pancake and could not put in much effort without wheezing and gasping.  So, I did a fair bit of walking, struggling, and a bit of falling on slippery rocky terrain.  I was basically riding like a grandmother.  I could not really race and was again just trying to get to the end of the day in one piece. I’m a bit baffled by my intensely adverse reaction to the air here.  I can ride in Leadville at 10,000 ft and not feel a thing.  Coming down here where the air is thick, warm and moist would seem to be easier, but for me it has the opposite affect.  The locals are all saying this is a really bad pollen year.  The medics also tell me that when it rains, like it did last night, it makes the pollen worse. Stage 2 and 6 seemed to be similar weather combinations and were the hottest, most humid days and the two days where I had a huge amount of trouble with my breathing.  I have not felt super fast the whole week, but those two asthma days were beyond anything I’ve ever felt before.  I made it into the finish, so I’m still officially in the race and solidly in 3rd.  There is still one more 25 mile stage tomorrow, but for me it will have to be a casual social ride.  The men’s GC is hotly contested and 2nd – 4th are separated by seconds, so they will have an intense horse race.  Greg is solidly in the lead for single speed and the women’s GC is also fairly settled, so it seems as if tomorrow will be a fun ride for many people and a nice cap to the week of hard work. " Ride on, Reba!