Jennifer Hanson lives in Florence, one of the hottest parts of the arid state of Arizona. While many people around the country are fleeing the cold winter temperatures of the north, often ending up in southern Arizona, Jen and her husband Jason headed up to Idaho for the 200km Fat Pursuit. Even as a desert dweller, Jen is an accomplished winter ultra racer with finishes in both the 2022 Fat Pursuit and the Iditarod Trail Invitational. She’s shared some beautiful images from this year’s Fat Pursuit and a quick recap of how her race went down.
The day on the Fat Pursuit 200k started out magnificent, no wind could see the moon setting over Sawtelle mountain! Had the water boil test a couple miles down the trail, which went great! Then headed down the trail, stopped to let air out of my tires because the trail was pretty thick with soft mashed potatoes snow. Crossed the highway the trail heads across the field then turns and starts heading up Two Top Mountain for about 10 miles, I was off and on the bike a lot pushing up through the soft mashed potatoes snow, wow it was so warm and blue skies heading up Two Top! As I got up towards the top there are a few steep hills to push up! At one point I twisted my knee hiking up so that started nagging me the rest of the way.
Finally got to the top of Two Top , I could see up there this year, last year it was 30 or 40 mile an hour wind and I could barely see my hand in front of my face! It’s so beautiful up there with the snow goblin trees and the views! Then headed down, the trail was pretty soft and mushy so sometimes my bike would get sideways going down, so much fun! A tree had recently fallen across the trail so got to lift the heavy bike over the tree! Caught up with Martha who was a foot person doing the race pulling all her gear in a sled! It was cool to get to see her get on her sled and slide down hill! Finally made it to the first aid station at mile 28 around 6pm and there I decided not to push on with this knee giving me trouble, I didn’t want to make it worse and the trail goes pretty remote after aid one for awhile. What a fantastic day I had on the bike!
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