I blame this one on Strava (and Rapha). For the past 3 years, they have decided to create an insane climbing challenge on Strava during the Tour de France called the Rapha Rising. Each year it keeps getting harder. I didn’t try it the first year, but wanted to complete it last year. It was hard for me physically (and mentally), but I was happy to complete it. When they announced this year’s challenge, I saw you would need to ride 3,000 feet each day to complete the challenge. Yikes!
Well, at least I was prepared this year…and the weather cooperated the first weekend. I don’t know how folks in the Midwest do it. I’m lucky to have several 1,000 to 2,000 feet climbs within riding distance of my house. Others have it easier in the CA, but these climbs are near the coast and cooler.
I felt great the first day and actually got 10,000 feet of climbing in. This got my motivation going for the rest of the week. I nearly got the challenge goal after just 7 days (out of 9 total), but didn’t want to relax and just complete it. I saw that I was in the top 1,000 worldwide (out of nearly 45,000 participants), and the top 100 in the United States. I really pushed it the last weekend and it hurt!
Overall, I was really happy with my effort even though I took a few days off and could have gotten more climbing in. Here are my final stats…
2014 Rapha Rising Challenge – 7/19/14 to 7/27/14
512 km (318 miles) total distance
12,670 meters (41,568 feet) climbed (according to Strava database)
757 out of 44,129 riders worldwide
86 out of 10,952 riders in the United States