Whistler riders front of TransRockies pack 

Clements, Kassel, Tabbernor, Heslter and Edwards on the podium

Six Pemberton riders took part in the TransRockies Challenge this year. Photo submitted
  • Six Pemberton riders took part in the TransRockies Challenge this year. Photo submitted

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"I decided it’s not worth killing myself and being heli-evac’ed out. I was also thinking that it wouldn’t be fair to endanger other people if I had to be rescued.

"There were a few tears, but Nikki was really good about it."

As per the rules, the Uncivil Servants were penalized the slowest time in their category plus two hours. Knowing the competition was over for her Kassel helped another rider who had a stomach virus, pulling him up the hill.

The following day Clements taped her ankle, took some painkillers, and managed to finish under her own power to keep third place.

Despite the hardship – seven days sleeping in a wet tent, and the hardest riding anywhere – she says she would do the race again.

"It’s weird, at the time I said I would never do it again – even people who do Ironman said this race is so much harder… but I think I’m game to do it again. It’s an unbelievable event," she said.

Whistler’s Mike Edwards raced with former local Rich Hamilton on the AreaConnect.com/Different Bikes team, placing third out of 45 teams in the very competitive 80-Plus Men’s category.

According to Edwards they didn’t have any expectations going into the race, but when they found themselves on the podium after the first day it was on.

"It was a battle for us to stay on the podium after that," he said. "We wanted to stay there, which was tough because the 80-plus category boys were highly competitive – a lot of older racers and elite athletes of some sort."

The team finished the race in 33:07:11, just over 1.5 hours back of first place.

Although competing left Edwards just two weeks to rest up for Ironman, he says he enjoyed the experience.

"It was really exhilarating, just to be out there. We were in some pretty exposed areas and it was a brand new course," he said. "There were amazing lookouts, amazing views, and we covered a big chunk of Kootenay territory. It was like a moving army, 600 people riding, all these people transporting tents, setting up food stations – it was a pretty impressive organization."

Pemberton’s John Chilton and Chris Malthaner also took part, racing as Bo’s Buddies, but were sent to the back of the 80-Plus Men’s category after one of the riders was taken out with a shoulder injury.

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