McCreary Racing International         
                                                                                   

2005 Baja 1000

Against All Odds

Against everyone's best advice, the 2005 Baja 1000 was my first race....ever. Many people wondered why I chose this race for my first one. The truth is, it was never meant to be my first race. According to my plans, I was supposed to have completed several Baja races thoughout the 2005 year, but I had ongoing problems with the bikes I owned and it could never be timed right for me to have a bike ready to race when my next scheduled race rolled around. So I trained as hard as I could when I did have a running bike and went to watch some of the races I was meant to race when my bike was in the shop. That was the best I could do given the circumstances of just not being able to afford anything else other than to wait until my bikes get out of the shop. Little did I know, I already had my first clue that my first Baja 1000 was not going to be as successful as I'd hoped.

But those who know me, know that I was not going to be stopped from attempting this race no matter what. I work at least 65 hours, Monday through Friday, as a school principal, I have a husband and two kids who need their tending to, I had a brand new bike that was in the shop (under warranty) for 13 months out of the 19 I owned it, I didn't have enough money to afford all of the expenses of prepping for this race, I had never raced before, and I was the only girl to ever attempt this particular race in the way I wanted to do it. With all odds against me, I still believed I could do it. And so, on Nov. 17, 2005, I entered perhaps the biggest race I could possibly enter as a racer on a quad.

The Best Part About the Whole Baja 1000 Experience

A promise that my husband, Tim, and I try to keep for each other is to spend at least one long weekend each year away from home together on our anniversary weekend (Labor day weekend). This is a time where we do not let anything distract us from focusing on just each other. This year, however, our anniversary weekend was only two and a half months away from "the big race" and we could not afford to do what we usually do; find some nice hotel somewhere where we have never been before and just be alone together while exploring the new area. But while pre-running the Baja 1000 course, I got to spend about 6 weekends alone with Tim, and each time we had experiences that brought us closer together and gave us incredible stories to tell when we got home. I have to thank all of the people we found to watch our kids during the weekends we went away; it took double the amount of people to help out because our two kids cannot stay in the same place together without fighting all the time. While I missed my kids greatly, and worried immensely about whether or not I would get hurt and not be able to return to them, I enjoyed the time alone with my husband and I was able to have many anniversary trips away.

Everyone knows that the course map does not come out until about a month before the actual race because they don't want people pre-running the course through all the villages of Baja for more than that amount of time. For someone like me, this is an incredible challenge. Since I was planning on Ironwomaning the race, I had to get to know the entire course intimately, not just one section of it, and I only had 4-5 weekends to do that because I can't take off work during the week. In addition to this, I never raced before and so I did not have a repertoire of courses to fall back on. But since I knew the 2005 Baja 1000 course was going to be a loop, I talked with experienced racers and relied on Tim's memory of Baja courses he experienced. I managed to figure out some of the typical areas the course could go through, and started pre-running before the course map came out.

The following pre-running experiences gave me an opportunity to learn about the challenges of the race course while gaining valuable experiences bringing me closer to the start line of the race.

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