Women and ultra-endurance events

rivers

How far can I go?
Location
Bristol

Floating Bombus

Well-Known Member
There's a small but keen and growing community of women involved in that end of cycling in Bristol, including at least one TCR entrant (last year) and 3 out of the only 4 women who finished the last Mille Cymru. No less a figure than Emily Chappell was also considering a move to Bristol, though I'm not sure what happened with that. You could check out Audax Club Bristol for like-minded women.

Edit: I shouldn't assume that just cos you're interested in ultra-endurance cycling, you'll know who Emily Chappell is. She's a member of the Adventure Syndicate http://theadventuresyndicate.com/emily-chappell ex-London courier and I believe was 4th(?) overall in TCR in ~2016.
 
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ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
BBC article said:
In 2017, American ultra-marathon runner Courtney Dauwalter won the 238-mile MOAB race in under 58 hours. She did this on just 21 minutes sleep.

In a separate 100 mile ultra-endurance race, she ran the final 12 miles in total blindness. It took five hours for her sight to completely return.

She told Trail Runner that she continued running, falling many times and finished the race with a bleeding gash on her head.
:eek:

It looks like women may come to dominate ultra-long events the way that men dominate shorter ones. That suggests that there must be a range of endurance events where no gender has an inbuilt advantage - interesting!
 

Heltor Chasca

Out-riding the Black Dog
Another +1 for Audax Club Bristol. ACB is particularly acknowledged for its inclusive take on cycling. Some of our best riders are female.

They ride on Wednesday nights and there’s always an event to do almost every weekend. And of course DIYs.

Follow on Twitter and Strava for a heads up on the Wednesday rides. The AUK site has all the calendar events listed. I’m not on FB, but I think they have one too. And when you become a member (free, you just need to join AUK) you can get all the drivel you ever need on WhatsApp.

Also page @Cranky Knee Girl for further affirmation.

And a few of the ladies will be wearing their ACB colours on PBP.
 
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YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Yes Audax is nice ultra endurance without the racing side. No one cares what time you complete it in. I find it really refreshing. As many will testify it is far more than just about your fitness on the bike and what average speed you can manage over, say, 5 hours.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I would love to watch some mega-tough events where women are beating men!

Even on non-ultra events I have seen men struggling to accept that a woman is beating them. I've done rides abroad with male riders of average ability, and some VERY fit female riders. I am happy to accept my place towards the bottom of the pecking order so I find it amusing to watch men turning themselves inside out, desperately trying not to be beaten by a clearly superior rider who just happens to be a woman! :laugh:
 

Floating Bombus

Well-Known Member
Female endurance athletes also have a metabolic edge, by deriving more of their energy from fat, compared with males, when performing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. This is a distinct advantage in longer events, because fat is a slower-burning fuel than carbohydrates. While men must consume calories hourly, if not more frequently—an action that itself requires more energy than simply metabolizing available fat—women can keep trucking along.
This is precisely the advantage cited by a female friend I was riding with last weekend. She's looking forward to her first PBP, she won't set the road on fire but she'll just keep on rolling.
 

Floating Bombus

Well-Known Member
However, in the context of TCR, MOAB, Tour Divide, I have to wonder whether 1200km of PBP with organised food stops actually counts as ultra-endurance. Though I guess that's really for the OP to judge for herself.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Men do not need to consume carbohydrates hourly. Don't know where you got that idea from.
 
OP
rivers

rivers

How far can I go?
Location
Bristol
However, in the context of TCR, MOAB, Tour Divide, I have to wonder whether 1200km of PBP with organised food stops actually counts as ultra-endurance. Though I guess that's really for the OP to judge for herself.
I would say so. 1200km is nothing to sniff at. I'm headed to Bude and back at the end of the month with a few friends (just shy of 400 miles) on a bikepacking weekend (although not camping). It's our first multi-day long distance adventure covering 90-100 miles a day. And I think it will just go from there. A few of us want to ride LEJOG (unsupported) or the north coast 500. I possibly have my sites on London-Wales-London in the future. But we are quite happy to go off on our own instead of organised audax type rides.
 

Edwardoka

Prolix Maximus
I would love to watch some mega-tough events where women are beating men!

Even on non-ultra events I have seen men struggling to accept that a woman is beating them. I've done rides abroad with male riders of average ability, and some VERY fit female riders. I am happy to accept my place towards the bottom of the pecking order so I find it amusing to watch men turning themselves inside out, desperately trying not to be beaten by a clearly superior rider who just happens to be a woman! :laugh:
Fragile masculinity innit. I don't mind a friendly challenge and have the idiot mentality of chasing someone down who is in front of me but honestly it doesn't bother me at all if I get effortlessly dropped.

I prefer to get overtaken by a female rider because a) she's far less likely to be a jerk about it and b) it cheers me to think of the bruised egos of those riders who do get upset by being severely outclassed.

I suspect that the difference between males and females in ultra endurance is only going to favour women more and more as techniques and strategies get refined.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
I would say so. 1200km is nothing to sniff at. I'm headed to Bude and back at the end of the month with a few friends (just shy of 400 miles) on a bikepacking weekend (although not camping). It's our first multi-day long distance adventure covering 90-100 miles a day. And I think it will just go from there. A few of us want to ride LEJOG (unsupported) or the north coast 500. I possibly have my sites on London-Wales-London in the future. But we are quite happy to go off on our own instead of organised audax type rides.
I have fond memories of running the control at Bude for my Kernow & SW 600. There's a new Premier Inn there now, which makes the permanent version rather more 'doable'.
Unsupported is always better.
 

AuroraSaab

Senior Member
I've mentioned this a few times already, but there is a great site that celebrates 'badass women in sport, fitness,and adventure'. Lots of cyclists and endurance athletes on there.

http://lessonsinbadassery.com/tag/endurance/

My favourites so far are Lia Ditton - 'I rowed the Atlantic on four days notice' - with no specific training:

http://lessonsinbadassery.com/?s=Rowed+atlantic

and Els Visser, who was on a boat that sank and had to swim 8 hours (with others) to an empty island and await rescue, then went on to be an Ironman champion:

http://lessonsinbadassery.com/?s=Ship+wreck
 
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