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Jul. 18, 2008
Racing for the Girls
What do you do when you train hard and travel a long distance to a race only to find out that your competition can’t race? Well, if you’re a pro…you do what the pros do and race anyway!

Pro mountain biker and Team Clif Bar athlete Joanna Petterson traveled all the way from Boulder, CO to the Catskill Mountains of New York State to compete at the Windham dual slalom, downhill and super D races, only to find out that most of her competition for the dual slalom didn’t make it. “Unfortunately, the turnout for the dual slalom was slim and Leanna Gerrard and I were the only women in attendance. I knew we could have a good race, though,” Joanna said. “The top half of the dual slalom track began just above the shaped half-pipe walls and then dropped in between, running the length of the walls.

This was a great idea because the half-pipe walls were lined from top to bottom with spectators—all getting a great view of each race.” Much to Joanna’s dismay, though, Leanna took a spill in downhill practice and was unable to compete. At that point, it would have been easy for Joanna to take a break, not chance an injury and simply forego her dual slalom run. Or not. “I didn’t want to let all the great little girls who were watching think that girls couldn’t do what the boys were doing,” she said. “So I took a run down and was awarded 1st place. Despite being a race against myself, I got tons of cheers and lots of compliments afterward from people who were just excited to see a woman race!”

After the awards presentation, Joanna made the day of a young female fan by giving her the podium flowers she earned for her victory, making the 7 year-old fan smile from ear to ear. And if that weren’t enough, Joanna plans to donate her cash winnings to the Tara Llanes’s Road to Recovery. “Racing one’s self is never really a noble pursuit, and Tara has always inspired me to ride and to always improve,” Joanna said. “It was a fun weekend and I love when I can feel like I'm not just riding for myself. Inspiring young people to follow their dreams is something I aspire to.”

And for the record, when Joanna raced against a large and competitive women’s downhill field the following day…well, she won that, too.

Can you say made for T.V. movie?

Nice job out there Joanna. You make us real proud!
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Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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