Snowmass cyclist sets record at 18 Hours of Fruita
Michelle Horcica went into the 18 Hours of Fruita with the goal of having fun and completing the race. The Snowmass Village resident already felt she had accomplished something when she signed up for the endurance event, in which cyclists try to complete as many laps as possible on a seven-mile loop over the course of 18 hours.
When she would stop, Horcica told her friends she didn’t want to know what place she was in.
“I was just out there riding my bike,” Horcica said. “I really had a great time. I smiled the whole way. I was in a good mood. I was stopping my bike to let people pass me.”
It wasn’t until time was up that Horcica realized her notable feat: She had clocked 20 laps, or 146 miles, winning her first place and breaking the record for a solo female participant in the event.
“That was actually the most exciting part of it I guess, is just not even knowing what I did until the end of the race,” Horcica said. “It was a great, great accomplishment for me. I’m still just high off of it.”
The May 3 race was Horcica’s first 18 Hours of Fruita. An avid biker and exerciser, her friends have pestered her to race for some time, and this year, she made a promise to do it.
“So far, the first race went well,” she said.
Horcica also wants to do some 24-hour races, so she said that helped motivate her to keep going during this one.
“All I kept telling myself was, ‘If this was a 24-hour race, I would have six more hours to ride,’” she said.
However, she credits the support of her friends with her success.
“Just having people out there who believe in you and want to see you do well and that are up at 3 o’clock in the morning to make sure that you’re eating 300 calories so that you can keep going,” Horcica said. “That’s probably how I kept my energy was just eating 300 calories every hour. … I think at one time I ate three hot dogs.”
Horcica said she definitely has the racing bug now, but it’s mostly about proving to herself that she can follow through on it.
“I always talked about racing, and it’s time to step up to the plate and do it, quit talking about it,” Horcica said. “That’s actually my biggest accomplishment is that right there, actually signing up and doing the races.”
The next race that she has signed up for is a 12-hour event in Denver at the end of the month. Her new goal is to participate in the Leadville 100. She said it will be hard for her to pick a discipline and stick with it.
“I just love to bike,” she said. “I bike tour. I road bike. I downhill. I mountain bike. I do it all. … I just want to do a little bit of everything, really.”
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