BYU grad finds challenge in bike race

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    By AMBER STAHR

    It because of his BYU experience that he decided to work himself to a potential he didn’t know he had.

    Cory Jensen of Alpine recently completed the strenuous Vail Ultra 100-mile mountain bike race in Vail, Colo.

    Jensen graduated from BYU two years ago with his MBA. He enjoyed being in school and enjoyed the excitement of constant learning.

    “When I was in school life was a challenge,” Jensen said.

    But when he graduated and entered the real world, life became more of a routine.

    “I missed that constant challenge once I got out of school,” Jensen said. “That is really why I did this race.” “For some reason there is the drive in some people to see what they can accomplish,” Jensen said.

    He began training for the Colorado mountain bike race six weeks prior to the event. His training consisted of a ride through the Alpine loop and down to Cascade Springs then back over the top, four or five times a week.

    The Vail mountain bike race would be Jensen’s first mountain bike race ever.

    “I wanted to see if I could do it,” Jensen said.

    Two weeks prior to the race Jensen suffered knee problems from overtraining.

    “The day before the race I could hardly walk,” Jensen said. “My knee hurt with every pedal stroke for the first 20 miles (of the race).”

    He thought that he might have to drop out of the race until suddenly his knee relaxed and was fine for the rest of the race, Jensen said.

    The 100-mile race would prove to be a great feat.

    “The inaugural Vail 100 promised a brutally tough course,” Jensen said. “One hundred miles, 13,000 feet of vertical climbing, dirt roads, 8,000 to 12,000 foot elevations and a 13 hour time limit.”

    The race began in the early morning with 300 riders crossing the starting line. The difficulty of the course, however, would prove too challenging for some. Only 198 riders successfully completed the race.

    “I can’t adequately describe the agony of sweating out back to back 3,500 foot climbs at miles 50 and 70 during the heat of the day. Or trying to overcome cramping, upset stomachs, and vomiting. Or looking at legs that you can no longer feel, but somehow they keep turning around and around.”

    Finally the race was over.

    “Those were 12 hours, 31 minutes, and 33 seconds of my life that I will never forget,” Jensen said.

    His wife Traci and two daughters Jessica and Jenny accompanied him to Vail. They all cheered him on from the starting line as well as the two rest stations and the end.

    When Jensen arrived at the finish line both he and his wife broke down and cried, Jensen said.

    “At first my wife thought I was crazy when I told her that I wanted to do the race,” Jensen said. But then she become more involved and really encouraged him to finish. “That became a real motivator for me.”

    When asked why he did this race, Jensen said, he did it for the challenge.

    “Now I am back home and life will go on as before,” Jensen said. “Only somehow, I’m different. I’ve found a new limit in myself.”

    Jensen plans to compete next year in the Vail Ultra 100 as well as the Leadville 100 in Colorado and a race from Logan to Jackson Hole, Wyo.

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