Queen of Pain podcast on Race Across the Sky

28th Feb 2011

The latest in the Heason Events podcast series is an interview with US mountain-bike champion Rebecca Rusch - who won in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race 2009 and again in 2010, setting a new women's course record.   On Friday, 'Race Across the Sky' will be shown as part of the special bike screening at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (9.30pm). (Click here to buy tickets).

The 2009 DVD and BluRay are available at the Leadville Trail 100 Online Store.  The 2010 DVD will be available on March 8.


Rebecca Rusch on the Leadville 100
"My nickname's the Queen of Pain so I tend to do well at things that are really long and difficult and 2009 the weather was hideous, it was raining and showing, I'm not sure if there's something in me, the harder the event the better I seem to do. And it's really special - there's 1500-2000 racers there so the energy you get is really unique. A lot of the time I'm out in the wilderness alone and you're just relying on your head for motivation but this one there's people everywhere cheering - it's really like the Tour De France of Mountain biking."

On racing against the guys:
"It's total respect, sometimes it's a double take, like I'm getting kicked but then it's like it's the women's leader and there's a ton of respect and that's the really cool thing about this race is the vbe and it is super competitive and everyone is there because they like to ride their bike so there's definitely a camaraderie with everyone looking out for each other."

On racing with Lance Armstrong and Dave Wiens:
"They are just like normal people. When you meet these guys they're hanging out with their kids, or shaking hands or nervous for the race at the start-line. We're all human. When you meet these super stars you realise everyone's the same with the same fears and motivations - some of them just seem to go away faster than the rest of us!"

Will she be back a third time in 2011?
"Yes absolutely it's become a mainstay on my calendar and my sponsors want me to go and Leadville's great in having me back but really I wanna go personally because it's become a highlight of my season the last 2 years."

Any ambitions to run the Leadville 100 footrace?
"Absolutely not! It looks hideous. For me, it's double, triple, quadruple the time. The winning times for the foot race take forever. I might do some more adventure racing this year but for me I never really was in love with running so I'll stick to the bike and let the skinny runners do that part!"

On racing in the UK:
"I've heard there's some great mega-avalance and enduro stuff. I need to come over there [to the Peak District] Steve Peat lives there doesn’t he? He could teach me some downhill things for sure! (Steve Peat's doing a Q&A at ShAFF on Saturday 6th)."