Road Cat 3, Cross Cat 3, Mountain Cat 1, Former Triathlete, Gravel-Griding Goddess
Karen Pritchard started racing bikes 4 years ago. She was a soccer player in high school and college and then started doing marathons and triathlons to try and stay in shape after having 3 kids. She quickly found that cycling was her favorite and started with road racing then cyclocross, gravel and more recently mountain biking. Karen began her racing career with the 360 racing team. Her “Main Squeeze,” Rick Mosely, also races with 360. She was drawn to join Women’s Free State Racing after seeing the camaradie between all of the men on that team who raced together. She wanted to have that same experience with other women racers. So after years of WFSR trying to convince her to join, she finally reached out and said “I’d love to”.
Why I love Cycling
Cycling for me is freedom. It calms me down, it puts all my thoughts in order, it helps me think through any stresses or concerns going on in my life. Cycling pushes me to become a stronger person physically and mentally. It helps me push away the negative thoughts and bring in the positive.
Cycling is connecting with other people. I have made life long friends through cycling and continue to meet more amazing people. Even though some races I am completely on my own, cycling has connected me to a group of women that are unique, smart and strong- it creates a bond that goes beyond teams and supports women who have the strength, power and desire to compete.
I love all of it but have found my favorite to be the endurance races. The longer the better and have come to prefer gravel because you get to see much more of the country and less cars. Those long hours on the bike are sometimes magical, my mind has time to put life in perspective.
Determination and perseverance are my strengths. When I am at the worst part of suffering during a race or training, I remember how lucky I am to be out here competing and I take a look around to see the beautiful land we get to enjoy.
- 2017: DK 200. 1st age group- 5th overall
- 2017: Land Run 100. 1st overall
- 2016: DK 200- 1st age group- 4th overall
- 2016: Land Run- 1st age group- 2nd overall
- 2016: The Epic- 1st age group- 2nd overall
- 2016: Gravel Worlds- 1st age group- 5th overall
- 2016: Leadville 100- sub 11:00 hrs
- 2016: Jingle Cross: 2nd– Omnium overall- age group
- 2016 Berryman Epic- 10th overall
- 2015: DK 200: 2nd –age group and 7th overall
- 2015 Land Run: 1st- age group and 2nd overall
- 2015 Gravelures Raid: 1st overall
- 2015: Kansas State age group champion- and KBAR champion- CX
- 2015: Leadville 100- finisher- sub 12:00 hrs
- 2014: DK 200: 4th- 40+ and 6th overall
As the Lumineers say:
“It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all.”