• Keelius

    Well said!! Encapsulates a lot of my own feelings about racing, thank you =)

    • Simone Giuliani

      Thanks Keelius.

  • Alex L

    Great article!
    I remember feeling intimidated about entering my first CX race – about the closeness of the spectators, the fact that they tend to shout and heckle a lot compared to other spectators and the fact that you can’t hide in a peloton like in a road or crit race. But I gave it shot, absolutely cooked my goose and came second last (I think, who even knows in a CX race) and was buzzing off the high for a few days after.

    Give it a shot, it’s what grass roots racing is all about!

  • jules

    touche! we need more people who aren’t afraid of coming last to race. mostly so I don’t come last. joking – it’s all about enjoying yourself.

  • Nick Orloff

    Well done for giving it a go. As someone who’s regularly at the back of the field I can assure you racing is only about winning! DFL is still better than didn’t enter.

  • Caitlin Chancellor

    i race for the challenge and the friendships i have developed. .to catch up and see people..and also to be helpful to other riders not as experienced so they come out and race again…

  • Gavin Adkins

    Great article. I’d also add, try your best to finish. Throwing in the towel is habit forming. Just keep plugging away until you get there, it doesn’t have to be pretty.

    • Anne-Marije Rook

      well said

  • Didier Moutia

    I race and feel like a winner when I simply finish. As a Type 1 diabetic completing an event and surviving is like winning! :)

  • Lara Srbinovski

    I definitely finished behind you in that same race, even lapped twice by the boys! But so glad I can now finish these races, albeit feeling like my lungs have left my body and my heart is somewhere around my front teeth! Thanks for writing this article Simone, spurs me on to keep entering!

    • Simone Giuliani

      That’s the best reason I could have had to write it Lara. Look forward to seeing you out there at the next race.

  • Lulu

    Great article. I come last all the time. Its something about being 40 something, full time working, mother, new to racing, reluctant to stick to one type of cycling (and there for focused training) and mostly racing against the blokes that kind of does it. I have even won a bottle of vodka at a race for coming last – so its not all bad! I have small goals, like not getting lapped by certain people more than once in a race. If i am the only lady in the field, declaring post race that I am the ‘winner’ in my division. Or for that matter if i am the only person in the lady division on that type of bike. It doesn’t stop me from trying to encourage other ladies who might be watching or helping to try it out next time, or to give it a go. At the end of the day i race, because no matter what place i come, it is still fun.

    • Simone Giuliani

      Great to hear your approach and way of finding other challenges within the race Lulu and I’m surprised everyone isn’t jostling for last place with prizes like that on offer.

  • david__g

    DFL is always better than DNF and way better than DNS.

  • In my club I try to keep saying we need a much bigger group of people as poor at racing as I am, because a pyramid needs a broad base. I will still come last, but a bigger group of lower ability makes it easier to get involved as a junior/newbie/nervous …

  • Derek Maher

    Great article Simone.You make some excellent points about the benefits of racing.Even if you finish stone last you will have pushed yourself to another level.Thinking back to my first Road Race I could not believe how fast the first 5 Ks were.Of course the seasoned riders knew that a fast start would drop half of the bunch so they could settle down to a sane pace for most of the rest of the race. I was dropped and found myself in the cavalcade which taught me how to use cars to get back on I was so proud of myself until at the finish I was disqualified for pacing.He He, Taught me a good lesson about racing and gave me a first goal to try to hang in and gradualy improve over the season.Another thing racing jumps your fitness level to a height way above any ordinary miles of training spins you do even if you come in at the back of the field in a race.

    • Simone Giuliani

      Great first race story Derek.

  • Shannon S

    Read this article. Immediately signed up for a “scary” enduro race. I usually think these are way out of my league. I am old. I am fat. I am racing for last place. I am racing for last place with a bunch of my friends who are also going to be there. I have tried to race those trails before. They scare me. I may get off my bike and slide down some steep stuff on my butt. I will finish the race and laugh with the others. I will have won last place and be excited for that podium!

  • ginga_ninja

    I love this!! Thanks for putting this into words, so perfectly. So many women say: “oh but I’m not good enough to race”, but what you’ve said here is gold. It doesn’t have to be about being blindly competitive, it’s about challenging yourself, improving yourself & doing stuff you love with like-minded people. I started racing MTB by biting the bullet, having put it off because I was “scared” of it (too slow, can’t race for that long, what if I get in the road of other riders). I picked a race and said to myself, what’s the worst that can happen? I come last?! I know I’ll stay upright because I don’t go fast enough, lol! But racing’s ended up improving my skills and fitness (and therefore the fun factor) and I’ve had so many great times and met great people (who don’t care where I finish) along the way. :) And it’s actually nice to race with no pressure. :)

  • Sheri sapone

    I have never raced. Going to be 50 next year. Just signed up for a sprint tri….terrified but going to give it a try even if I’m last! Ps just bought my first road bike!!


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