Christie Tracy radiates joy. It’s an ever-present part of being around her as she focuses on showing others that ultra racing is possible by lowering barriers to entry.
To do so, the Ultra Cycling World and National Champion, along with her husband, Jamie, founded The Pace Bend Ultra Development Team with the focus to grow the Ultra Cycling discipline and introduce more women into the sport.
Last fall, Christie posted a call for applicants to those interested in dipping their toe into Ultra Cycling.
She expected 4 or 5 applicants but had 29 international applications within the first four days and had to close the application window earlier than anticipated. Unable to turn anyone away, Christie and Jamie pooled resources, called on sponsors, and accepted everyone into the program.
“I pulled on my ChampSys x Core Culture Pace Bend Ultra jersey and was flooded with feelings of love, support, encouragement, community and excitement to watch these athletes break down barriers.”
“Throughout November, December, and January, something magical happened. This group of 29 athletes from all over the world came together and committed to each individually working toward this common goal. They shared their successes and their struggles. They asked questions and learned from each other. They bonded over sore muscles and mental fatigue,” shares Christie.
The goal: Pace Bend Ultra in February. Which just so happens to have been Christie’s first ultra race back in 2017.
Tragically, a few weeks before the race, Christie was hit by a driver while out on a training ride, leaving her with a broken leg amongst many other injuries.
As community and connection help heal, Christie showed up alongside a group of 25 riders who met for the first time at Pace Bend Park ready to race.
“I pulled on my ChampSys x Core Culture Pace Bend Ultra jersey and was flooded with feelings of love, support, encouragement, community and excitement to watch these athletes break down barriers,” Christie writes in a social media post a week after the crash.
Led and supported by Jamie, Christie, a coach and nutritionist on the day of, the Pace Bend Ultra Team members met multiple goals as they worked together to complete the 12 and 24 hour races.
“One team members’ success was success for all. They were all in this together, and they’d all worked so hard toward their individual and team goals, so they couldn’t help but be ecstatic that one goal was obliterated already!”
“As the race came to its conclusion, the final 24-hour racer to finish was our hand cyclist from the UK, who came blowing through the finish line with a massive grin spread from ear to ear, and her braids flying out behind her in the wind. It was an incredible moment, and the entire team erupted in cheers (and a few tears) of joy. They’d done it!”