Dirt Rag Magazine

Rebecca Rusch crushes Kokopelli Trail, sets women’s record by 90 minutes

At midnight on April 27, Red Bull endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch began her journey down the iconic 138-mile Kokopelli Trail in an attempt to break the female time record of 15 hours and 3 minutes set by Lynda Wallenfels in 2006. Rusch rode unsupported, starting in Moab, Utah, and finishing just outside Loma, Colo., crushing the record by more than 90 minutes.

Her final time: 13 hours 32 minutes 47 seconds.

Less than three hours into the ride, Rusch encountered a large rut in the trail and unexpectedly crashed, dislocating her left index finger and causing her helmet light to malfunction. Although she was able to reset her finger, Rusch then rode nearly two hours in the dark with no light other than the moon, unable to brake with her left hand. Despite everything, Rusch continued on through the pain to set the new women’s time record.

The Kokopelli Trail represents Rebecca’s personal challenge, her ‘Rusch,’ but it doesn’t stop there. Rebecca now wants to challenge riders to challenge themselves by "Joining The Rusch," either on the same Kokopelli Trail or any other 138-mile trek of their choice — with the goal for riders being as much about the experience as it is speed. Special prizes will be awarded based on a combination of stories and photos shared, as well as the time to complete the journey. Visit redbull.com/ruschhour to #JoinTheRusch and learn how to enter.

In addition to three 24-hour solo mountain bike World Champion rainbow jerseys, Rebecca is the current World Champion for Masters XC mountain biking, the 2011 National XC single-speed champion, and a three-time national champion in 24-hour team mountain biking. She has won Idaho’s Short Track state championship (twice) and a Cyclocross state title.

An accomplished Nordic skier, she’s won the Masters Cross Country Skiing World Championship, in addition to taking the top prize at Raid Gauloises Adventure Racing World Championships.

In 2011 Rebecca also organised a series of female ride initiatives called the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour. The programm includes race and training clinics at Sea Otter and Beti Bike Bash, a female media camp for the Ashland Super D, and an all-girls MTB camp in her hometown of Ketchum, Idaho.

 

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