Racing through Grief - Recapping Westfjords Challenge with Nicole Sin Quee

Racing through Grief - Recapping Westfjords Challenge with Nicole Sin Quee

Chamois Butt'r ambassador, Nicole Sin Quee, is a mother, endurance athlete, math teacher, and fitness model. This June, Nicole decided to embark on the Arna Westfjords Way Challenge. This event is four stages and takes place over five days. The arduous course covers 594 miles around Iceland's most beautiful and remote landscapes. 

This event is intentionally crafted to be more than a bike race. Arna Westfjords Way Challenge encourages attendees to be open and curious about Icelandic culture. Between stages, participants visit museums, meet local farmers, and jump into the sea for a swim. 

The days are long and if the wind is blowing, they're also grueling. But this time of year the midnight sun comes out, giving riders extended daylight to pedal their way around the Westfjords.

Want to read a first-hand account of what this event was like? Check out Nicole's words below!

Race Recap - Arna Westfjords Way Challenge

By: Nicole Sin Quee

I have been trying to outride grief for a year and the Arna Westfjords Way Challenge was the capstone of my efforts. What a privilege to have this epic opportunity to succeed and fail.

I am so emotional from how I got here, the friends I made, the magnitude of the event, how much I learned about myself and others. And I am so appreciative of this body. I asked a lot from me and I delivered.

But I didn’t deliver alone. I had the dream team of cyclists with whom I rode at stages—Ryan, Matteo, James, Alex, Stephen, Weronica, and Liv by proxy. We laughed, we hammered, we soaked, we ate loads of salami sandwiches and hot dogs off the clock. I straight up love all of them.

At some point when the winds were particularly gusty and trying to blow my lil Jamaican body off the mountain I had to dig deep and rely on me.

And that wasn’t enough. You don’t know Iceland wind...

I pulled out the ultimate trick that I used for the last 80 miles of this 600 mile race. I repeated, "I am Sheila’s daughter, Jonathan’s wife, Simon’s mom. “ Every time something wanted to break me I said it aloud. And after I triumphed I said it again.

You don’t build character and grit from staying comfortable.

Oh and I placed third behind the strongest and loveliest of badass women, Weronica and Iris. I fought so hard for this one and am so proud of myself.

Iceland, you returned some joy into my life - your people and your stunning scenery. Even your harsh conditions added beauty.

And now we do nothing, nothing. 

Butt'r of Choice

We asked Nicole what her go to Chamois Butt'r product is and she replied, "I ain't Sophie. Don't ask me to choose. I love all Butt'rs!!!" And who are we to argue with that?

She shared that her Butt'r of choice for the Westfjords Way Challenge was Original, but she's got her hands on some Coconut Butt'r for her upcoming race at SBT GRVL. Good luck, Nicole!

Photo by: Josh Weinberg

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