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Southern Cross 2022

Julie Gazmararian | Published on 4/18/2022

Although I have likely been riding/racing well before some sorellas were born (!) – I am a complete newbie to gravel riding/racing. I got my gravel bike about 6 months ago on a bit on a whim without ever riding gravel – but with living almost part time in North Georgia it seemed like something I should be doing! I immediately fell in love with gravel – felt like I was seeing a whole new world and there were no limits of where I could ride! When I heard that my God daughter – Reese Murphy – was going to race Southern Cross as a junior – I could not resist but sign up to do it as a way to support her (btw, Reese’s mom is one of the founders of Sorella – Aimee Murphy). I went into the race with the mindset of being there for Reese and not really thinking about “my race” – the only personal goal I had was to break 5 hours (I knew I could do the distance with my endurance road background – but speedwork is typically not in my training plan).

Before I went to the start line – I spent time with Reese and when I gave her a hug as I was heading off to the start she just clunged to me and whispered about how nervous she was. I held her tight and whispered back how proud I was with her putting herself out there to race, and by doing so she was representing all young girls of what they can do and to just have her mindset to do the best she can and have fun while she was doing it! I continued thinking of her as I lined up at the start. Typically I would have pre-race jitters (usually thinking of what the heck am I doing and all the other things I “should” be doing) – however, I started to have a conversation with myself to ignore/silence all those tiny voices that go on in my mind - that really can tear me down. Instead I focused on just totally going for it and doing the best I could – practicing what I was preaching to Reese.




Before I went to the start line – I spent time with Reese and when I gave her a hug as I was heading off to the start she just clunged to me and whispered about how nervous she was. I held her tight and whispered back how proud I was with her putting herself out there to race, and by doing so she was representing all young girls of what they can do and to just have her mindset to do the best she can and have fun while she was doing it! I continued thinking of her as I lined up at the start. Typically I would have pre-race jitters (usually thinking of what the heck am I doing and all the other things I “should” be doing) – however, I started to have a conversation with myself to ignore/silence all those tiny voices that go on in my mind - that really can tear me down. Instead I focused on just totally going for it and doing the best I could – practicing what I was preaching to Reese. .