There is still plenty of work to be done in preparation for the race of her career, but Lisa Dougherty had a nice warm-up recently.
So nice, in fact, she set a newly-certified cycling record for fastest time riding west-to-east across New Mexico.
Dougherty, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as a published author, topped the old record for crossing the state width-wise, completing the trek in 20 hours, 19 minutes. Had Dougherty not been hampered by rutty asphalt after getting through Roswell, she may have had a shot at breaking the men’s record as well, but lost out on that time by about 41 minutes.
The record was certified late last month by the Ultramarathon Cycling Association, which keeps tabs on such long-distance records.
Dougherty had guessed the trip, officially all 392.4 miles of it, would take about 24 hours or more to complete, but beat her projected pace handily, even with some unexpected hiccups along the way.
The state crossing was a tune-up for Dougherty’s ambitious upcoming outing, the Race Across America (RAAM). The race starts June 11 in Oceanside, Calif., and will wind its way to Annapolis, Md., covering 3,000 miles in the span of about 11 days.