I got a chance to catch up with Krista Park who will be one
of three riders representing the USA team at the Marathon World Championship race in St. Wendal, Germany. This is her break out year, see what she has to say and don't miss out on the chance to get some schwag.
What did you do before you became a full time pro? Weren't you and engineer?
I was working as a Senior Electrical Engineer for Motorola in Atlanta, GA when we decided to sell the house and hit the road.
Once riders have some regional success, and want national, would you say from your experience the only way to do that is to quit your day job?
It depends on the job. You cannot be stuck in the office all day. Some companies are liberal with flex schedules and tele-working options, if you have that type of job you can get in the traveling and the training. However, if you are not on a team you have to add to that the mechanic and team manager duties, those become very time-consuming. Either you work and pay for parts and repairs, or you work to earn your sponsorships.
Does your husband travel with you? Are you both living out of the RV?
We live in a 40’ class A motorhome and have the “guesthouse”, a VW Eurovan. As we speak, I am in Durango with the “house” and Todd is in Arizona with the van. He travels for work, but tries to be with me for the bigger races.
What will you do after you stop racing? Still stay in the sport on some other level?
I think once you are in this deep it is for life, at least at some level. I would love to be a skills coach. We were only planning on living in the motorhome for two years while we decided where we wanted to live and work next. That was the fall of 2006 and I am now full-bore into racing so we decided there isn’t much of a point in planning. It is one year at a time right now.
Doesn't your sister race as well?
Yes, my sister, Erika Powers, races in Utah.
Do you ever race her?
She focuses on cross so I don’t really want to race her at that. She raced the Masters National Championship race last year and did well, then was wrecked out of the pro race. Erika has raced some National XC races with me, but this year has been rehabbing a hip injury.
At Nationals, what happened?
I had an asthma attack right after the start, once that happens there really isn’t anything I can do but pull out, it usually takes about two weeks to really recover from.
Spec out your bike for us.
Flash and Scalpel frames, Lefty 2.8lb forks, Cannondale Hollowgram SL 42/28 Cranks, NoTubes ZTR Podium MMX wheelset (sometimes the ZTR 29’er Race front wheel), Kenda tires, Magura SL Magnesium brakes, Jagwire cables and housings, WTB Silverado saddles, SRAM XX drivetrain and Time ATAC pedals.
How do you feel about 29-inch wheels?
I have really been enjoying the 29’er front wheel option (the extra tire and wheel add 100grams). Gotta love the Lefty fork! I’d like to try the Flash 29’er next year, I’m not sure if I would go 29 all the time though.
For the FF50, what was the hardest element of that race for you?
Cramping on the 2nd lap. I just don’t ride that distance at that intensity, so it didn’t surprise me. Actually falling over when my legs locked up did surprise me a bit though.
Which race pushed you the hardest this year and why? Probably the Colorado Springs Circuit Race. I had a great start then wrecked hard, I really wanted to give up, but it was a stage race. I just kept telling myself to stay in for the overall. The last time that happened (I hyperextended my elbow in the VA Triple Crown Final) I gave up and rode slowly. This time I was only hurt, not injured, so I pushed myself and ended up 10th in that race.
Heard there is a special raffle afoot to help you... how did that come about?
MTB Race News (MTBRaceNews.com) offered it out of the blue. I was a little concerned about asking people to hand me money, but my sponsors donated so much cool stuff that I felt better about it once I saw the prize list.
Any good swag, should I buy a ticket?
Grand Prize - Stan's No Tubes Wheelset (your choice of rim with ZTR hubs)
- Second Prize - Cycle Ops Fluid 2 Trainer with climbing block, mat, & Real Rides DVD series
- Third Prize - Magura Hydraulic Disk Brake Package
- Fourth Prize - 12-week coaching plan from LW Coaching
- Fifth Prize - Raxter Bike Rack
- Sixth Prize - Jagwire customization kit including Ripcord derailleur cable kit, Hyflow Quick-fit hose system or Ripcord brake cable kit; Non-crimp cable tips and disc brake pads all in the color/compund of the winner's choice.
- Seventh Prize - Chamois Butt'r package including 6 tubes of and 6 jars of Chamois Butt'r and 4 sticks of New Bod'e Arm'r stick lubricant
Additional Prizes include: 2 Incycle team kits, nutrition packages from FRS, 3 canisters of recovery drink from Fluid, 10 pairs of socks from Recovery Socks, jerseys from Cannondale, and two 6-packs of canned oxygen from Oxygen4Energy