Larissa Connors, undefeated in the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race two seasons in a row, loved being outside as a kid. This love sparked her interest in running, which shifted to road biking in college. After a brief stint on the triathlon team, a boy (who is now her husband) convinced her to try road racing, and she became hooked.
Though Larissa has made a name for herself in the endurance sports world, the past couple of years haven’t been the smoothest ride. “I worked my way up to racing the World Cup XCO, and had a blast traveling all over to race bikes including the 2016 World Championship in Nove Mesto. At the end of that year a really unfortunate situation caused me to walk away from XC racing, but fortunately after a year of recovery and soul-searching I decided not to give up bike racing altogether and started competing in ultra-endurance mountain bike races”.
She competed in about a dozen 100-mile MTB races and had the time of her life finding her limits, pushing herself to dig deeper, and meeting new people. At the end of the 2018 season, she was competing in LA Ruta De Los Conquistadores when she got severe Rhabdo which forced her to quit the race on the second day.
“After 8 hours in a rural hospital where no one spoke English, a dead cell phone and no shirt I escaped to the race hotel, flew home and promptly spent 3 months feeling like I was dying. I thought that was the end of my bike racing career, but it turns out after 3 weeks off the bike my body had decided it was time to make a baby. I wasn’t dying, I was pregnant”.