Rest and reset for enduro rider Rae Morrison
Rae Morrison is home. Home to pat her dog, home to enjoy some Nelson good vibes and home to have some much needed downtime.
Rae has been competing in the Enduro World Series for the last four months, whirlwinding her way through Europe and finishing off in Scotland. She rode away with an 11th in the world ranking and with that she is pretty stoked.
“It was good, in what was definitely a tough year with so much competition. There are a lot more women riders coming through the sport now which is absolutely amazing to have, but it made it a lot harder because little mistakes - a crash here and a crash there - can send you back in the ranking. It’s pretty exciting and it makes for very tight racing with everyone doing their best.”
Rae rides for Liv Racing and is in her sixth year of being a pro rider. The team is multidisciplinary and Ra explains its uniqueness.
“It’s all women and is one of the only teams on the circuit that is dedicated to women athletes. It’s a big team but they connect us all so it’s really cool and we support each other. We have this massive group chat and if someone does well everyone is really happy. It’s very cool and it’s really powerful, when I see my teammate do well that just fires me up.”
Rae divides her year between overseas competition and then recovering before building her training back up in New Zealand. Her husband, Jessie is her mechanic which means they get to do the whole crazy adventure together.
“Everyday I’m just like ‘is this for real?’, I actually get to do this for a job. We chase the world series around whatever country or continent it’s in. That’s our life.”
It’s a life path that Rae first started riding down when she was a teenager. A super sporty kid, Rae wanted to have a go at an individual sport and so she went out and did a six hour adventure race race when she was 15.
“My parents bought me a real low level mountain bike and mountain biking turned out to be my favourite part by far.”
She joined a local mountain biking club in Kapiti where she was the only female and the youngest and she got a decent bike.
“I had done so many sports and as soon as I started mountain biking I was like “this is it”. I have always been competitive so I started racing two weeks after I got my bike. I didn’t do that well because I wasn’t that great and my bike wasn’t great but my love for racing just grew.”
And now it’s her life, hooning around the world and then returning to have some rest. Well, rest in so far as Rae is a pro rider so she still gets out on her bike a lot, “but it’s less structured and I do more fun stuff.” That looks like hitting the many great Nelson trails and keeping training motivation going with her earSHOTS bluetooth earbuds. Rae credits them for getting her through the hard bits.
“Earshots pretty much give me motivation for all the stuff I need a bit more encouragement to do. If I'm doing intervals up a hill that’s when they are great, and I have worn them every sprint session that I have done - I get some really pumping music on and off I go. I have also been using them a lot for stretching and yoga, that’s something I struggle to do on the daily. So tunes or a podcast help me not get bored. They are comfortable and it’s so nice that once you have them on you don’t really notice them,”
Because there is the wide open space to soak up, the endless great views to take in and the fresh air of home to breathe in before Rae is off on another country hopping adventure.