Out of the Blue | Kristen Broderick | Presented by Schrader’s
By Jensen Amyotte
Name: Kristen Broderick
Date of Birth: Sept 2, 1990
Hometown: Calgary, AB
School/Grade or Occupation: RN – Emergency
Race Number: 92
Bike: KTM 250 XC-F
Race Club: AMSA Off-road
Who got you into the sport?
Growing up, my family always went camping. My dad had a quad he used for hunting that he would take me out on until I got a little older and was able to drive the quad myself. My brother, Sean, had a dirt bike and I was always jealous of this. Obviously, he’s my big brother and I wanted to do anything that he was doing.
I remember, for many years, I would ask for a dirt bike on my birthday and every year I would get a dirt bike cake instead. Eventually, my parents did get me an old Honda XR 200 but it was right around when we stopped going camping as often. I barely rode that bike but luckily I spent many amazing years at the barn, focused on riding horses and working with horses. It was a fair trade.
My dad did buy me a brand new, 2006 KX 250 (I was around 16 years old) which sadly sat in the garage. It wasn’t until I was older and had saved up to buy a truck, that I could take that chainsaw of a dirt bike out, once and for all.
This is also around when I started to go dirt biking with Josh Boland, who’s now my fiancé. He’s the person who introduced me to single-track. He got me involved in the Rocky Mountain Dirt Riders Association and eventually he wanted to try racing and we did our first race in 2014 with the second gear club. I raced the clubs ladies class and was immediately hooked. Josh had no idea, at the time, what that race would do for me.
I specifically remember the end of the race, and seeing Josh, the rush I felt, the sense of accomplishment. After a lifetime of sports and competing, I felt like I found the sport I was meant to do. In a way, it changed both our lives as we both became increasingly more involved in volunteering with local clubs and becoming avid racers.
When not on a dirt bike how do you keep yourself busy?
I don’t have a lot of free time that isn’t devoted to riding, especially right now. I work full-time as an emergency nurse. Shift work and 12-hour shifts mean I have to make my days off count. Sometimes, I struggle to find balance with this but between riding, bike work, and working out, it’s tough to fit much else in. I love what we do, though, and I love being “all in” in this sport. We do prioritize family time as much as possible, but when we aren’t riding… we are usually planning or working toward the next ride.
As someone who has raced, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?
I have to say that my experience is personal and others may strongly disagree. It’s also something I didn’t realize until we went and raced in the first real Canadian National Enduro Championship in 2019.
A group of Alberta’s best female riders went out to Ontario where we got to finally race in a true National with women from across the country. What surprised me was that all 5 of the women from Alberta ended up in the top 5 overall. We were racing in a class they called Women’s Pro, something we never would say back home.
In our local series we have a hard time even getting a payout in the Ladies Expert class. A class we had to rally to get on the A loop. Yet the MX women do, other provinces and countries do.
I think coming home it made me feel like we don’t get taken seriously, or that we don’t always take ourselves seriously, and maybe we should?
Otherwise, all riders, men or women, have their own things to overcome when learning. We are all built differently so you need to find what works for you and make the best of it. I used to always make excuses for being “smaller” than other riders.
I remember one of my favourite coaches, Stephen Foord, telling me something along the lines of “the woods don’t care how tall you are or if you can reach. It’s the same terrain for everyone.” I liked that and I took it to heart.
Who is your all-time favourite rider?
I “fan girl” so many riders! I feel so lucky that here in Alberta and BC we have some incredible women leading the way in the off-road world. I could name drop everyone I get to race with…so I will! Shelby Turner, Melissa Harten, Lexi Pechout, Chantelle Prochnau, Suzanne Pelletier, Jannie Lamontagne, Marie-Claude Boudreau, to name a few.
On the international stage, I have to say Laia Sanz and Sandra Gomez are my all-time. How can you not take inspiration from them?
Between riding on dirt, in the woods, and also the snow, which do you feel you excel at the most and why?
I’m a woods rider through and through. Between the places we get to see and the terrain we get to ride, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Is there an event you look forward to most every year?
Not one event, no. The loops change every year so my favourites change with them. I enjoy the AMSA series for its challenging XC loops, but I also love a good hybrid race with Endurocross, motocross and grass track. I think what I love the most is the variety of our series here in Alberta. We are so spoiled to have what we have right here in our backyard.
Who has been your biggest inspiration/hero on and off the track?
This person happens to be one of my best friends; Melissa Harten. I often look to her for inspiration as she seems to have really mastered “race craft” (though she would never think so). Her ability to take on the most challenging terrain, the most gruelling of races, and the biggest life challenges one could face, with a maturity I have yet to understand. This kind of mental and physical fortitude is something I admire in a person and is something she embodies every day.
Tell us about your 2020 season and your plans for 2021.
COVID really threw a wrench in my plans, like I imagine it did for everyone. 2020 was the first year I finally had a steady job out of University, and time to focus on my riding without school, training for work, and student debts. I thought I was finally going to start checking off items on my bucket list. I do have big goals and races I am working toward but I am learning more and more to go with the flow, to prepare for the best-case scenario, and to mentally prepare to let it go if it cannot happen. For now, my racing plans are to race whatever I can, and just enjoy it.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
I feel like I’m still working on that big accomplishment, but working on my riding, learning how to race, and developing my race brain are things I continue to improve on.
I guess most notable for me was racing in the AMSA series in 2019. I finally managed to finish second overall in the championship, and that meant a lot more to me than maybe anyone else could realize. This is a provincial series but it has almost all of the best off-road women in Canada competing within it. That result was hard fought for me over the years. We all work so hard, we invest so much of ourselves into racing and over the years it’s been one thing after another that’s kept me from reaching this goal. So when it finally happened, I felt like I had done something right or maybe like I finally earned my place in the women’s Expert class. It was a huge sense of accomplishment.
Outside of that, I took home 1st in the West Canadian Championship in Women’s class, 4th at Red Bull Rocks and Logs 2018, I won the CMA National Championship in Ladies Expert in 2018, won gold at the Idaho 100 in 2019, as well as placing top 5 in the Canadian National Enduro Championship.
What is the biggest lesson that being involved in motorsports has taught you so far?
You have to let go of your mistakes and move forward. Anyone who knows me knows that I overthink everything! This is the biggest lesson that I need and one that I readily face as much as I can.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to be a part of the AMA Endurocross series and try some of the AMA Extreme series.
Are there any sponsors or people you would like to thank?
I absolutely want to thank my fiancé Josh Boland first; without him I would not get to be so involved in this crazy sport. I learn so much from him and he is the best cheerleader I could ever ask for. I also have to say a big thank you to my sponsors: Cycleworks Calgary team, Fox Canada, KTM Canada, Rekluse, Mongoose Machine, Canada Rail Vacations, Bulletproof Designs, Rad 2.0, Sosa Original Graphics, Ryno Power Supplements, and Matrix Concepts Canada.