Category Epic Adventures

Inspired by Greatness



Most people are capable of some pretty amazing things. Occasionally, there are those who rise above the rest and do some absolutely incredible things. I’ve not only had the privilege to meet some of these amazing people, but become friends with them and be inspired by them first hand. If you want to see some videos or read a couple of books to get you inspired to do great things, check out these 3 rockstars.


When I lived in North Boulder, Eric Larsen just happened to be my next door neighbor. Eric is a modern day arctic explorer and all around winter bad ass. It was so cool to watch him prep for his expeditions out in front of the house, and then later see that expedition on television! The training that he and his expedition buddy’s hammer out is not only gnarly and brutal, but looked really darn fun!

Animal Planet recently aired a show about Eric, and his exploration partner Ryan Waters, completing what will realistically be the last full North Pole expedition in history. They filmed the entire journey themselves and worked with Animal Planet to produce a two-hour special. Here’s the intro:


I got my start in triathlon at the University of Colorado in Boulder and spent 5 years on the most decorated colligate triathlon team in the country – the CU Triathlon Team. During that time, I met and made, many amazing friends. One of them is the now world-renowned, ultra endurance bad ass mofo, Travis Macy. He’s not only one hell of an athlete, but a great guy and a writer to boot. His book, The Ultra Mindset, is next in line on my list to read (I’m currently reading a book by the next person I list in this blog). Travis was always a bit faster than me, so it’s really inspiring to see that he has made a full career out of being an athlete (similar to what I’m doing). It gives me confidence that following my heart will lead to great things.


The last person on my list is someone that I’ve read about, emailed with a bit, and just watched give a talk (not a close friend), but she is no less inspiring to me than the other two. Rebecca Rusch, was one of the worlds top adventure racers (I don’t say ‘female adventure racers’ because she was one of the best. Period). Rusch to GloryHer book Rusch to Glory came out late 2014 and has been on my must read list since. Once I finally got a copy and blazed through it, my head and my heart were overjoyed. There are many similarities to how she has lived her life and how I have tried to live mine. The ups, the downs, the sacrifices, and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences made for a quick read because I couldn’t put it down. I know not everyone can relate to her experiences in the way I have (like living out of your car… on purpose), but her can-do attitude and willingness to face her fears and not let them control her, is something that I hope everyone can relate too. Rebecca has now moved onto endurance mountain bike racing and is still kicking ass as she moves into her late 40’s. How cool is that!?!?


If you ever read this blog post Eric, Travis, and Rebecca, please please please do one thing for me – keep being you and living your life to your heart’s desire because it’s incredibly inspiring and you truly are making the world a better place.

 

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Coming Back with a Bang



Mid October was my return to being a full time professional triathlete and I have been absolutely loving it. The year off to refresh and reset worked perfectly. There were many up’s and down’s along the way (as is life), but I’m stronger and more hungry than I’ve been in a long time.

I’m hoping to start my 2016 season off with two of the XTERRA Asia Tour races – Guam & Saipan in March. Fingers crossed I can get back into race shape that quickly after so much time off. Guess it’s time to put my pro pants on and do some work!

So what better way to start back into all this than by doing something completely ridiculous. I mean…. that is kinda my thing… so here it is – do the Rim2Rim2Rim Run. Basically that means running across the Grand Canyon and back.

It took me over 12 hours to traverse the 52 mile route, but you can watch the whole thing in under 6 minutes.

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Almost Half Way



Another crazy adventure has consumed my life and it’s been a whirlwind of up’s and down’s. We are not almost halfway through the trip and it has absolutely flown by.

 

XTERRA West Championship - Las VegasJennifer and I left Boulder in late April less than one week after I returned from Las Vegas for the XTERRA West Championship. The goal of that race was just to show that I could race again. It had been almost 8 months to the day since I was hit by a truck. The recovery has been slow, but I was excited to see that I could swim, bike, and run again (yet not as fast as I would have hoped). I led a group of about 8 or so athletes on the swim, so that put a smile on my face when I exited the water. My new Scott Spark 900SL worked perfectly in the dry desert and my Altra Superior 1.5’s were just the right shoe for the run. It wasn’t an impressive race, but like I said, I was happy to finish and 13th was ok.

 

Once I returned from that race, the big adventure began! Within a little more than a week, we flew to Amsterdam, picked up our RV, drove to Tuscany and ran a 50k ultra run. To see more of the photos and read some of the stories, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also read some blogs that I have posted on Triathlete.com.

 

XTERRA SpainWe headed to Spain next for the first XTERRA of our European tour. They ended up cancelling the swim and making it a duathlon. After a 4k run to start things, they sent us down “20 Clavicals” for a super technical descent and start to the bike. For reasons still unknown, at the end of the bike, officials changed the bike course while we were out there. It became a hike-a-bike for nearly 30 minutes. At one point I caught up to the guy marking the new route with tape. No one seemed to know what was going on and athletes were going in all different directions. I held on as long as I could, but the addition time on the bike messed with my nutrition and I cracked near the end of the run. I was able to hang on for 6th.

 

 

XTERRA PortugalWithout delay, we hopped in the van the next day and made our way to Portugal for the next race the following weekend. Portugal was a far better experience than Spain. We had wonderful, inexpensive camping close to the venue, the organization was spot on, the town was amazing, food fantastic, and had such a wonderful time after the guessing game we had the week before. I wish my race had gone as well as the rest of the experience. I had some issues with nutrition again on the bike and took a wrong turn on the run and ended up finishing 5th on the day.

 

Without a day to spare, we were back in the van and on the road again. We made our way across northern Spain, southern France, and northern Italy in search of trails, pools, and fun sites. We weren’t able to find much of any of those, so we hopped on a ferry in Northern Italy to cut out some of the driving time on our way to Greece.

 

XTERRA GreeceGreece ended up being a far different experience than we had expected. The location was beautiful, the organization one of the best that I had ever seen, and the people amazing, but the town was close to non-existent. We spent the week living off of bread, cheese, and canned meat. With the lack of training over the last couple of months, my efforts in the race we’re less than impressive. I did what I could, but 9th pro was the best I could muster for the day. We had an amazing meal with Kahuna Dave after the race and stuffed ourselves silly on some traditional Greek food.

 

In efforts to better our training and hopefully alleviate some of the stress of being on the road in so many foreign countries, we’ve decided to skip XTERRA Switzerland and head straight to XTERRA France. Let the adventure continue!

 

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2013 Check List



 

I got all the items on my 2013 checklist marked off. Did you?

 

 

 

 

Go for some amazing mountain trail runs in the Colorado Rockies…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accept the fact that I have enormous hands…check.

 

 

 

 

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Get support from a company that I love and truly believe in…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete my collection of Ouachita Challenge wrist bands…check

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completely fill the freezer at home with all the fish from our family fishing trips…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race with lucky #13 and get my ass handed to me…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get mistaken for a fat cross dressing clown…on multiple occasions…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do free remodeling for fellow Boulderites after the 500 year flood caused feces to spray out of their toilet like a fountain…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put on a kids triathlon clinic with Boulder Tri Club and spend just as much time laughing as mentoring…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash so hard, I get the wind knocked out of me and even the Caveman goes “Damn!”…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be a goofball as often as possible…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finish on the podium again at my favorite XTERRA in the USA (Richmond, VA)…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go for an 8 hour float trip in Montana and repeatedly tell the story about the big one that got away…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get artsy with an iPhone…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train with the best…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be an Arkansas Princess…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate my birthday in Mexico for the 3rd year in a row…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run, run, run in some amazing shoes…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do a Lemond style start to my first 12 hour mountain bike race…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laugh at all the hilarious ways that Macey can sleep…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drive through FEET of flood water in a 500 year flood…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do an off-road super sprint triathlon and be right in the mix of it…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train with more of the best…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn my lesson about proper recovery by riding 60 miles on Saturday on the mtb and then racing the same 60 miles on mtb the next day, only to build up a 4 minute lead and then lose it all during Sunday’s race…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy fresh made milk shakes at a small town diner after a solid day of training in Montana…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make some $$$$ at a race…check!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw down on my favorite XTERRA course in the USA (in Richmond, VA)…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat an entire 3-layer red velvet birthday cake…by myself…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go on a hut trip with the fam…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally have a good race at XTERRA Indian Peaks (2nd place overall)…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See my favorite artist for the 3rd time live in concert…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit some new places that you didn’t even know about before the trip…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smile and have as much fun as possible while suffering like a dog…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go fishing with my dad and Lil and not tip over in the canoe because Lil won’t hold still…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run the Dirty 30 with my amazing girlfriend Jennifer…check.

 

 

 

 

 

Race a trithlon-switched-to-duathlon-because-of-flood-waters and be right in the front with the best…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a beer at a local dive bar and hope that we don’t get shot for being “city folk”…check.

 

 

 

 

 

Race so hard, I drool on myself while flying through Blood Rock and the other sweet trails in Birmingham, AL…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laugh at the hilarious names that they named the caves after going on a 3 hour caving adventure…check.

 

 

 

 

 

Be reminded of the brotherly love I share with my little bro Travis…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Play announcer at a race…check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End my race season early (but not my career), by getting hit by a truck while riding my bike…check. (I would have rather not checked that one off the list).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caving Adventure



One of the best parts about driving to races is that you can stop and see amazing sites along the way. The Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota is one of those stunning places that you often wonder “How have I not heard of this before?!?”. The cave has over 140 miles of discovered passageways and they estimate that that is only 5% of the total cave. Seriously only 5%! That means there are thousands upon thousand of miles of unexplored caverns down there!

Jennifer and I went on the Wild Caving tour on Monday. You actually get to go crawling around the cave, shimmy through small holes, climb up some sketchy slopes, and get nice and dirty. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring camera’s (it would have been destroyed if we had), but I found some pictures online to give you a feeling of the fun that we got to have underground the other day.

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