Tag Timex

On To The Next Season

The 2012 season officially ended for me at the Rev3 Florida Half Rev in October. I didn’t have the race that I was hoping for (for the same reason Kenny was late to class), but that didn’t upset me at all. I was done and got to spend the next 2 weeks gorging on all the foods that I refrained from eating the past 11 months. To list a few:

  • $14 worth of Taco Bell. That stuff’s cheap, so that actually amounts to a lot
  • An entire package of Oreo’s (several times)
  • Those disgusting Tontino’s pizzas. Stick them in the oven, they’re crispy. In the microwave and you’ve got a calzone
  • An entire box of ice cream. Red Velvet flavor should be illegal it’s so good!
  • Corndogs, corndogs, and more corndogs

But now I’m back at it and looking towards the 2013 season. It’s funny how 2 weeks off can fully recharge the motivation batteries.

2013 is gonna have more endurance mountain bike races for me. If you have any good suggestions on venues, let me know!

For the time being, getting back into training, buying a home, searching for sponsorships, and trying to drop the 5lbs that I gained in my 2 weeks off are keeping me pretty busy! Back to the [super fun] grind!



USA Champs Post Race Interviews

After the XTERRA USA Championship, I caught up with the winners Josiah Middaugh and Lesley Paterson, along with several other top pros and chatted with them about the day. Huge thanks to my Timex teammate Dave Erickson for letting me play interviewer for his site SwimBikeRunVideos.com



Some South of the Border Fun

What better way to spend your birthday than to head to Mexico for a race?! Last year I celebrated my 30th in the small town of Tapalpa and had so much fun, I went back for my 31st.

Not a bad place to spend a week

I could get used to this view

Out pre running on part of the bike course

Another pre run. Checking out the part of the run through town. Cool stuff!

Out pre riding the course with most of the pro field. That’s how we roll.

Hanging out in town square after checking out the run course

The race was a total blast and loaded with excitement! There were some fast swimmers out there and I had the usual “Out of the water 4 minutes down from the leaders” swim. So there was a bit of moving up to do on the bike.

I’ve only had the feeling that I had as I jumped on the bike a few times, but I need to figure out how to have it all the time. LIGHT AS A FEATHER! I couldn’t believe how great my legs felt. I quickly started to move up to the leaders (I was given time splits by spectators).

As usual, I was pushing it all out on the most technical, dangerous, and hence most fun stuff. There were giant mud puddles everywhere from the rain the day before. 19 out of 20 of those I rode through no problem. That 1 that I didn’t was a little rough. I launched over the bars Superman style at full speed, tumbled down a hill, and the rolled around in pain for a minute or two. It hurt pretty bad, but after a few minutes of soft pedaling I was able to get back on it. I think it was the adrenaline.

Not knowing if I would be able to run, I pushed it into T2. I dropped one guy who had caught up to me, but I couldn’t shake the other guy. Turns out he was an Olympic mountain biker. Oh… that’s probably why I couldn’t drop him 😉

Luckily for me, I was able to run (still thinking the adrenaline had a lot to do with it). I put enough time into my pursuers that when the adrenaline finally wore off on the second lap of the run, I could back it off a little bit and still hold my position.

I came flying down the stairs to the finish line to be treated to one of the most special finishes I’ve ever had. A banner with my name on it! How often does that happen?!?

I was stoked to have held onto 3rd despite one of, if not the, hardest crashes I have ever had in a race. Branden and Paco battled it out from the gun and only during the final lap of the run, was Paco able to edge out Branden. Wish I could have been up there with those guys, but it’ll have to wait til next year!



XTERRA East Champs

In the words of Dave “Kahuna” Nicholas – “It only took you 10 years to become an over night sensation.”

On June 10th, I had my best finish ever at an XTERRA regional race. These are the big races in the states where all the fastest guys come together and I couldn’t have been happier to be in the mix of it and finish on the podium.

One of the most exciting things for me, was showing that what happened at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Champs wasn’t a fluke.  I was able to ride and run my way up to the front of the race again, and if I can ever learn how to swim faster (maybe this could help http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS589zKAlnY) I could be in contention for the win.

The race started out with the usual “few minutes back” swim for me. But just like Cross Worlds, I didn’t let that deter me. I grabbed my GPS tracking chip that Luck Stone had set up for all the pros, and took off like a rocket out of T1. These GPS chips allowed anyone with computer access or at the venue to watch the pro race unfold live! Pretty cool stuff and I really see this as a key way to grow the sport.

On the bike, I put my mountain bike skillz (yes skillz with a “z”) to use and worked my way up. At one point, I passed Branden Rakita and moved into 3rd. 3rd place! I’ve never been in 3rd at a big race like this. It wasn’t long lasting though as Josiah Middaugh blasted by us throwing down some insane power. I was able to hold onto him (after he backed off a little) and we cruised into T2 together in 3rd and 4th.

My legs weren’t quite as sharp as the last race, but they still had some get up and go. Josiah took off and eventually ran down Criag Evans for 2nd place. I plugged along for the first half of the run, with Branden gaining on me. Once we hit the wooded singletrack and river crossing though, I got my second wind. I picked up the pace to open up a bit of a gap on Branden and cross the finish line in 4th. That’s right, 4th!

After the race, my face hurt more than my legs. I couldn’t wipe the ear-to-ear grin from my sweaty mug. The IV helped me bounce back so that I could rally and celebrate with a few beers with everyone later that evening.

I was stoked to be able to tell my sponsors – Timex, Rudy Project, PowerBar, Holy Crap, LifeSport Chiro – that I did them proud again and they could expect a lot more of the same.

This now moves me up to 7th in the XTERRA USA Pro Points Series. So come July 14th, I’ll be toeing the line in Beaver Creek, CO for the XTERRA Mountain Championship. I can’t wait!



ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds

What exactly was the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship down in Birmingham, AL back in May? It was the 2nd off-road triathlon world championship put on by the ITU.  It’s multi-lap triathlon racing that is, what I believe to be, the future of off-road tri. Spectator friendly, sponsor friendly, TV friendly, excitement filled racing. It is XTERRA and ITU working together to create a true off-road world series, with the potential of being in the Olympics (hopefully).

On May 19th, I got to take part in my first Cross Tri World Champs (I missed qualifying for the 2011 race by 11 seconds). I was really excited, but for the first time in a long time, I was also quite nervous. I have been working with my new coach, Grant Holicky,  for just over a year and a half now and it’s starting to show. I knew what I was now capable of, and to be quite frank, it scared me a little that I was ready to do it. I had nailed down all the details (pre and during race), so the only thing left to do, was get my head in the game. And boy did I!

I took off in the swim, treating it like a time trial (rather than a tri swim were I would normally conserve some). I knew I was towards the back of the field, but didn’t care. I was going as hard as I could as if the race was over when I exited the water. Which, if I had a different attitude, it would have been. I exited the water 23rd out of 24. It was my bike and 1 other in transition.

Right away I told myself  “Forget about that and just follow the race plan that we (Grant and I) had created.” Good thing I did because it took me from 23rd into T1 to 8th into T2. That’s right, I rode through more than 50% of the field during the 3 lap, 30k  mountain bike. I want to give a huge shout out to my sunglasses sponsor Rudy Project because if it wasn’t for their photochromatic lenses, I would have had a hard time seeing in the ever changing light conditions. The lenses in my Genetyks would shift from light to dark rapidly as I dipped in and out of the sun along the tree covered course. If you are ever riding in conditions like these, you should really get some Rudys with these lenses. I mention all of this because it was so nice that I never had to think about it, they just worked perfectly at keeping my eyes comfortable and adjusted properly.

Coming into and out of T2, I was right behind Josiah Middaugh. Was I excited? Was I scared? HELL YES! Josiah is one of the fastest runners on the XTERRA circuit, but I told myself “I just rode like a beast, time to run like one!” Though I wasn’t able to hang with him, I wasn’t far behind (30 seconds). I moved up 2 more spots to 6th and had to battle Kelly Guest for it on the 2nd 5k lap of the 10k trail run. I eventually gapped him and was approaching Richard Stannard in 5th as I crossed the line. Click here for complete results.

It was one  hell of a fast race and I was stoked to be in the mix of it – 6th overall, 3rd American.  A huge shout out goes to my buddy Craig Evans on an absolutely stellar performance to finish 2nd behind the now 6x world champ Conrad Stoltz. And a big thanks to Timex, my title sponsor, who has helped to make the dream come true. I can’t wait for the next one!!!