Tag xterra

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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A Somewhat Surprising Finish



Going into a race, there are many feelings that flow through my body. Some races have me nearly wetting my pants I get so excited. New races bring the excitement and anxiousness of unknown possibilities. While others have me dreading the inevitable pain I will put myself through. The XTERRA USA Championship in Ogden, UT is mostly the latter. It can be hard to get motivated when you know the suffering that is to come, but finally by Friday morning before the race, I found it.

Hitting the trails that morning for the final pre ride with CraigBoobsLuke, and Branden must have done the trick. The colors were absolutely amazing at that time of year with orange, red, yellow, and a few green leaves creating a colorful kaleidoscope surrounding the smooth single track of Snow Basin. We laughed as much as we pedaled and by the end of it, I found the mental state I needed to be in to have a good race.

 

On race morning, I was super duper mega excited to finally get to race in my BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit. So many of the races have been non wetsuit swims for the pros this year, that my speed suit saw way more action than my wettie. I figured if this suit was good enough for theCaveman, it’s good enough for me. I’ve never owned a suit quite like this and I was so excited to finally see it in action.

Despite the fact that I got absolutely pounded during the first couple hundred meters (Those Brits are rough), I kept my mind focused and had my best swim to date. How do I know it was my best? I’ll tell you. I base all of my race swims off of the lead swimmers. That way there is no wondering if the course was short or long. I was either slow or not. And that day, I was not.

As I sped through transition and hopped onto my bike, I was a little confused. “What are you doing back here?!?” I thought to myself as I surveyed my competition. Then I realized “Holy crap! They aren’t back here. I’m up there!”

I wish I could say that my bike performance made me just as happy as my swim, but it just wasn’t my day. I wasn’t slow, but I wasn’t stellar either. The legs weren’t feeling it on the bike, so I settled into a comfortable groove on the uphills and tried to absolutely rip the descents. I’m still not sure exactly how they knew, but my legs told me that they could run fast that day. With that in mind, I kept calm and collected as I was caught by a few guys and passed a few on the bike.

Then came my moment to shine. As we hit T2 and blasted through, the field was completely stacked on top of each other. 12th place through 6th exited T2 about 1 minute apart from each other. I felt comfortable and more importantly confident in my abilities as we dashed off into the woods. I started picking them off one by one and with less than 2 miles of straight downhill to go, I caught the last two guys I knew were catchable (Ryan Ignatz and Cody Waite). I surged and the smile on my face grew.

I fought off the cramps in every leg muscle I had (and a few I didn’t know about until later) and was able to keep my lead on those two and crossed the line in 7th place. I was a bit surprised I was able to do that! My coach, my girlfriend, and fellow racers had all said they knew I could do it, but I didn’t quite believe it until I did it. What an amazing feeling! And with that finish I was able to maintain my 6th place ranking in the USA Pro Points Series for 2012. Yippie!

It was time to celebrate! So what did we do? Learn to surf sounds like a fun idea!?! I’d never surfed behind a boat before, so it seemed like time to try it out.

Surfing that afternoon and a giant piece of chocolate cake that night was about the craziest celebration you can expect in Utah, but I certainly wasn’t complaining. All and all, what a great way to end the off-road season.

A huge thanks to TimexRudy ProjectPowerBarHoly Crapmix1, and my newest sponsor Peak Performance Acupuncture for all the support that helped to make the culmination of my XTERRA season a huge success!

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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


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XTERRA Brazil



This was an absolute whirlwind of a trip. I received the call asking if I’d want to go to Brazil to do a couple of races and less than 9 days later, I had my visa and was on a plane to Brazil. Not that it was easy to get all that together (in fact it was quite the opposite).

With over 30 hours of travel time to get there (and back) in only 4 days, my form was not quite up to par. But hey, I was in Brazil! The trip was originally planned to be a day longer, but the visa processing agency screwed things up royally and I didn’t have my visa and passport until 9:30am Thursday morning (an hour and a half after my flight left). I hopped on another flight to Miami just a few hours later. If the visa agency had processed my visa in the same manner that the taxi driver took me from the airport to my hotel in Brazil, I would have had it in the blink of an eye. That guy had all four tires squealing on our SUV and we careened down narrow two lane roads to Santa Barbara.

If you are looking to do a superbly organized race in an exotic location, then I have to recommend XTERRA Brazil. Bernardo, the man with the plan in Brazil, had everything sorted out perfectly. I was incredibly impressed with the whole set up. They had a duathlon Saturday morning, a night run Saturday evening, and a mountain bike race Sunday. It was an entire weekend of off-road fun.

As soon as I arrived, I put the bike together and was off to the pre race meeting/dinner. Along the way, I got a glimpse of why big trucks shouldn’t go down steep roads. There was a pretty big scene surrounding all of it. What a hoot!

The morning of the race I got a real treat as I walked into the breakfast hall. CAKES! SWEETS! YUMMY DESSERTS! If you know me, then you know I have a sweet tooth. The giant buffet of colorful cakes and sugary goodness had me salivating at 7am. But I mustn’t forget, I have a race!

The duathlon was 3k run, 35k mountain bike, 9k run. There were some really interesting parts of the course, but to my disappointment, there was no single track on the bike or run. Some beautiful double track through gorgeous country side, but no single track. I’ve written about my strengths and weaknesses before and I know this is not my ideal type course. That, along with the injury I had developed from sitting in a car for 14 hours on the drive back from North Dakota, did not bode well for me as the gun went off and the racers took off.

I was so concerned with my leg and the injury, I was hardly paying attention to where I was overall in the first run and coming into T1. Had I been paying better attention, I would have seen that I was just off pace from the lead pack of 3. Ideally I would have been with them coming out of T1 and onto the bike, but alas, I was just 10 seconds back. I couldn’t bridge the gap and after passing just one of the guys, I consequently ended up riding the majority of the bike by myself in 3rd. I had lost over 2 minutes to the 2 leaders, and knew that I would have to run like hell to hold off my pursuers.

Hobbling most of the second run, I couldn’t keep from getting caught by one guy. I kept on pushing worried that I was moving slow enough to get caught by more runners, but luckily I was able to keep them away and hold on for 4th.

Suzie Snyder, the other American to travel down for the weekend, had a much better race and took the win. That made 2 for 2 for Team Luna Chix as Suzie’s teammate and former XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandingham took the win at the XTERRA Brazil Championship in Manaus the week before.

Suzie and I were a bit smoked and sore from the race that morning that we didn’t take part in the 6k night run that evening. We instead cheered the athletes on as they navigated a similar run course to what we did that morning, but using headlamps and a more cautious step.

The next morning it was back to the start line for a 65 km mountain bike race. In the rush that I left the house earlier that week, I forgot my heart rate monitor strap. And I don’t have power on my mountain bike either, so it was a bit more of a “play it by feel” type race. Here is the GPS file that I have from my Timex Global Trainer. If I had had power and heart rate, it would be easier for you to see that the race involved a lot of attacks uphill (led by the smaller guys) and attacks downhill (led by yours truly). In the end, there were more uphills than downhills and I crossed the line in 5th for the pros. A bit disappointing, but again, I knew going into it that I wasn’t the best dirt road rider out there.

Sticking with that whirlwind theme, as soon as we finished, Suzie and I had to clean up, eat, pack the bikes, stop by for the awards, and then jet off to the airport to fly home. The trip left me wanting more and I really, really hope I get the invite back again for another one of the amazing Brazilian races. Now it’s time to prep for the XTERRA Mountain Championship in Beaver Creek, CO on the 14th.

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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!



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