Thursday, May 31, 2007

2007 Adventure Racing World Championships

i'm following this years adventure racing world championship, taking place in the lochaber region of scotland. 7 days, over 310 miles long with about 82,020 feet of gain, navigating your way the whole time. it looks gorgeous but sounds brutal - perfect! i wish i was there. the teams have just started day 4 and of course the winningest team in adventure racing history, team nike is out front.

pretty suprised to see that team sole has dropped out! but the last report i read said that "the remaining two team members of team sole have decided to continue on with the remain two from team aberdeen asset management." it's karen's birthday too! happy birthday karen! not sure which two continued but i bet it's paul and karen.
friend and one time leader of the montrail adventure racing team rebecca rusch is racing with team bjurfors adventure racing and they are currently rocking it in 5th.. way to race reba!

you can follow the action at's race page, and leaderboard.

Dates: 24 May – 3 June, 2007 (race starts 26 May)
Race duration: 7 days non-stop racing, unsupported
Venue: Western Highlands, Scotland
HQ: Nevis Centre, Fort William
Teams: 45 mixed teams of 4
Total distance: greater than 500 km
Total ascent: greater than 25,000 m
Disciplines: trekking, kayaking, mountain biking, swimming, rope-work & surprise activities
Entry fee: £3,200 (+ kayak hire + accommodation package + transport package)
Prize money: US$50,000 minimum

Thursday, May 24, 2007

what's on my mind grapes?

am i back?! - well, saturday my team dart-nuun and i were victorious at the trioba adventure race. the following day i ran 13 miles w/3,000+ft of gain in the issaquah alps after a 13 mile mtn bike.. and yesterday i ran up mt si (8 miles, 3,400ft of climbing) - and although the knee feels a bit different after a few hours of running, there is no pain or discomfort (!). i think i'm back and i'm so very excited about it!

so of course i'm readdressing the race calendar, something i've done 100 times in the last 3 months. the training mentioned above proved that i've lost considerable fitness. i am nowhere near where i want to be. so i've got a lot of work ahead of me - getting into great ultrarunning shape while building my bike fitness and maintaining my kayak fitness.. all while not re-injuring my knee.

next race - big horn 50k!?
the big horn trail 100 miler was going to be my first "a" race this year, and my first 100 mile ultra. injuries change plans, and with just 3.5 weeks away i obviously won't be running a 100 miles. this sux. however i am going to scratch an itch, get in the van and drive out there to run the big horn 50k. i'll be running it as a training session, just to see where i'm at.. no expectations. i'm really glad the race directors have lesser mileage race options. after the race i will camp for a few days while running and mtn biking the beautiful mountains of wyoming.
**if you know the dayton, wyoming area let me know what i should be running/riding.. and come join me!

running 100 miles - i am now looking at the grand teton 100 september 1-2. this race looks incredible. four 25 mile loops with 5,000ft of climbing per loop for 20,000 feet total!.. in the teton mountains!! whoa.. sounds super tough! i spent the 06 winter in jackson hole and absolutely fell in love with the area. i am super excited to see it in the summer time. this 100 miler is put on by legendary ultra runner lisa smith-batchen.

mind grapes

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

karl meltzer wins massanutten 100 miler!

fellow new hampshire boy and montrail-nathan ultra runner karl meltzer finally won the massanutten 100 miler in virginia this weekend! last year karl, on his way to winning ultrarunner of the year, won six 100 mile races.. six! his ability to recover, and run 100 after 100, and run them faster than anyone else, is nothing short of amazing. congrats karl!~
check out his blog - wasatch speedgoat

another blog you should check out is montrail-nathan ultra runner greg loomis's blog... interesting stuff.

Monday, May 21, 2007

mike bitton's trioba sprint photos on flickr!

my buddy mikey bitton (adventure photographer extraordinaire) posted some photos from saturday' race - the trioba sprint adventure race on flickr.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

DART-nuun wins the TRIOBA Sprint Adventure Race May 19, 2007

quick post: just a few good photos and an interesting video.

oh my goodness! this race (the trioba adventure race) was so fast and furious! it was about 7 miles of off trail orienteering on foot. the terrain had lots of babyhead rocks covered by grass or shrubs. you had to really focus on your running the whole time. if you focused on anything else for a second you would twist your ankle for sure. we all did it at least once. we somehow beat team into the transition by about 10 minutes, no doubt because of the great navigation by aaron and rvg. however mergeo was so fast in the transition that they left only 2 minutes after us on the mtn bike section. the mtn bike was about 16 miles with two bushwhacking (or bikewhacking rather) sections. probably about 3,000 feet of climbing which we rode in the red zone the whole time. we were totally anaerobic the whole race. the race directors expected the winners to finish in around 4 hours - we finished in 3:04 - winning by :14 minutes. aaron got a flat with just a couple downhill miles left. he came running down this dirt road with his bike in his back! we tried a few different strategies to get to the finish fast. rvg thought we were too close to actually change the flat. so he tried to ride with the bike on his back (see the second to last photo). it looked so dangerous and just simply didn't work. then i ran with his bike and my bike. then aaron ran with it.. and finally he rode the last .2 miles in on just the rim! we just had no idea we had a big enough lead to walk it in! great race and the knee was perfect! no pain at all.. i'm ecstatic.

our team manager erik nachtrieb was there taking video and reporting live from the field on the race - check out his reports here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

going to prom or and adventure race?

quick post before i leave for the trioba sprint adventure race this weekend in ellensburg, wa. it will be my first race back after my feb 17th bike crash and subsequent bone bruise (over three months!!). needless to say i'm very excited.

it's a 6 hour sprint adventure race that will involve "Orienteering/Navigation, Trail Running, and Mountain Biking". they say average finish time will be 5 hours or so. so ryan vangorder, aaron rinn and i should get 'er done in around 4 hours if everything goes well. as far as competition in a sprint race it's really anybody's race to win. if you make a single navigation error you can get beat easy. assuming we navigate the course well i think team will be right there with us. should be a blast!

i've done my prep:

  • packed the required gear/clothing/shoes (i'm going with last year's highline or the new nitrus)
  • tuned the bike (turner nitrous), setup computer and bike tow (with rvg and rinn who am i supposed to tow? not sure but gotta have it just in case)
  • shaved head and legs (that's right legs! i'm a bike racer!)
  • clipped finger and toe nails (am i going to prom?)
  • prepared the vw van for camping

i'm out! wish us luck!!

DART-nuun Athlete Jen Ratay Wins Cool 24-Hour Mountain Bike Race

Cool, California (May 6th, 2007)

DART-nuun adventure racer Jennifer Ratay won the second annual Coolest 24 Race Against Cancer, a 24-hour non-stop mountain bike race in Cool, CA that raised money for cancer research. Over the 24 hours of mountain biking, Jennifer pedaled 200 miles and climbed more than 26,000 feet in elevation on an 11-mile scenic trail loop in Auburn State Park to secure the victory. She finished a full lap ahead of her nearest competitor.

Jennifer chose to race in the Coolest 24 Race Against Cancer, the only nonprofit 24-hour mountain bike race in America, because the event raises money for the UC Davis Cancer Research Center. Two close friends of Jennifer’s have battled the disease, including Jennifer’s ace race support crew member, David Belden, who is a cancer survivor.

Jennifer was not the only rider who felt deeply about the cancer research cause. Race Director Jim Northey lined the toughest part of the course with pictures submitted by racers of their friends and family who have fought cancer.

“Seeing these pictures reminded me every lap how fortunate all of us were to be out there in nature riding our bikes with virtually perfect weather and trail conditions. This perspective helped turn burning legs and lungs into a celebration of being alive,” said Jennifer.

Over 400 racers, most on relay teams, tested themselves on the course, more than doubling the number of participants from last year’s inaugural race. The race raised an estimated $45,000 for cancer research, money that will go towards developing a cure for cancer and extending the lives of those who are affected by it.
The combination of top-quality riding, excellent event support, a friendly atmosphere and the cancer cause proved a memorable mix. Next year’s race promises to be even larger, as both top and recreational riders alike put this race on their ‘must do’ list.

The 2007 Coolest 24 Race Against Cancer was Jennifer’s second 24-hour bike race. Race Director Northey awarded her a custom build Grognard bike for the victory. In Jennifer’s debut race, she won the 2006 24 Hours of Adrenalin solo mountain bike championship at the Laguna Seca Raceway.

Jennifer, who lives in Palo Alto, CA, attributes her success in large part to the endless support and encouragement of her husband, an adventure racer, too.

She is additionally grateful for nuun hydration, whose electrolytes kept her cramp free and strong while riding through the heat; Light & Motion, whose powerful bike lights outfit the best riders in the world; and VeloTech Cycles’ Tom Jelmyer, a master bike mechanic who keeps Jennifer’s bike in working order--a significant feat given the abuse she puts it through.

The win qualifies Jennifer to race in September against the best riders in world at the World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships. Before that, she and her DART-nuun adventure racing teammate, Matt Hart, are planning to race in the BC Bike Race, a seven day mountain bike race from Victoria to Whistler, British Columbia.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

you son of a hardrock! montrail nitrus review

for three months there has been a box in my bedroom. the contents of which has been called "the son of the hardrock". well the hardrock and i have a long standing relationship, we are very close... so i've been waiting patiently to take her son, the nitrus, out for a real trail run.

today... (after three months of injury) was that day and we got along swimmingly. this shoe could be my go to shoe. however i was open and honest with the nitrus. she knows i'm seeing other montrails (including her mother the hardrock - kinda weird). so we'll just have to see how the relationship developes. the first thing i noticed was the nitrus is very torsionally rigid and has a super protective sole called the terraflex (which is a three component system combining a high-traction outsole, a protection plate and a shock-absorbing midsole). it's designed for "high mileage hammerheads" (perfect!) so it's very supportive, stable and cushioned. they also felt super light (13oz) and have a lot of breathable mesh on the upper for the big sweaters. the upper is also designed to accomodate a wide foot, which i don't have but couldn't notice a difference. it also has the gusseted tongue to keep degris out, but it really helps to keep the tongue in place more than anything. for the pronator, this shoe also has a medial post.
put simply: they felt light, very supportive (for my poor knee), stable and they fit really well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

bike to work day! - do it friday may 18

i'm not really a fan of starbucks.. however, it takes money to do good things sometimes and starbucks has piles of that... and they do one good thing that i am aware of - bike to work day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

good times and good knees

my college buddy steve copson was in town this weekend and we got up to our old tricks. waaaay back in 1998, when we both moved from san fran to seattle steve took me to preston/tiger mtn to mtn bike. it was hands down the most fun i had ever had on a bike. i was riding an old scott mtn bike i had purchased from another buddy (tom roberts at granite cheif) in tahoe. it was a very used old rental. after riding the preston railroad loop with steve that day - i bought a new mtn bike the next day... shall we say the rest is history?
we've come a long way. copson, cory (both pictured) and i got out and rode the trail for the first time together for probably 3 years! great fun, and i got some good shots and this video (copson's wife jenny works for yahoo on this new site they bought called jumpcut - it's basically online video editing and publishing).

after the ride and a nap i was able to talk copson into a trail run. he's training for his first marathon - the san fran marathon. we ran from tiger mtn road se on tiger mtn trail to s tiger traverse to the road and back tiger mtn trail - 6.6 miles and 1,300 feet of climbing. i have to say i was impressed with copson's running! he even led the way up the steepest climb.. running the whole thing.

knee news - i haven't had any knee pain in a week! i'm ecstatic about it. today was a great test - three+ hours of real training and it didn't hurt at all... i now feel like i can ramp up my training without making it worse or suffering a setback. let's all cross our fingers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

the sweet nectar of coaching

i've been injured. it is true that while some doors shut, others open. with a bit of extra time i really started to dig in and work on my other job - coaching. i have a passion for coaching and with a new batch of clients i found renewed energy for it. i am having a blast! it comes naturally really because i'm a dork and am always reading and or thinking about training, and training principles.

i've recently received 4 new clients through word of mouth and it's been an absolute joy. all are serious athletes.. i've got the ironman, the black belt bad ass (pictured), the brown belt bad ass and the natural - who will be winning ultra marathons near you very soon so watch out! she's the one who runs by you more than once on your mount si hike. all are smart and motivated and so much fun to work with.

another thing i've been up to is volunteering at some very cool races...

  • carnation time trial put on by my new physical therapist - neal goldberg.
  • the beast! these are after work adventure race put on by eric bone (national orienteering champ) and roger michal (who also puts on the 4th dimension adv races) of adv racing team mergeo.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

TRIOBA Sprint Adventure Race - May 19

don't call it a comeback... i could still fall apart (i'm no ll cool j).
historical presidence not withstanding - i'm feeling good. the more time off i take the better the knee feels. funny how that works huh?... however mentally i'm going crazy, and i'm certainly not getting in any better shape.
i'm hoping to be ready to race in the trioba sprint adventure race (4-10 hours). if i am able dart-nuun will consist of rvg, aaron rinn and myself. yes, this year the yeager bros decided no mandatory coed teams. the fastest three people you can find are competing for the overall win. i get goosebumps thinking about how f'in fast we will move through that course... so fast.. soo fast.