Thursday, July 23, 2009

You know your in Utah when....

Only in Utah would this be considered the norm

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guess What Time It Is?

It's peanut butter jelly time!

XTERRA Northeast Cup Race Report

As far as courses go, this is one of if not the hardest XTERRA's I've ever done. At other races, the weather has made things harder or the competition, but at this race, it was the course that was hurting everyone!

I was really excited to see my good friends Cabin and Nic this weekend. Nic is racing on the World Cup Mountain bike circuit, so she and Cabin were in the area and decided to do the race. Cabin is one of New Zealands top mountain bikers, and Nic is well on her way to that same title.

The swim was standard 1500m, 2 loop course. The water was warm enough that pros couldn't wear wetsuits, but age groupers could. As usual they swam over the top of me within a few hundred meters despite my 1 minute lead.

With the rain the day before the bike turned into a ride/run, with lots of pushing the bike because it was too slick to ride. Once we passed the hike-a-bike section, it was on! The rest of the course was a muddy hurt fest. It was very difficult riding and that's why I enjoyed it so much.

Check out the homemade fender on the down tube. It was an old soda bottle that I cut up and zip tied on. It kept my bottle from getting to muddy, but other than that it was a rather moot attempt.
In the last section of the bike I could see up the road about 4 minutes and saw no one. As I reached the top of that section I looked back and saw no one. I was sitting in 8th place and knew that unless some one from behind had a fantastic run, I would finish in that same position. So this made the run a bit easier (which was good because it was freakin hard!). I ran the flats and down hills, but just "power walked" the uphills. Crossing the line in 8th, I earned a few more points in the points series.

At the expo, I wondered into the XTERRA Footwear booth and spotted a handsome young man with a mohawk on their banner. I gotta get one of those!

XTERRA Race at the Rez

At the XTERRA Race at the Rez, I put on a clinic and then led a pre ride of the bike course. The clinic was a great success and we had 14 people for the pre ride! I had the helmet cam on, but unfortunately I forgot that the memory card was full, so I didn't get any footage. gggrrrr. Its a bummer because this course was SUPER TECHNICAL! I've done a lot of riding all around the country and this one one of the most technical courses I've ever seen. Rocks, roots, off camber sections, short little power climbs, this course has it all! Most all of it was ridable, but trust me it wasn't easy!

After the pre ride, I stuck around to help out with the kids triathlon. It was so cool to see all the little guys and girls going all out. I wish I could have got into triathlon when I was their age (8 to 12 years old). Way to go Max! Awesome T2 and run!

This was my 4th race in 4 weeks (Idaho then Richmond then Little Rock then this one), so I was a bit tired going into it. With the game plan of just have fun, it turned out to be a great day.
The swim was in a beautiful rez just outside of Essex, VT. After swimming in the some of the nastiest water I have ever swam in the past two weekends (James River in Richmond and the cesspool in Little Rock), I was over joyed to be in clean, clear, pristine water. I exited the 1200m swim in 8th place and jetted up to T1 intent on moving into 1st as soon as possible.
The bike course was a real doosey! I quickly caught up to the leaders and within 5 minutes or so I was in 1st. I pushed it pretty hard to catch those guys and I thought I would just keep pushing in order to build a big lead. About half way through the first lap I crashed and tweaked my thumb. As soon as I hopped back on the bike I decided to back it off and just ride smooth. This turned out to be a fantastic decision because the easier and smoother I went, the faster I went.

Sliding off the bike and onto the run, I decided to keep the same game plan of 'keep it easy and smooth.' This worked quite well and I cruised to the win with just under a 4 minute lead over Kristoffer Nielsen. He had finished a few minutes behind me at Richmond a couple of weeks earlier and is one of the fastest guys in the Northeast.
One of the things that I love best about doing smaller races such as this is all the cool people you get to meet. After the race, the race director Mark and his wife Robin, took me to downtown Burlington (which looks remarkably like Pearl St in Boulder), to meet up with some other racers (Paul, Sophie, and the boys) for some sweet pizza.
Now I get the 4th of July weekend to get a little R&R before flying back out to VT for the XTERRA Northeast Cup on the 12th.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dog Tags

Way cooler than getting a finishers medal, at the XTERRA Northeast Cup, they had XTERRA dog tags for everyone.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fun in Vermont

Getting ready for the XTERRA Northeast Cup in Sugarbush, VT we went to the venue to pick up our packets and I stopped by the XTERRA Footwear booth. I spotted this cool banner with a striking young man with a mohawk.

Matt and Melanie did the XTERRA University and had a good turn out. This was pretty cool because this was Matt's first XTERRA University at a major race.

Matt and I decided that what better way to prepare for a race than to visit the Ben & Jerry's factory tour. We couldn't take pictures inside the factory, but I did spot my favorite flavor in the hall outside of the taste room.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Will Kelsay being Will Kelsay - Version 2.0

What can I say... its just how I have fun!

The Arkansas Experience

The XTERRA South Central Cup was a real learning experience for me. I discovered how to NOT race in the heat. I learned the hard way what NOT to do then the water is 88 degrees and the outside air temp is pushing 104!

As we hopped into the bath water filled swimming area, I had a game plan for the swim. Start easy and stick on Erin's feet. As the gun went off, I set my plan into action and it seemed to be working splendidly until about 3/4 of the way through the swim, when I overheated and had to completely shut things down, so that I would be able to finish.

Pulling my muffin top out of the suit, I hopped on the bike and began to hammer. I knew Brian Smith was just ahead and I really wanted to ride with him. BIG MISTAKE! I went to hard, to soon in the race and had not let my body cool off from the swim (that's weird... usually I have to warm up from the swim). I immediately started to feel the affects of the heat.

As I started to fade, bad turned to worse. Finishing the first lap of the bike course, I began to see spots, my ears were ringing, and my head was pounding! I hit a little descent and BAM! Crash number one. Nothing to major, but it shook me up a bit. Jumping back on the bike I told myself 'Come on! Just keep riding!" Then BAM! Crash number two. Not one to be defeated easily, I hopped back on the bike and kept pushing. Attempting to really rail through the next corner, I burped both tires and lost most of the air in the front, and had very little in the rear.
That's when I decided to shut it down. That was the end of my race for the day. I was now just concerned with finishing. I hobbled my way to T2, sitting up along the final road section so that Erin could catch me. I figured if I wasn't going to have that great of a race, I'd still try to have some fun with it and help someone out if I could.

So out of T2, Erin and I ran side by side showing off the camaraderie of Team Timex. I carried a water bottle for us to douse ourselves with to help keep cool. Every aid station we passed it was a whirlwind of hands and cups flying everywhere trying to get as much liquid as possible.

Knowing that I would race again the next weekend (XTERRA Race at the Rez), I was content to head out for a fun run. I really liked running with Erin and helping to push her. Its so much more fun to run with someone than by yourself.

We crossed the finish line together, her coming in 6th for pro women, me 9th for pro men. It was a total eye opener, that the heat can totally destroy even the strongest of athletes. All of the top pros for the day said it was a real struggle out there, and going 100% just wasn't possible. Wish I had know that before hand! Live and learn...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

XTERRA Northeast Cup Pre Ride

Complete with commentary, here is a pre ride on the XTERRA in Sugarbush coming up in just over a week.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Sweet XTERRA Bike Course in Richmond, VA

Here are just a few highlights of the bike course for the XTERRA Atlantic Cup in Richmond, VA.