Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 That's a wrap!

So 2012 ended on several high notes preceded by several medium notes.

Sprinter making some watts while we were out burning some watts1
 In July, Heather and I raced the Breckenridge Gravity Play 12 hour adventure race in the 2 person team class. We've race on 4 person teams before in last years Glenwood Springs race but never together by ourselves. The paddle leg was defined by what ourselves and another Colorado adventure racing couple coined paddling "divorce boats". I'm certain we don't argue like non paddlers going in circles in these awkward inflatable kayaks designed more to create angst more than move forward but we certainly had some colorful team communication on the water:) We actually paddle a hard plastic 2 person whitewater kayak called a Jackson Dynamic Duo alot on class 3-4 so we've gotten used to having 2 ambitious spirits in the same watercraft going downstream. After some lightening storm spiced time on the mountain bikes above treeline, Heather smoked the orienteering course bringing us across the finish line in a cool 1st place.

In September, we split our forces and I joined up with old teammate Gretchen Reeves while Heather joined up with Colorado's multisport patriarch Gary "Let's Get This Fire Started" Lacy in the Gravity Play Glenwood Springs 12 hour race. Gary's son Mason Lacy was under our radar screen as we're always looking out for his talented brother Spencer Lacy who recently suffered yet another shoulder dislocation. Mason was back in his pre college form and laid down a brisk pace on the initial run straight up to the Glenwood Adventure Park where we rappelled into the cavernous cave system. After a 3 hour singletrack bike leg and a mandatory flat tire on my cyclocross wheelset, Gretchen and I could see Mason just ahead of us but couldn't reel him in before the rowdy river boarding section down the Class 3 Shoshone section of the Colorado River. Mason's strength is certainly in the kayak but he laid down a solid pace on foot and bike to take the overall win with Gretchen and I on his heels paddling mandatory (punishment) inflatables. Gretchen was using this race as a tuneup for a race in China the following week so mission accomplished with no hospital bills and some champagne to boot.

Next up...crewing for Dart Nuun's Cyril Jay Rayon at the US 24 Hour Mountain Bike Nationals in Colorado this year! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Maverick Greets USA Pro Cycling Tour Comes to Boulder

Classic video footage of Heather Prentice and I running ahead of peloton of US Pro Cycling Tour final climb up Boulder's Flagstaff Mtn.  That's yours truly in the Top Gun Maverick jumpsuit with the air horn and Heather in the wig and disco get up. Not bad for running in Keen flip flops!

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Not About the Boat...Teva Games 2012

Teva Games Bud Light Downriver Podium: Jeremy Rodgers USA (2nd), Mike Dawson NZ (1st), Eric Jackson USA (3rd)

So many of you remember the the coup d' etat of Teva Games 2011 and thought the story couldn't get better. Well, for the most part you were right but it was all smiles on race day after a last minute rule change that became known as the "Jeremy Rodgers rule" that kayaks cannot be customized in any way and must be a mass produced production kayak. Rather than debate the minutia meaning or origins of this rule, I called up my go to guys, Landis Arnold and Trung at the North American Prijon distributorship in Boulder, CO and told them to troll the warehouse relics for anything under 13 feet, plastic, no rocker, and light as possible. They scored a gem in the rough with a 1986 Prijon Taifun (pronounced Typhoon) at 12 foot 9 inches, 10 lbs lighter than a Dagger Green with less rocker. Rocker, my friends, is the upsweep of the front and rear of the kayak which allows it to turn or not turn easily and when it comes to downriver racing rocker is not your friend as we've only got one place to go and it's not left or right:) The only kicker of the deal was I had to wear the original 1986 rainbow striped skirt (see closeups below) to make the package complete!

With last year's controversy about my custom creation, the Wavechopper, need I say more?
 After chumming it up on pre race practice runs  with Ultimate Mountain Challenge favorites Travis Macy, Josiah Midaugh, and Sari Anderson, we ironed out all the nanosecond saver moves on the downriver race course from East Vail into Mountain Village. With record flows last year producing my winning time of 17:30 seconds, we weren't so lucky in 2012 with record low snowpack producing a technical paddlers dream race....the lower the water the harder it is to read the fastest lines. In high water years any line with a kayak right side up is a good line and the field gets compressed into closer times. In short...keep in the middle, paddle like hell, fastest time wins. In sparkling contrast, low water years spread out the field as you just have to weave magic to avoid running aground or wave friction.

Post race cool down in the Prijon Taifun....take a gander at the rainbow striped skirt straps and  grab loop aka Garmin 310 anchor! Guys in 1986 wore this? Classic! Lost a few letters on my fellow racer message sticker as well but quickly repaired!

So the story played out that New Zealand Olympic slalom paddler Mike Dawson, who finished second to my Wavechopper last year by same margin, edged my time of 22:57 by 3 seconds in a Liquidlogic Remix Stinger and US whitewater freestyle and slalom icon Eric Jackson finished in 3rd by the same margin. It seems it's not about the boat but the rule change will live on:) Complete results subdivided by classes and story linked here in the Denver Post. Mike Dawson is on fire this spring leading up the the Olympics in London and his checkbook after Teva Games shows it with a sweep in all events! Good job Mike.

On a side note, we saw a power output of almost 400 watts! No, not from a paddle blade but from the latest addition to the Ultimate Multisport Van! Heather and I had a 600 watt wind turbine added to the van this spring via a partnership with Keen and Southwest Windpower. The adventure van is now officially self sustainable just in case we have to make a fast getaway and leave the world behind. Combined with the solar system, we never have to start the engine to make it through watching Top Gun and Braveheart back to back. Even better, NO annoying generator noise or fumes for our fellow free spirited campers.

New to Teva Mountain Games in 2012 was the Gibbon Slackline Amphitheater and what a show these guys and gals put on. I thought how entertaining can balancing on a slack line be but man was I wrong. Big air back flips to straddle landing to double front flips was the theme of the day. Good thing the Nuun tent was only a few yards away as these athletes were sweating up a storm with their aerial performances. I think all boisterous 40,000 spectators were piled around the slack line venue all at once so find the lack liner in my photo from my cheap seat in the nosebleed seats.

If over 8 sports and 40,000 spectators weren't enough, even the dogs had their day in the limelight with dock dog jumping competitions and trail races. Mazzy, our 1.5 year old cattle dog, pulled off a coup d'etat of sorts and outlasted the competition in the Rocky Dog 5K race straight up and down Vail Resorts switchbacks. Mazz even snuck in a few dives into the creeks along the way to cool her afterburners on a warm Teva Games morning with me in tow. My Keen A86 new issue trail racing flats handled the loose mountain trail terrain like a pro and at a slim 9 ounces with lots of retro flashy appeal, I think Keen is onto a winner. Trailrunner magazine agrees with me! The Mazz and I finished a smooth 3rd overall in the 5k to top off a great mountain weekend and Heather snuck in an age group placing as well. .Here's the Mazz strutt'n through town with her medal...does it get any better than this dog lovers?

See you all back on the river and trails with 3 more mountain festivals in the next 4 weeks!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2011...It's a Wrap

Team DART-Nuun has had another very successful and busy season of racing.  The team not only competed in the biggest adventure races in the world, but also in foot races, bike races, triathlons, and kayak races.
Here are some of the team’s  key accomplishments:
  • The team is currently ranked 2nd in the nationAR Power Rankings. They had a great chance to be ranked 1st but team member Cyril became ill at the US World Qualifier and the team finished 2nd. The runner-up finish has energized the team to work even harder in 2012 to stand on top of the rankings.
  • Jeremy Rodgers qualified for US Canoe and Kayak Wildwater Team and  will represent the USA at the 2012 World Championships.
  • Jeremy Rodgers won the Teva Games Downriver race – see the  race report
  • Mari Chandler won her age group at the Duathlon long course World Championships despite coming off a 6 day non-stop race 2 weeks before and not owning a TT bike.
  • Jen Segger won Ultraman Canada
  • Jen Segger won the Whistler 50 mile ultrarun
  • The team finished 3rd at the US World Championship Qualifierrace report
  • The team finished 3rd (1st American) at the Canadian World Championship Qualifierrace report
  • The team finished 7th (1st American) at the Switzerland World Championship Qualifierrace report
Additional accomplishments:
  • DART-Nuun created an exciting Ultra endurance racing video.
  • The team put on races including the Trioba adventure race and Malibu Day & Night trail runs and hosted events such as ProClub series of clinics in Seattle and mountain bike night ride clinics in Los Angeles)
For a complete list of the team’s race results and events visit the DART-Nuun site.