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So Why You Ask??

So why you ask? Cause this is why…  #xterra #triathlon #weareswimrun #whowantstobeavideostar

Music by Bombs Away

Keeping Motivated, Coldwater Mountain and Improving Your Swim

Going into the holidays, it’s hard to stay motivated, especially with travel.  A few tips, a Coldwater Mountain trail highlight and some swimming Q&A… oh boy!  Grab your Santa socks and your eggnog for a quick vid…

Two-fer Riding, Racing Ride and Seek, SwimRun Thanks

 

So you’re probably sitting around eating Thanksgiving leftovers, or you’re licking your wounds from you’re local Black Friday brawl while fighting for the latest Furby.  Either way, you got nothing better to do, so check out the latest update.

 

Race With Your Inner GRRRR-XTERRA Tiger

Are you an Auburn fan or Alabama fan? Well, regardless of whether you yell “War Eagle!” or “Roll Tide!”, you can race an XTERRA near both of these colleges and their names reflect their alma maters. XTERRA Tiger takes place near Auburn whereas XTERRA Tide takes place near Tuscaloosa.

XTERRA Tiger is one of those races that I’ve attempted to make for the last two years but just cannot seem to work it into my schedule. Multiple things seem to come up both personally and professionally but needless to say, it hasn’t been doable. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to keep track of all the action, so this year, I had ultrarunner, XTERRA athlete and field reporter, Sunny Workman keeping me informed.

XTERRA Tiger is one of the earliest races on the circuit and in the southeast. Many come from all over to test the waters of how their training is progressing and to get that racing bug again. Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina were well-represented. With it being an early season race, the water temps are low and usually wetsuit legal. As the racers lined up in the water, the temp was still dropping from the day before. At breakfast it was 63, but at race start, it was 56.

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Owen Workman

The swim looked longer than the advertised 750 meters, but no one was sure if that was truly the case or if it was the typical “oh crap, this is the first race of the season” coming out. The skies were cloudy and it appeared as if it could Continue reading

Rainy Dogs and Drafting-XTERRA Hickory Knob

XTERRA Hickory Knob always seems to fight with mother nature.  Last year it was a layer of pollen so thick on the trail it crunched.  The year before, we had brutal rain, freezing water and just all-around cold.  This year, although it wasn’t cold, she gave us more rain.  It had rained quite a bit leading up to the race, so much so that although it was warm and sunny the day before, the park rangers and race director made the call to limit the bike portion to the roads in order to prevent trail damage.  Besides, who wanted to clean up a mountain bike that would have surely ended up looking like this:

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The mere prospect of racing on the road, using a mountain bike (XTERRA rules) didn’t appeal to many, but we all respected the decision to respect the trails.  It was probably less appealing when we woke up to rain on race day.  In the end, we all had a blast of a time and many commented on the fun nature of a draft-legal mountain bike race on the pavement.

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The field was small, filled with die-hards that decided not to take up race director Andy on his offer for a deferment to 2016.  Instead, we all lined up in the cold water (mid 60s) and waited for Continue reading

Almost Swept Away – XTERRA RVA

The race in Richmond, Virginia this year was not only the XTERRA East Championship but it was also the 2014 USAT Off-road National Championship.  This doubling up of championships doubled up the competition with new names and familiar ones.  Since it was a sort of special race, Alba even went so far as to shave the side of her noggin to clear a path for one of the XTERRA temporary tattoos along with a splash of red color.

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When tackling this great race, you always have to be prepared for change.  Weather this time of year can have vast effects on the trails and since it is a river swim, it can cause the swim to be either a “running swim” or it can make it a treacherous one with strong currents.  Last year, the race was changed to a duathlon since the area had so much rain, you’d have a hard time boating the river, much less swimming it.

Sure enough, this weekend wouldn’t be much different.  Due to the rain leading in, the current in the swim was very strong.  We zig-zagged our way across the river having to really compensate for the strong flow.  There were folks aiming straight for the buoys without compensating and found themselves Continue reading

Lots of Racing and Riding

So many updates, where do I start?

XTERRA Whitewater Clinic and Preride

First and foremost, we had a beautiful day for the XTERRA Whitewater Transition Clinic and Preride.  We had 10 athletes show up of varying levels of skill from all over.  “Representatives” from Charlotte, Greensboro and Myrtle Beach were present and accounted for to name a few.

We started a little late due some “cross pollination” of clinics.  Most of our attendees were intermingled with the Dirt Divas Skills Clinic by mistake.  I just happened to stop by and say high and we discovered the mixup.  After a quick roundup, we got started with the transition clinic. 

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We hit the trails to ride the 14 mile mountain bike course that would make up the bike leg of the race.  Whitewater Center Trail Guru, Lee Flythe and crew have been real busy out there building new trails and extending existing ones.  With a new mix of hand cut and machine cut trails recently added, the ride was fun and challenging.  If you missed out, I hope to see you all at the next clinic scheduled for June 22nd (you can RSVP here).  Thanks goes out to USNWC Events Manager and XTERRA Whitewater Race Director Adam Bratton.

I followed up the clinic and pre-ride with a tough EPC Multisport brick workout that damn near kicked my butt.  I barely had enough energy to cut the grass when I got home, but I managed to get it done.  Exhausting but fun, fun day.

XTERRA Knoxville

On the racing front, the inaugural XTERRA Knoxville was held on Saturday with what was reported as some of the best single track out there.  “One of the toughest mountain bike courses I’ve ridden; fun dry but quite treacherous wet.” said Charlie Epperson, XTERRA Pro that came in second overall just behind fellow XTERRA Pro Takahiro Ogasawara (Oga) from Japan.  He continued, “I came into T-2 maybe 4 or 5 minutes down from Oga and a minute back from Josh. I felt great running and was able to make up some ground on Oga but not enough. I’m happy anytime I’m within a few minutes.”  Josh Schaffer came in third overall and was the top amateur at the race.  He also doubled as XTERRA security since he camped at the venue.

On the ladies front, XTERRA Pro, Mieko Carey was second overall out of the water and rode with Charlie for a good portion of the bike leg.  She won the female division with Andrea Ludwig and Lucia Colbert coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively.  Full Results

As with any first-year event, however, it wasn’t without its share of snafus.  Apparently, the trails lacked enough markings to keep everyone on track and racers got off course.  First-year XTERRA racer, Jheremy Zetans came to the rescue.  He saw what was happening and decided to terminate his own race to give a lending hand by directing racers back on course.  Talk about XTERRA spirit!

Charlie went on to provide a small tidbit of advice, “I know a couple of riders and runners got lost today. Always a disheartening experience. I’ve been there. My advice is to take the extra day to arrive early to ride and run and be able to race without that element of uncertainty.”

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Oga, Mieko and Charlie

XTERRA East Championships (aka XTERRA RVA)

Speaking of XTERRA Pros Charlie, Oga and Mieko, they will be teaming up in the first ever XTERRA Pro pre-race shoot-out in Richmond.  The pros will be split up into 3-person relay teams on a very short course highlighting aspects of this weekend’s XTERRA East Championship course (Jun 15).  It’ll be fast and furious action with the winners expected to knock it out in 15 minutes.  The teams that have been made up are very interesting to say the least.  You can check out who’s on what teams at the Pro Relay Team Shoot-out webpage.

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Even better, not only can you witness this in person, but the title sponsor, Luck Stone, will be broadcasting the event live so you can view online, complete with video and GPS tracking via their website at www.luckstone.com.  If you can break away from what you’re doing, THIS Thursday, at noon (Eastern time), you should definitely check this out.  I plan on being there in person (hopefully), so keep an eye on my Twitter and Facebook feed and I’ll try to give ya another avenue to keep up on the action (and some cool pics).

 

Be a Warrior!

Marcus

 

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