Posted on November 14, 2016 by Marcus Barton
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this..” was the only quote that came to mind going into the SwimRun NC race. Despite my best efforts to be prepared, with previewing the course, training pretty consistent and everything else I could do, it only took a sprinkling of real life to get in the way and attempt to derail things. Life can be funny that way, throwing you curve balls and all. Heck, sometimes it can be downright cruel.
Right after the SwimRun VA race in Richmond, VA, I headed home to be with Mom as she went into surgery. I won’t go into too much detail, but I HAD to be there, because it’s family. You know how that goes. Even though sleeping in a hospital chair off and on over the next 10 days (not to mention all the driving) and the stress of worry put up a huge brick wall approaching the final days before the race, I don’t regret it for a millisecond. Quality time was spent with all of my family, and frankly, sometimes that has to take a precedence over everything else.
So, as we all gathered at the Green Heron Ale House for the race briefing, the butterflies began to start. There was nothing I could do now but give it my best shot.
SwimRunNC, if you read their website, was the brainchild of Jan Kriska and Jeff Beckelhimer. Although this is true, Herbert Krabel had his paws in on it, too. With those three minds together
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, SwimRun | Tagged: First Endurance, GU, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Inov-8, OtillO, Racing, Rockman, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 25, 2016 by Marcus Barton
One of the primary premises behind the sport of swimrun is connecting the athletes with nature. If you ask Michael Lemmel, race director of OtillO, he’ll be quick to tell you that it’s about the athletes moving through nature and becoming one with it. I’d have to agree with him.
So, when it comes to having a swimrun race, most folks wouldn’t think of having one right in the middle of a large city like Richmond and if I hadn’t raced XTERRAs in Richmond before, I would probably have thought the same thing. When I stumbled across that there would be the SwimRunVA race held on some of the same trails of the XTERRA, it took me all of about 2 seconds to make a decision. I had to do this race.
I reached out to Jim Fisher, local Richmond athlete and an XTERRA friend of mine to see if he was interested in teaming up for the race. Being an avid racer and lover of adventure, he didn’t hesitate to say yes. As the race approached, I received bad news that Jim tore some of those important tendons around his knee and would need surgery. Of course, this knocked him out of the race, for sure. After some further searching and pleading with folks on social media for someone as crazy as us, Keith Schumann, another XTERRA athlete stepped up. With zero time training together we found ourselves at the start line before you knew it.
The race course looks a little something like this:
I’ll spare you the turn-by-turn details, but it was 6 separate swims and 7 runs totaling 3.37 miles of swimming and 15 miles of running. We started the race at Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing | Tagged: First Endurance, GU Energy, OtillO, Racing, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team, weswimrun | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 14, 2016 by Marcus Barton
It was slated to be a hot one and with the torrential downpour the night before, it was also a slick one. Hot. Steamy. Slippery. Take those ingredients and mix it with a hard course and you have yourself one tough-as-nails race.
Photo by Deb Dandro
Showing up race morning, not only had it rained, but the winds had blown everything out of whack. Cones were strewn, transition had taken a beating and pop-up tents were completely missing. The folks at the Whitewater Center had their work cut out for them. They quickly got things squared away and before you knew it, transition was beginning to fill up.
Photo by Deb Dandro
I knew that Caleb and Dwayne would give me a run for my money to get on top of the podium, with Dwayne being favored for the win. My only chance was my intimate knowledge of the trails, knowing just about every root and rock out there. With that said, we saw Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Triathlon | Tagged: American Classic, Crank Brothers, ESIGrips, First Endurance, GU Energy, Mountain Biking, Myrtle Beach, Racing, Schwalbe Tires, Timex Facotry Team, trail running, Triathlon, XTERRA | Comments Off on I’ll Tumble For Ya in the Woods–XTERRA Whitewater
Posted on May 5, 2016 by Marcus Barton
One of the beauties of racing an XTERRA race is the fact that anything can change on a moments notice. The majority of XTERRA racers just go with the flow and make the most of it while citing it as a fun aspect of this sport. The same goes for the majority of XTERRA race directors. Case in point:
I couldn’t have put it better myself. More about the course changes in a bit.
Before the rains, the course was in beautiful shape. Racers began showing up about mid-week in order to get some time on the course. I had the opportunity and managed to snap a few photos in the process.
As you can see it’s a fairly rocky course with loose pea-sized gravel over Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, Triathlon | Tagged: American Classic, Arkansas, Crank Brothers, Cross Triathlon, ESIGrips, First Endurace, GU, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Inov-8, Mountain Biking, Racing, Schwalbe Tires, Triathlon, XTERRA | Comments Off on Adapt and Overcome – USAT OffRoad National Championships
Posted on April 28, 2016 by Marcus Barton
One of the beauties that makes XTERRA so much fun is the change. How boring would it be to go do that same road triathlon, with the same boring course, that never, ever changed? Again. And again. And again. One thing that keeps me coming back to XTERRA, year after year, is the fact that some races are constantly evolving. Take XTERRA Myrtle Beach for example. The first year it was held, the swim course was a rectangular course in the intercostal waterway. This meant that if the tide was on the move, you’d be fighting it on one of the sides of that rectangle.
Rear from left: Danny Pagan, Pete Dizon, Ornela Vazquez Rivera, Jim Dandro
Front from left: Caleb Baity, Marcus Barton
The next year it was a one-way swim. Last year, I raced Myrtle Beach for the first time and I thought the trails were a blast. I wrote about them last year, so I won’t rehash that over again, but the run was Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, Triathlon | Tagged: American Classic, Crank Brothers, ESIGrips, First Endurance, GU Energy, Mountain Biking, Myrtle Beach, Racing, Schwalbe Tires, Timex Facotry Team, trail running, Triathlon, XTERRA | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 25, 2015 by Marcus Barton
For those of you that haven’t been following the blog or my Facebook page, we set out to do ÖTILLÖ which is touted to be one of the toughest races on the planet. It’s a swimrun race that consists of traversing 26 islands in Sweden, swimming a total of 6 miles in the Archipelago and running 42 miles across the islands. To give you a quick synopsis, check out this map (all lengths are in meters):
Dan prepared me the best he could, and frankly, I felt I had made huge strides in my fitness. Cheryl Reinke also worked hard and helped me to make big improvements to my swim. By the time we hit Sweden, they had done as much as they could. I’m thankful to both of them for really taking the time to invest in someone who can’t possibly repay them.
We took our better halves and boarded the flight for Stockholm. To say I was a bit nervous was an understatement. It was nervousness, excitement and anxiousness all balled up in one tiny package. Once we got to Stockholm, we parted Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, SwimRun | Tagged: First Endurance, GU, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Inov-8, OtillO, Racing, Rockman, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team | Comments Off on Cold Water and Wetsuit Running – OtillO Swimrun World Championships
Posted on August 10, 2015 by Marcus Barton
We were about half of a mile into a 1.2 mile swim across the fjord in 56 degree water when my legs began to shake and shiver. This was swim number seven of the day with two more after it. We were just a little under 7 hours into the race and I was beginning to tire a bit. I had lost Dan’s draft so I resorted to sighting since I couldn’t see his shoes or bubble trail anymore. As I looked up, through the rain, the power station we were swimming to didn’t look any closer. “Damnit. we’re not even halfway there yet and I’m shivering,” I thought. Just about that time, Dan stops, turns around, looks at me and says…
Photo credit: Matti Rapila Andersson
Wait a second. I’m getting ahead of myself. First off, I know it’s been three weeks since this race. I must apologize at my slack-assedness. However, it’s been, work, train, eat, spend time with the family and somewhere in there squeeze in some time to sleep. I know, I know. Waaaah. You have no place for whiners.
Second, in order to even begin to talk about the “impossible” race, as dubbed by the locals that live along the fjord we raced, I have to give you the backstory of how I got pulled into this race to give you some context. Here comes a flashback… Continue reading
Filed under: Race Reports, Racing, SwimRun, Travel | Tagged: First Endurance, GU, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Inov-8, OtillO, Racing, Rockman, SwimRun, Timex Facotry Team | 7 Comments »