Saturday, December 6, 2008

2009 Trade Team

I recently joined the USAT Trade Team for 2009. I am super excited about this opportunity. The team is composed of a handful of ITU, XTERRA and Ironman athletes and sponsored by Blue Competition Cycles, Rudy Project, SRAM, ZIPP, Speedo and Squadra. More information to come. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

XTERRA World Championships

Always great to go to Maui. Race is still difficult but gets easier each year. Placed 13th. See my race report here.

Enjoying some post-race activities.

Monday, October 6, 2008

XTERRA USA Championships

Race went well, weather was good. About 8 minutes faster than last year placing 12th. Had lots of friends and family members supporting which made me go faster. Even entered the K9 Challenge with Kip, we were 8th. Check out my complete race report here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Northstar Thursday night races

For the last seven weeks I have been racing all-but-one Thursday at the Northstar-at-Tahoe Thursday night cross country mountain bike races. In no way are these races your average Thursday night drink-a-beer afterward races, although I did drink a beer afterward. The men's race was stacked with national champions and pro athletes. The women's was pretty tough too, one of my regular competitors was Linda Ekert who placed 3rd at Single Speed World Championships this year.
The courses were always tough with as much climbing and technical descending as you can squeeze into a four-mile loop.
I was lucky to win the overall series getting a cool 'winner' t-shirt. Gregg Stone of Truckee was third, he was 7th at Single Speed World Champs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

XTERRA Mountain Championships

I Returned to Ogden again for the XTERRA Mountain Championships and placed 12th in the pro field, not as well as I hoped. I thought the climbing and elevation would give me a good result in this race but I am competing against a lot of women who also live in the mountains, hence the mountain championships.
Swim was bad, non-wetsuit for pros but amateurs could wear them and we started at the same time so basically the wetsuit swimmers swam over me.
Was slow to get going on the bike but strong by the end and was happy with my run. Finished close to 9th, 10th and 11th place. Check out my Sierra Sun column here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Squaw Valley Mtn Run

Although I continue to chip off time the previous year I cannot seem to win this race, but I'm alway close.
I came in second behind Kendall Knowles, who was on the XC running and track team at UNR with me, so it was good to see her again and see start racing again.
Was not excited to race this day, was exhausted from moving the week before but felt good during the race, pretty comfortable and came in 50 seconds faster than last year in the 3.6-mile race up Squaw Valley USA with a time of 37:12. I was also 21st overall right behind Far West Nordic coach Ben Grasseschi in a competitive
field of more than 400 runners.The race was won by fellow Inov-8 runner Shiloh Mielke with a smokin' 28:50.1

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Downieville downer

Things continued to go downhill (literally) after I got my ticket Friday which turned out to be 165 bucks! Well not everything; I did have some good moments.
The start was bad. I got to the start about 5 or 10 minutes early to discover everyone including sport and beginner were already lined up. I carried my bike over my head and tried to squeeze past the sport racers who were starting after me. I ran into Rachel Cieslewicz, who also races XTERRA, and squeezed in next to her. She told me they would start the pros and all-mountain first and then we would be able to move closer to the start line. We could not hear anything the announcer was saying and the race started, including ours. It was so congested we had to walk with our bikes for a couple of minutes before we could mount them on the uphill and start climbing. Rachel was moving pretty fast and passing people from the start so I stuck with her. We soon got fellow Truckee racer Amber Finch in the mix as we continued to pass people up the climb. This was my first Expert race and I imagined all of the guys would be in front of me from the start not the case. It's a long 4,500 foot climb on exposed fire road and breathing in smoke didn't help. There was also only one good line to take and if you tried to pass people you risked coming off your bike and having to wait for racers to pass to get back on. Amber was being really aggressive and passing people which motivated me to stick with her. It's easy to just get comfortable and stay behind riders on the climb.
I picked up my pace on the last part of the climb before the saddle and put about a gap between myself and the other girls. I was now riding with single speeder Erik Thunstrom and was in 7th place overall, I was happy with that. Erik was drafting off me on the flatter sections at the top because he couldn't shift into a bigger gear like I could. Was pretty disappointed to hear a teenage boy cheering say "show us your tits!" doesn't he know sexual harassment is SO 30 years ago?!
We soon got to packer saddle and onto the Sunrise trail, as singletrack section we did not ride last year. I was super nervous because had a pack of guys behind me but I was also catching people in front of me. Eric was also super nice and telling me I was riding well. Someone on the side of the trail said, "Want and energy drink and handed out a Bud" did not take it unfortunately :)
We got back on fire road and toward Baby Heads where Erik left me in his dust... did I mention he was also on a bike with NO suspension? ...Started to relax and just pretend I was on a ride. Amber passed me going through the creek and soon after that I went over a rock and heard a hissing sound from my back tire. No that's not a flat, no that's not a flat... OK that's a flat but maybe my Stan's will kick in and save me? NOPE. Soon I had no air in my back tire. I pulled over in a safeish spot and looked at my tire as the wheels in my head turned — this was the first time I have had a flat in a race. Maybe I can just put some more air in and be on my way.
That didn't work. It was leaking air from the rim and there was a little nick in the wheel so I prayed it wouldn't stop me from racing and I would have to walk 10-15 miles out. Another guy had flatted right after me and was fixing his 30 feet down the trail.
"How's it going down there?" I said jokingly.
I proceeded to take off my tire and struggled to get the valve out (I was running tubeless tires)
"Do you need help? he said.
"Actually yes," I replied and I ran down there with the tire.
He had just fixed his flat and started to help me, well, he actually fixed the flat for me which was extremely kind but also embarrassing at the same time. I was running back and forth from the spot where my dismantled bike lay. Racers were riding by us in handfuls, all that hard work on the climb gone.
We introduced ourselves, John Cordoba of Crank Brothers.
I got back on my bike and knew the race was over and I just needed to get to the bottom. I had no more tubes, so I feared I would get another flat and be stranded.
I was riding behind a challenged athlete who was biking with a prosthetic leg, pretty impressive and made put my mechanical difficulties in perspective.
Soon there was an uphill where I managed to get around some riders. I saw Amber walking her bike up the hill. I asked her if she was OK and I thought she said "I got a t-bone", but she was actually saying " tire won't hold air". She had flatted also and ended up walking about three miles until she got air to hold in her tire.
...Started to get back into it a little bit and ended up riding not too badly for the rest of the race. I crossed the finish line in 2:54 – guessing I lost 5 to 10 minutes with the flat — which meant I could have ended up about 4th overall!
But you never know.
I was pleased to be injury-free but disappointed as I felt this was my only race of the season to prove myself as a mountain biker. It feels like the Downieville crowd knows very little about the level of mountain biking ability in XTERRA.
Next year, next year.
Went and rode the XTERRA USA course Sunday with Rachel and Art which made me feel better.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I got my first ticket in 12 years for not stopping at this stop sign on my bike in Downieville. Officer Boyd of Sierra County Sheriff was hiding out around the corner and pulled over myself and two other riders as we rolled thru this stop sign at 5 mph. Honestly usually do stop at stop signs on my bike but did not see this one. Shawne was the first to get the ticket and when asked when he was born by the cop he said today. We proceeded to sing happy birthday and invited Boyd to join in if he wanted. He also wouldn't tell us how much the ticket was. Guess I will find out if it ever gets to me in the mail. He also gave us a spiel about how he would rather be pulling over drunk drive but proceeded to sit in his SUV idling waiting for more cyclists to come down the road. Yes I too think there are more important things cops can be doing in Sierra County.

Monday, July 14, 2008

XTERRA Tahoe City

A week after XTERRA Wales and two weeks after XTERRA East Championships I headed home and raced in XTERRA Tahoe City. I felt like I had to get back to this race because it is the only local point series race and I won it last year. It was questionable whether the race was going to be held because of the poor air quality. Western States 100 on the same weekend was already canceled.
Morning of the race the sky was relatively blue a large enthusiastic crowd was waiting for the start of the race at Commons Beach. Good to see a lot of familiar faces at the race. At the same time I was a little jet lag still and could not comprehend racing again. The swim was shocking, maybe being back at 6000 feet again. The water was shallow so we had to walk a ways out to start the race. On the way back in we had about 400 meters of below-knee water where racers either walked or swam, I dolphin dived the whole way in.
The race went well and I found out on the bike I was leading the women's race so I cruised, wildflower were great eye candy. The run was hard, first three miles were uphill and then back down. Again by F-lite 230 were awesome and carried me all the way to a first place finish. I was about five minutes faster than last year with an overall time of 3:30.
Everyone seemed to have a good race. Julie Young, a former pro-cyclist had a huge smile on her face when she came across the finish in second place in her first triathlon. To read a story I wrote for the Sierra Sun click below:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

XTERRA UK Championships

Covered in mud after the bike

Photo by Ross Garrard
Pre-riding the bike course before the rain

I successfully completed my first triathlon overseas competing in the XTERRA UK Championships in South Wales in June 2008.

Check out my story at:

Also had a great few days visiting my brother in Jersey (Channel Islands not New and English Channel Islands not Channel Islands, Calif.) It is so beautiful there with tons of beaches and pretty cows.

Race update.....

Photo by Nils Nilsen/XTERRA

Me following Danelle Kabush out of the water

Race: XTERRA East Championships
Location: Richmond, VA
Distance:1000 meter swim, 18-mile mountain bike, 11k trail run
Date: 06/15/2008

After a week of temperatures in the 90s and high humidity The XTERRA East Championships were blessed with an overcast morning and temperatures in the 70s for the start of the race. Rain the night before made the dirt a little less dusty.
The 26-mile off-road triathlon started and finished on Brown’s Island in Downtown Richmond, not somewhere I expected to have a lot of technical singletrack but it had just that, an 18-mile sort-of loop around James River, where only I seldom knew I was in a big city—except for when we had to ride over road bridges through storm drains and run up nine flights of stairs-two times, to get over railroad tracks.
The trails are also very well constructed maintained by local mountain bike organizations and feature a lot of bridges, ramps, cobblestone and short-very steep climbs—perhaps one of the most technical mountain bike races I have ever done, well just a lot different than Tahoe. I went over the handlebars three times during the race but luckily only came away with scrapes and bruises.
Because the trail is accessable from all over the city the trails were lined with spectators who kept me going. Because the bike course was mostly singletrack passing was an issue, especially with the amateur heats only two minutes after the pros and a short swim. A lot of people taking the race too seriously.
The swim was a non-wetsuit in James River, swimming directly across the river, getting out on the other side running about 200 meters and getting back in swimming back to the other side, swimming back toward the middle of the river and then back under the railroad bridge and to transition. Water was pretty murky, muddy and shallow in areas, I got scraped up from some of the shallow rocks.
The highlight of the race for me was being able to but on my royal-blue INOV-8s for the run. I am positive they made me run faster and happier. They felt as light as ballet shoes but stable enough on pavement, dirt and jumping across a river. They are only meant for short distances but I feel like I could have kept going in them. I made up a lot of time on the run and passed at least 10 guys. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the men’s winner Josiah Middaugh was also on INOV-8s who passed Dan Hugo in the last mile.
With only four women placing in the top-10, proves you don’t have to leave the country to get good international competition at XTERRA. The Race was won by Melanie McQuaid of Canada, followed by Jenny Smith of New Zealand and Shonny Vanlandingham of Colorado. I placed 13th in the pro division with the 6th fastest run split.
I am very thankful for the great homestay I had at fellow XTERRA athlete Chris Reynold’s house just a few miles from the bike course. He showed me the course gave me some tips on racing there and even shot some video during the race. I got to see the hip part of the city known as Cary Town. Not to mention rides to and from the airport and food and wine (what he knows best)leaving me with a good impression of Richmond.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Starting tomorrow afternoon I will be joining an all-star cast of Tahoe athletes for the Annual 177.6 mile relay race around the Reno/Tahoe area. I will have three legs totaling 14 miles in about a 14 hour time period and make it to work Saturday. We are shooting for a mixed team record. There are 99 teams total signed up right now, including two from Anchorage.
The group of mostly trail runners but unfortunately it's all on roads. Our teams name is the Squaw Valley USA Cutters, we are sponsored by Squaw who is providing vehicles and gas (thank God!)
The team has 12 runners including Peter Fain, trail runner, Bill and Sarah Raitter, both good trail runners, Jessica Hall, Paul Sweeney, trail runner, Shannon Rahlves, triathlete and soon-to-be trail runner also sister of Olympic Skier Daron Rahlves, Chris Luberecki, trail runner, Sam Skrocke, just got done biking from Alaska to Argentina, Katie Goldammer, Kelly Krueger, trail runner, and Todd Rose.
Go to for more info, I am runner #2
For a story on our team go to

Sunday, June 1, 2008

First XTERRA Triathlon as a pro

Photo courtesy of Gene Murrieta
Running up the first climb above Vail Lake

May 18th I competed in my first XTERRA triathlon as a pro just a week after finishing the G4 Challenge. I BARELY got my USAT pro license in time to race and probably wouldn't have if it wasn't for Dave Nicholas of Team Unlimited.
I drove down with XTERRA pro Dan Hugo and his girlfriend Ruth of South Africa who were great driving buddies and truly appreciated seeing the scenery off of 395.
We stayed with Brian Hinman at his home in Temecula looking over the valley. Brian and Lauren were amazing hosts and cooked us delicious meals every night.
I really wasn't nervous about racing pro--felt kind of funny. I guess in South Africa there's no pro and amateur and here everyone makes a huge deal about it so we made jokes about it.
The race was ridiculously hot so I'm glad I finished without passing out.
I finished 7th with a pretty tough pro field including Ironman champ Michellie Jones.
Made a major navigation error on the way home and did a detour through Death Valley or "The Valley of Death" as Ruth calls it. But things got back on track after we had Jack In the Box at 1am in Bishop. Made it back home at 4:30 am and had to work the next day. Luckily Dan and Ruth are still talking to me...must have been the JBX!
To read my Sierra Sun race report go to:

My Life G4 and After....

May 4 through May 10 I competed in the G4 Challenge Nevada Passage. I cannot say enough positive things about this experience. I got to drive a pimped out Land Rover LR3 around to some pretty remote cool places in the Nevada Outback with some really cool people. Land Rover and Team Unlimited treated us like royalty and it took some adjusting to get back to my real life.
I was teamed up with Dean Kruuse from San Diego by way of South Africa who was a great teammate/athlete and knew a few things about off-road driving and orienteering as he runs a independent Land Rover shop. With his navigation skills we won the time-speed-distance rally and the running challenge. I can also thank Inov-8 shoes for not slipping in the muddy run!
To read my Sierra Sun article go to:
Still need to finish my day-to-day report.

Catching up....Escape From Prison Hill

It's been a while since I've made a post but here's a rundown on my races and life.
At the end of May I did Escape from Prison Hill, a crazy half marathon in Carson City with 4000 feet of elevation gain and 4000 feet of descent. I placed second behind Olympic trials runner Gia Mandy so I was pretty pleased. You can read more at:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First tri of the season

It's always a good feeling to get the first race of the season out of the way. It's weird to think about triathlons when I am driving over Donner Summit to get to Granite Bay and there is still tons of snow. 
Then a few hours later diving into Granite Bay, I don't want to know how cold it was but I was getting brain freeze swimming. The bike is always tough early season, I'm not quite up to speed with all the lowlanders who can ride year round. Course had some mud and sand pits which I managed to survive but was filthy afterwards. The run was IT band issues and passed a bunch of guys. Finished 2nd overall female behind Lesley Paterson of San Diego, who apparently is pretty fast. 
Lots of shout outs to Jamie Whitmore during and after the race and good to hear she is recovering from surgery. Can't wait to go to the ride this weekend in Auburn for her.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Jamie's Race

In 2005, through the lens of my Canon D1, I watched Jamie Whitmore cross the finish line wearing a bright yellow tri suit at the XTERRA USA Championships in Incline Village, winning her 4th national title, I was inspired and honestly jealous.
She made the race look effortless as she finished what most consider to be grueling race. She was young, sponsored, in the best shape of her life and got paid to do triathlons, who could want more?
The truth is I don’t know Jamie too well, the only time I see her in a race is when she is lapping me. But she’s a part of the off-road family that is XTERRA. She is sincere, approachable, kind and continues to inspire even when she’s down.
Two and a half years later and after perhaps the best season of her career Jamie struggled to walk down the hallway of a San Francisco hospital. She was diagnosed with a pelvic tumor leaving her crippled.
Despite being sidelined, Jamie did not loose her drive or competitive edge. In one of her postings on her web site, she expressed frustration, not at her diagnosis, but the fact she got passed in the hallway by an elderly woman with a walker and IV—a true triathlete.
Jamie faces a lot of uncertainty—is the tumor malignant, when it’s removed will it cause nerve damage? And if so, how much? Will she be able to walk let alone swim run or bike again? Not to mention the expenses of living in a hospital for months.
To help support her friends and family are hosting a ride Saturday April 5 at Mammoth Bar ORV Park at 9a.m. and 1:30 a.m. for more information go to

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Switching Seasons

'Tis the season for both summer and winter sports. Yesterday I was able to ride my mountain bike in 70 degree warmth while the day before I was making tele turns at Sugar Bowl. My first weekend off in three weeks. 
The first weekend in March I was competing in the Great Ski Race, a 30-k cross country ski race from Tahoe City to Truckee with a killer climb and then 20-k of downhill, and an even better post race party at the finish.
I week later I was off to Snowbasin, Utah for the inaugural XTERRA Winter World Championships consisting of mountain biking on snow, snoeshoeing on singletrack, running on groomed trails and randonee skiing up the resort.  I entered as a pro and ended up with some prize money placing 5th despite a bad start due to difficulties biking in the fresh and soft snow. 
I also learned there is a lot of technique involved with putting skins on and off in the randonee ski leg. This was a new event for everyone and one of the hardest aspects was picking out equipment. Ogden, Utah is always warm and welcoming to endurance athletes. Check out Bingham's Cyclery if you need a tune up or post-ride smoothie.
The following week I was in San Francisco doing a the Emerald Nuts 12-k across the bay, pavement and sea level was a huge contrast to elevation and snow. I entered in wave 3 with a group of friends running in memory of Paul Sloan, a victim of 9/11. We do this race every year which starts in Sausalito and goes over the Golden Gate Bridge finishing in the Marina.
Being two waves back and trying to run somewhat fast means running into a lot of congestion throughout the race. I was literally tapping walker's shoulders on the bridge to get by as they were wearing headphones. Managed to pull off 6:44 miles which wasn't bad considering I had been running slow and on snow all winter but I paid for it the next few days when I woke incredibly sore! guess I need to pick up the pace a little.
Next week I will be heading down to Granite Bay for my XTERRA Real, my first triathlon of the season and will switch into summer mode. Well-almost I will be getting my skis out one more time for the Auburn Ski Club Biathlon race, can't wait!