Sunday, July 19, 2009

USA National Championship XC, Super D and Short Track Races

After doing well in the Marathon National Championship I decided to try out Super D and ST in addition to XC this weekend. (I did ST last year but haven't done a real pro Super D). Saturday: 10th in XC. results here. Sunday: 4th in Super D behind XC racer Kelli Emmett (3rd) and two Downhillers, Jacque Harmony (2nd) and Elke Brutsaert (3rd). Kyia Anderson was 5th. see pictures below (Todd got a new camera, Nikon D40 - a great camera so far). Super D was fun race on an awesome course, I had to break out the Racer-X and Kenda Nevagal tires. Check out this video to see Willow lose her shoe in the run. 14th in Short Track. I was called up 3rd-to-last since I haven't done any ST races this year. I passed ~ 15 girls, but not quickly enough and was pulled about 15 minutes in. It was a hard course, the only place to really pass was on the steep climb. The tough thing was trying to figure out if I should eat anything solid between the Super D and the Short Track race and how much I needed to re-warm up for the ST as there was ~3 hours between races.

Monday, July 13, 2009

WTB Saddles and NoTubes Raven Tire Review

WTB Saddle and Demo Program I have always been a fan of WTB saddles. In the past I used the Rocket V SLT with ti rails (210g), this year I opted for the Devo Carbon (190g). Now I am looking at the Silverado (also 190g). The Silverado is a bit narrower and longer than the Devo.

If you are in the market for a new saddle, WTB now has a demo program! I was able to try the pictured saddle at the Firecracker 50 race. I'll try to get more demo info and post it here. NoTubes Raven As everyone knows I love my lightweight Kenda tires, but since NoTubes is also a sponsor I have been able to try out the NoTubes Raven 26x2.0.

Todd has been a fan of the 29" Crow for some time. I have now put ~ 1500 miles (including pavement miles) on my rear mounted Raven in various conditions from SoCal's loose-over-hardpack to New Mexico and Colorado's high-desert and varying mountain terrain (everything from sharp loose rocks to east coast-style wet-roots and rocks). Under very close inspection I have a few superficial slices, more than a couple goathead spears, no sidewall wear, almost no tread wear (!), and the tire holds air from ride-to-ride so I only check the pressure every few rides. The Raven is an great XC tire. The sideknob is perfect and I have only missed the extra tread a few isolated times; once on a really loose up-hill switchback and another time on a ride with some downhillers on a true DH course I had no business being on. The Raven seems to ride everything including the loose climbs and wet roots very similarly to how my Kenda Small Block 8 does, but with less weight and I assume less rolling resistance. If I am worried about extra flat protection I run the Kenda Small Block (see all the closely spaced knobbies, top photo). I haven't tried the Raven on the front, I really like the Kenda Karma as an all-round tire and continue to use it as my front tire. Todd may try the Raven as a front tire and keep his Crow on the rear.

Specialized vs. XTR Cranks

I will have a set of Specialized MTB Carbon cranks waiting for me when I get to Durango, after I ride them a bit I'll write up the comparison.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

USA Marathon National Championship Race - Firecracker 50

4th in the USA National Marathon Championship Race in Breckenridge! Who knew I could race a marathon race???
It was a great race. The communication from the Firecracker 50 promoter to the athletes was ideal. Of all races I have attended this year, this one ran the smoothest by far. The course was better marked than any course, it was easy to pre-ride and everything was clear to the racers. They gave us a book with all the details, great course maps, turn by turn course descriptions with mile markers, aid station locations, a town map, start times and more. There were no last minute changes, the aid stations were awesome with full water bottles, Gatorade bottles and gels. They were well staffed and well run. (I never count on neutral support because it just never works, but this you could count on.) Basically everything was perfect, I highly recommend this race! The race was capped at 750 entries, teams counted as one entry, so keep that in mind as it did fill up. It seems the promoter really listens to the racers and aims to put on a perfect event; the general communication, preparation and execution were amazing.
The race started with a neutral start through Breckenridge as part of the July 4th parade. The start was ideal, pro women lined up behind pro men and we started together. My race was almost perfect, I started 10th of 20 and moved up the entire race passing defending champ Sari Anderson on the first climb, Rebecca Rush ~ 2/3rds of the way through the first lap and a couple other girls in there somewhere. I finished the first 25-mile lap 30-seconds behind Heather Holmes and 60-seconds behind Amanda. With such a long climb to start the second lap I was able to watch Heather catch and pass Amanda then start to gap her, I passed both of them by the top of the climb which put me in 4th. Rebecca was able to get by Amanda who then got a slow leak which slowed her down a bit, luckily she was able to get spare wheel in the next aid station. I reeled Gretchen Reeves in by the third aid station then it was a race to the finish line for 3rd. Gretchen won this race in 2005 and 2006 and placed 2nd last year.
For the final ~20 minutes we were testing each other, but not going all that hard, I kept waiting for it to turn into a XC race, but wasn't sure how my legs would like it. For the entire 2nd lap I had power in my legs but battled leg cramps, at times they would completely lock up. Gretchen got into the last singletrack first. I thought there would be passing opportunities but she was really good at blocking the entire way, so it came down to a finish line sprint. I lost the sprint for 3rd, well I never really started the sprint. I stood up to sprint and my legs locked up with full-on leg cramps. I am sure the cramps were just because I don't spend anywhere close to 4.5 hours on my bike. Even though I had leg cramps the entire second lap my power never faded, which I found really odd so I just kept going.
I am happy with these results in my first ever Marathon race, but to be out of the money by a bike length is quite a way to finish such a long race.
Todd and I had a great time hanging out after the race visiting with everyone, we stayed till at least 7:00pm and there was still a huge crowd in the park when we left. This race had a great festival feel to it.
More info and pictures at
IRMIGER Heather 4:06:10.9
SAWICKI Pua 4:22:21.3
REEVES Gretchen 4:27:45.7
PARK Krista 4:27:47.1
HOLMES Heather 4:32:46.3
RUSCH Rebecca 4:36:06.3
CAREY Amanda 4:41:48.8
BONIFACE Kelly 4:42:51.1
MCCONNELOUG Mary 4:48:56.5
DOMBROSKI Amy 4:51:03.2
HORANYI Eszter 4:54:32.9
LOONEY Sonya 4:59:20.2
TUEL Caitlyn 5:06:28.9
TILLEY Jennifer 5:11:04.4
DAMMAN Jill 5:37:28.2
5 DNFs

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wedding Pics

My Family
left to right: Trey, Dana, Ira, Josh, Mom, Dad, Mikah, new sister-in-law Casey, Erika, brother-in-law Dusty, Aubrey, Jer, me (note the sock tan), my husband Todd, Dree. This was the "married family only" pic, it is missing Dree's long time boyfriend Josh and Dana's girlfriend Julie.
Casey and Mikah
Mikah and Buddies
Todd, Dana, Julie, Josh, Dad, Erika and far right, Grandma.

(Some) Brothers

Jer and Dad adding finishing touches to Jer's wedding gift to Mikah and Casey.

Jer and Dad are the car guys of the family and Jer is the most artistic one, the carvings on the top of the box were pretty impressive.

See the red Nissan Pathfinder in the background? That was my car when I was 16. When we moved into the motorhome I gave it to Dad, it now has ~280k miles on it and runs really well (thanks to Dad fixing it up). With all these kids, my parent's driveway looks like a used car lot. Dad keeps his hotrod and vet in the garage and there are 6+ car in the driveway.