Sunday, December 30, 2007

Huevos and Snow biking

We joined the masses and hit up W Cafe for Sunday Breakfast today. It was so busy there that Brian and I got the last booth a half booth that was crammed in along the edge, it was ok as we had street side view of snowy Sunday on Mainstreet.


I ordered the Huevos - a Mexican breakfast -2 eggs over beans and a tortilla smothered with vegetarian chili and a side of Guacamole.


It reminded me of a favorite Kiwi Sunday dinner. AKA. Darron Burn's style. This is the best (or maybe all this winter is making me homesick?) A toasted Bagel with marmite, loaded with watties baked beans, a poached egg and Watties tomato sauce (ketchup).


I'm a ketchup fiend and create meals where its the star ingredient. (these days I buy organic ketchup, which is really only to make myself feel that my habit is somehow better!).


Afterwards as it was 'warmer' (20 degrees) we bought out the bikes and went snowbiking. I've not been riding at all lately as have been saving the joys of the trainer for the happy New Year (its not secret that I detest the trainer).

Check it out. Brians Snow bike. It was FUN. The tires absolutely rocked. (2.35 Bontrager Jones - with 16 lbs of pressure, they where awesome). Brian is running larger profile Bontrager rythm wheels. It was so much fun that I have signed on to race a winter Tri in Durango on the 26th Jan.



.

Taking a Nana picture with the dog

video

We are dorks! This is funny as we didn't know our camera took movie clips untill I uploaded these pictures. The button must have been frozen and stuck on.

This could be fun....Next time... Tune in for nordic skiing 101 w/ J Smith.... ha ha ....we all might learn something there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Gunnison Nordic, Night skiing and Stepping out at Colorado Fitness

The Skiing is so good I'm almost loathe to advertise it.

A huge thank you goes out to the Gunnison Nordic club http://www.gunnisonnordic.net/ especially Mike Cole, Dave MO and Jesse Crandall who are doing the majority of the Grooming out there, bringing free skiing to the people and loads of it.

The other day skate skiing at Hartman's Rocks we stumbled on oh .... another 3 miles or so of new groomed track off to the right by Hogs back rocks. Unreal.... I wish I could express the joy of a new corduroy surprise in your favorite place. It nearly negated the fact that the skate skiing at the time was ridiculously hard, being mostly uphill . I first ran into Holly Rickett who with the biggest grin exclaimed... This is the best skiing in Colorado -right here. Then a little later saw my friends Gale and Greg who said... didn't know it was you Jenny, herringbone- ing along Hogsback. (Yeah yeah Gale just loves that she can Ski).

Brian's schedule has been 7-3 lately which doesn't leave him too much daylight to train in but has introduced me into one of his favorite Worlds - Night skiing. Its opened a whole new World to me and I'm getting hooked. Along with the obvious advantage of having a training partner, its also meaning a more relaxed approach to the time as its usually too cold to get out in the am and the evening is warm enough. Then there is the silent beauty of the trails and its amazing. So that's what we did last night on Xmas. Skied till 7.30, came home and ate leftovers with Brian's parents while watching Rocky 4 and 5 on Versus. (low stress in the Smith household).

I am offering a 4 week 'Step into the New Year' Program at Colorado Fitness. This program includes a personal training session each week throughout Janurary to develop and implement an individualised health and fitness plan for you. If this sounds like something you would like to do Call Colorado Fitness 970 641 3375 for more information or to sign up.

Enjoy

Jen

Friday, December 21, 2007

Making it all work

We worked out a system over the weekend where Brian and I can ski together. All we have to do is pick a trail that needs breaking in and I'll follow along behind. In that vein we (well Brian broke trail up to Swampy pass on Saturday) and I followed along. it was really fun. It was also really cold and my sandwich, water and banana all froze, which made Brian a bit cross as I then had to steal his supplies. At the end on the way home we got so cold we drove through Sonic (our only time to eat there in 9 years of living in Gunnison... I ate my burger in the bath... and it was so good ... after 5 hours and -7 degrees I easily justified it all).).

Now we have our family visiting for Xmas which is proving to be lots of fun adventures. Here's Brian his mum and sister at Hartman's. Its warmed up a bit too which is good as Kari and Patrick live in North Carolina and Sunny Gunny was a bit of an initial shock temperature wise. Wherever you are Happy Holidays!
Enjoy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

And so this is winter.....

Sandi and Gale on Ohio Pass - one of the areas best kept secrets....
Psyched! and this was b4 our latest snowstorm!
Ski's to get out of the driveway.
wonder why the heater had trouble with the snow on the roof??
Gunnison- from Hartmans rocks area.
As soon as it hits Zero today, we are there. Only 2.4 more degrees to go.

Equal prize money for women

Please follow this link to sign for equality in prize money in UCI races.

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/equalpay/petition.html

To: Union Cycliste Internationale (U.C.I.)
We, the undersigned, find it regrettable that there is still a considerable disparity between the UCI minimum prize money for men and women. We understand that because competition in the men’s field is deeper, more places receive prize money. We do not understand why the women who are receiving prize money receive less than their male counterparts. Therefore we propose that the UCI show leadership and mandate equal prize money for the top five men and women. Article 3 of the UCI Constitution states: “The UCI will carry out its activities in compliance with the principles of: a) equality between all the members and all the athletes, license-holders and officials, without racial, political, religious, or other discrimination.” We ask the UCI to honor its commitment to equality.
Sincerely.....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

XTERRA USA Champs on TV

The 2007 US XTERRA championships are being aired this Sunday (16th) Denver ABC (ch 7) from 2 -3 pm

for other TV scheduling information http://www.xterraplanet.com/

Keeping a sense of humor

A good day being when you learn something new.....
On Monday I learned what happens when you release the pressure valve on the hot water heater. Actually I also learned that the pressure valve is not the same thing as the water switch (the one I was meant to turn off ). Plus I learned that once released it doesn't go back. As a bathtub of hot water started spraying all over the room. OOPS.

Yesterday as I was skate skiing (rather badly) I skied by a woman on adaptive ski's. She called out to me and then gave me a lesson on using my poles forward of my body. She told me what to do explaining that she couldn't do it as she was paralysed from the ribs down but I needed to use my core and throw my body forward. It was really humbling and encouraging... I thought well I better bloody try... right!

Taking that stop making excuses when you are able attitude. I decided today was the day I would learn to tumble turn in the pool. ( yeah yeah... Brian and I are probably the only 2 professional triathletes on earth who still can't/don't do this) I have to admit I'm motivated to learn on the sly ( my one immature opportunity to be better than Brian at something). It made the swim fun as without much rhyme or reason I tumbled turned sometimes facing the right direction, sometimes not, and mostly missing the wall... but It got easier. I think in a week or so I may get it.

Enjoy.

Jen

Monday, December 10, 2007

skis, skating, snowshoes, snow sub zero and all things white

Our run of sub par snow pack ended in a bang last week as we where treated to the perfect storm. According to the weather guy, a warm front from the south met cooler air from the North and created conditions not seen in his 14 years of weather reporting. We where hammered on....
On Friday after one look at our driveway I pulled out the ski's and skied over to the gym to work. This was a super blast... was 10 minutes late but didn't really feel too worried as I was having way too much fun. As it turned out 3 clients cancelled anyway, so I proceeded to ski my way home, run into Brian- go to his work and ski home some more.
Sadly the snow plows ruined our fun once they got to work on clearing up the roads.
Since then we've mostly been holding on to our sense of humor while the roof had to be shovelled as the heat stopped for lack of recycling air, the hot water heater sprung a leak, we've twice been pushed out of the driveway getting stuck, one car got a flat tire, the other's doors froze while snowshoeing yesterday, our computer is still in the shop after 12 days as they too are overwhelmed with business, but its an adventure for sure, today we have another winter weather advisory for the next 24 hours.... wonder what this will bring.
The good thing... the snow is amazing! and the skiing incredible. Hartman's has been groomed into Nordic skiers paradise and its only 3 miles from the house. Yesterday I proudly snowshoe ran the big 16 k loop - Was neither fast nor pretty but as 2 years ago I had issues snowshoe running 10 minutes. I was so psyched. not to be outdone by me, Brian went out after work and ran the big loop plus a couple of others half an hour faster in the dark. he's a freak!
Yahoo!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mike Janelle


Sadly and completely unexpectedly our fellow friend and racer Mike Janelle suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep last night. Brian and I feel privileged to have had some of Mike rub off on us during our time riding and racing with him. His attitude, zest for life and personality made him the best kind of person to be around. All my thoughts of him make me smile, whether its the tall tales of $80 dollars worth of McDonald's reviving him during a latter day in the RAAM, the smile he had at 3am in the morning, the visual of his SLR saddle and aluminium hard tail that he rocked mercilessly over the roughest terrain, or the utmost respect we have for his love of life. Rest in peace Mike you will be sorely missed.
A fund is being set up by Janelle's team-mates and friends to support his wife Maribel and their unborn baby. More information will be available at www.probikecenter.com when details are finalized.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

adventures of the bike path kind

Two days ago I was in Grand Junction for the morning and rode the bike path along the river to the swimming pool. I was thinking to myself how good it was to see GJ city putting in bike lanes and bike paths amid quite a bit of road construction and development. It was 7am quiet and peaceful out. When I came across a group workers unloading and heading to a wetland area to cut dead brush. The truck was parked on the path and one of the guys was standing next to the trailer with a chainsaw in his hand head down utterly engrossed in whatever he was doing with it. He was taking up all but about a foot of the path and it was narrow enough to need to ride through the gap. I think okay one move to the left and I get clobbered with the working saw so I stop and stand there for seriously about 5 minutes. I try saying, HI, uh Hello, I'm here, see me, yes the saw is working, Yes I would like by, Yo idiot features look up, In the end I kinda wave under his cap and he finally looks at me. I ride by... what you don't necessarily expect to encouter eh?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another White rim in the Hopper

The Western State College cross country team raced nationals in Joplin, MS this past weekend so it felt appropiate that we thought of Coach Vandenbushe and Jen Michel while we were riding. It was Jen's first nationals as the new coach and with much respect and anticiaption we sent good thoughts their way while we where pedalling.
Our white rim group met at 6am at the Mineral bottom rd trailhead. Now whatever is going on with our indian summer, we took with wide open arms. It was fantastic to start in a 38f degree morning sans all the clothes that normally require later shedding and lugging around for the rest of the day.
Dropping in the canyon to mineral bottom Brian and Seth where nearly taken out by a flying mountain goat launching from 50 ft above them, It hit the road amid a flurry of loose rocks, bobbled, crashed and re launched off the other side.
The mountain goat followed right after we'd seen a herd of wild horses. Pretty cool.


There where no questions about the bright pink feathers malted along the road. (they couldn't be natural?). In the afternoon we met with a park ranger who nearly fined Lisa for shedding. But when he saw the occasion he let her off lightly. By lunch time we where joined by the Ricky G group of riders who had camped at the bottom of schafers climb and gotton it out of the way first thing. Life really doesn't get any better than an afternoon still of riding with 20 of your friends, in the desert, when the views are amazing in every direction.


To finish the ride we needed to ride up the canyon wall on Schafers climb. Jeff Irwin hammered Schafers Climb in his big ring. Brian cleaned it on Garrisons 2 to 1, 69er Single speed. I hiked 95 % and would have sold my 29er singlespeed for cheap cheap cheap at the time. Laura A rode much faster than I walked this year. Seth W rode his longest ever on a MTB as did Spenser P. Steve R made it 6 in a row. Jay just made it look easy. We got in by sunset. It was a fairly decent day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

World Bicycle relief

http://trekmountain.typepad.com/king/2007/11/world-bicycle-r.html

I am not sure how to embed information... so follow the above link to Zack Vestal's initiative for the World Bicycle relief fund.
At $110 a bike his goal is to raise $550 enough to provide 5 bikes through the World Bicycle relief program.
5 bikes that will in turn provide free and efficient transport for at least 5 people.


Here's some more info, taken directly from Zack's posting via the World Bicycle Relief website, http://www.worldbicyclerelief.org/
World Bicycle Relief’s vision is that simple sustainable mobility is an essential element in disaster relief and poverty relief. In developed and developing countries, bicycles fulfill the basic mobility needs of individuals and have a direct impact in support of healthcare, education, and economic development. Bicycles empower individuals, their families, and their communities.
Our mission is to provide access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles.
Simple sustainable mobility in the form of bicycles multiplies people’s efforts and efficiencies in areas of healthcare, education and economic development.
Healthcare: Brings healthcare to patients and patients to healthcare.Education: Brings educators to the field and students to schools.Economic Development: Sustainable mobility is a fundamental requirement in all economic systems. Bicycles multiply individuals' efforts in the following ways:
Bring goods and services to markets;
Enable workers to get to jobs or find better jobs;
Bicycles fuel individuals' entrepreneurial drives, and entire businesses can be run off the back of a bike.
Time
During a commuting day of 10 miles traveled, a bicycle saves 3 hours.
Walking – 2.5 miles per hour
Bicycling – 10 miles per hour
Capacity
Riding a bicycle increases one's capacity by 5 times.
Distance
Over equal units of time, one can ride a bicycle 4 times the distance as one walking.
Effort
As time increases, effort to travel increases. Riding a bicycle requires less effort, allowing one to travel farther in less time.
Time
The average person can walk 2.5 miles in 1 hour – this equals access to an area of approximately 20 square miles. By bicycle, that same area would be equivalent to 310 square miles.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Brians birthday ride

Its that time of year again for our annual white rim ride.

Where: White Rim/ Moab Utah.

When: Sat the 17th.

Why: cause you need a weekend off cross racing or off the couch as the case may be.

BYOB and supplies for the day.

RSVP to me if you'd like accom organised or to know more info...

Its going to be good.......

Heres 2 more Maui Pics to carry us into winter.



And then for my NZ friends Guess who just got engaged? Chris and BOB Congrats!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Maui Pics

Lahaina group ride.
Sweet trails
We might have made fun of these costumes... but realised around the corner why... the group was in rain suits.

Post race we hung out in Maui for a few days of snorkeling, walking, relaxing, took a halloween boat trip, relaxed, we met up with a group ride from Lahaina - to see some local trails - super cool, even did a run and rode up Haleakala... a 10 000ft mountain. that one bit us hard core as it rained for the last 10 miles. Near the top in 30 degree weather raining and blowing in wet clothing Kristi and I giggled hysterically when I commented ' I'm not having very much fun' we thought at the time it was the funniest comment ever... as we couldn't move our hands, feel our feet or anything else for that matter.

Sunny times lower on Haleakala Volcano.

podium shots.




Reflections


In the window: This would be why I am drinking my coffee black right now. Decided I didn't feel quite like being seen driving the car to the store this morning?!










On the event:
One of the things I really value about our racing lifestyle is the way the experiences influence my growth as a person.
Sometimes our schedule is so crazy and the event so condensed that it can be a complete whirlwind. But that's part of the appeal too, when you can step back and be - phew- I learned alot there!

I arrived in Maui fit and ready to race, I really worked and trained in the last few months before this race to improve and be ready for my best performance that I could have. It was exciting for me and I love the opportunity to compete with the best in this sport at the top level.
Prior to the race I'd been asked in a TV interview how much I thought luck had to play in the upcoming race. ( They like this question). I said that to a degree it did but I thought preparation played a bigger part as did the way the person reacted to factors outside their control during the race. I put luck in the small category of things you truly couldn't control...
Had to laugh to myself the next day as I punctured my tire 3 1/2 miles into the bike section. Luck? ( could I have controlled it better... I could have done one or two things differently - extra scoop of Stan's solution, checked my whole tire for thorns before putting in my first tube... otherwise no not really).
But what did become immediately apparent to me was how much pressure I had put on myself for this event. And how much weight I felt from that too.... when it was suddenly gone, I was like wow.... in the future I am going to attempt to keep it more light , because you just can't take anything too seriously, as you really don't know what is going to happen in the future. At all.

This is one of the things that I think Brian does best, and it is part of the reason I am so psyched for his success in Maui. More than his 3rd place result the best part has been the phone calls and emails of congratulations, his friends happiness over his race, his own celebration of his performance, the toilet papered car! Brian works full time, he has many responsibilities that he keeps in perspective and races because he Loves too. Its pretty cool to see him succeed.

cheers
Jen.

Monday, October 29, 2007

B'man 3rd at World Champs!

The XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS where held in Maui, HI Yesterday. In fantastic conditions (Sea level, mid 80 degrees weather) 550 competitiors took the start line on Makena Beach.
It was Brian's day as he exited the water in 113th and proceeded to pass 110 people to finish an AMAZING and career best 3rd place! En route he posted the fastest bike split of the day by 2 1/2 minutes, and 3rd fastest run split. Pretty FANTASTIC stuff.

As for me? I had a great swim and was having a great bike when I flatted my front wheel.... this turned into a disastrous comedy as I ended up re-flatting and changing my front tire 4 times.... throughout the bike, using donated tubes and a donated hand pump. the last change was with borrowed equipment from the sweeper of the course.... DFL for me at one stage. So I went on to finish the bike and the run with the dubious honor of being 290th overall and Last pro women. ( Someone has to be last right!) Oh well.... next year.. Check out http://www.insidetri.com/ and http://www.xterraplanet.com/ for race reports.
,
now its vacation time for a few days.... Mahalo

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

And we are off

I'm leaving the computer at home for some well needed rest and recovery.
Plus United's Baggage policy makes it a challenge to pack a bike and gear in the weight limit.
So armed with our Top Fuel full suspension bikes and various other triathlon goodies we are as ready as ever for the big event. Xterra World Championships.
Keep up to date w/ www.xterraplanet.com
then Just for fun visit the website of Melanie Mcquaid ( 3 x World champion) and add your smack talk to her website. She's giving away 12 cartons of limited edition Chocolate Mint GU to the most creative comments. ( mmm Chocolate mint perfect to pair with Snapps for the December ski tours!).

cheers
Jenny

Sunday, October 21, 2007

1/2 and 1/2

Polypro long sleeve and tights, Windstopper Gloves, Jersey, Pants and vest. Wool hat and socks. I'm still not hot? Gunnison's weather isn't really playing the adapt to Maui game!






When we realised it wasn't getting any warmer we relocated.














The work really is done now so fingers crossed we'll stay healthy, travel smoothly, and see you from Maui.
Here's some info on how to access the web coverage of our biggest race this year.

Enjoy.

10/28 – XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Makena, Maui)

STREAMING LIVE: This year friends, family and fans that are not able to attend the XTERRA World Championship can watch the action unfold in real time on the internet at xterraplanet.com. The race coverage, with live streaming video and text updates, will begin just before the 9 a.m. Hawaii time swim start (12 noon PST, 3pm EST, 9pm in Europe, 5am in Sydney, Australia, 8am in New Zealand, 4pm in Brazil).

PRESS GUIDE: A PDF version of the XTERRA World Championship press guide, complete with a schedule of events, course description, global tour information, athlete profiles, facts, figures, and past results, is available for download at:
http://www.xterraplanet.com/news/press_media.cfm

XTERRA PRO PRESS CONFERENCE: A pro press conference moderated by “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas will be held at the Maui Prince Hotel on Thursday, October 25, at 4:00 p.m. Hawaii time and streamed live on the internet at xterraplanet.com

Pros invited include XTERRA World Champions Nicolas Lebrun (2005), Eneko Llanos (2003-04), Conrad Stoltz (2001-02), Melanie McQuaid (2003, ’05-06), Jamie Whitmore (2004), Candy Angle (2002), and challengers Olivier Marceau, Josiah Middaugh, Seth Wealing, Mike Vine, Sibylle Matter, Julie Dibens, and Jennifer Smith.


XTERRA BUSINESS PRESS CONFERENCE: Learn about new XTERRA business news and developments such as the inaugural XTERRA Winter World Championship, Breeder's Choice XTERRA K9 Challenge, XTERRA Gear's future plans with 20 Degrees North, and the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship with a special edited video presentation from the XTERRA Partners Conference at the Maui Prince Hotel.
The video will be available on demand at xterraplanet.com starting Friday, Oct. 26.

Friday, October 19, 2007

W run report

http://gunnisontimes.com/
Off and running

Photos by Erich Walter
A huge turnout of more than 150 runners participated in the 57th annual 'W' Mountain Run last Saturday. While no records were broken, plenty of fast times up the 2.8 mile course from the base to the summit of Tenderfoot (AKA 'W') Mountain were recorded. Here, men's winner Brian Smith, left, gets an early jump on the field.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Things you can count on....

Gunnison will get Cold.


Brian will out do my Superman. ( Or ...at least I will take a better timed picture ).
Gunnison will Snow.
Wheres Maui?

Monday, October 15, 2007

$98 later

Remind me not to supermarket shop after swimming. A quick stop for t- paper and yoghurt turned into a full blown 2 trips to unpack complete with sea bass ( on special - hope its good) and organic strawberry toaster pastries.
I have a funny story about the pastries as a year or so ago I bought them and packed some with Brian on a back country ski, the Guys gave him such a hard time about the (glorified pop tarts). I don't think I've bought them since but today in my post swim shaky haze.... here they are.
and thats it - I am officially done. Anne had scheduled a 15 min swim (to get moving) for me today and on paper it looked - too easy, but 25 mins into my swim I totally hit the wall and grovelled splashing around for 5 more minutes, I was so done that I had the shakes in the shower. Wimpy ( maybe, I'm going to act tough and blame the three races in the past 2 days), plus honestly the past 2 weeks have caught up and its TAPER time. Yahoo.

Enjoy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

GO JARI!


Holy Cow... Jari Kirkland http://teamcrestedbutte.com/is currently 2nd overall Solo in the Moab 24 hour race. Go Jari... check out the realtime results http://grannygear.com/index.shtml.
It looks like the womens battle has been epic between Jari and World Champion 24 hr Solo Rebecah Rusch. In the meantime the mens field has been blown apart by Chris Eatough with the early favorites moving right down the list and Jari has moved into 2nd overall in the Guys too. INCREDIBLY Awesome, Hope they give her both the womens and mens Prize too!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cross training

In the space of today we have successfully managed to trash our house with discarded gear and clothing from one end to the other.
We got super lucky this weekend with a long running W mountain 5km uphill run this morning and 2 cyclocross races at the Western State College campus this afternoon and tomorrow.
The W run was started by the Western State basketball team in 1952 and has since been taken over by the College ski team as an annual fundraiser. This year 160 people lined up to participate in the event, which starts on a dirt road and runs up the famous (in town) W mountain. Its neat at the top as the view of town is amazing and this is one of the only times each year you are allowed access as the top is a geological dig site. Both Brian and I won the mens and womens and after the race I realised what an honor it was to have our names on Trophy amongst the 50 + year tradition.
Then it was home to (throw clothes all over the place and bring out the cross bikes for some afternoon racing fun. Brian was sporting a brand new trek X2 bike ( it is very sweet and really nice), I had pulled out my faithful cross bike. ( I'd meant to get it tuned up, and working beautifully) but you know what between swimming, biking and running it just hadn't happened so I pumped up the tires put some lube on the chain and measured my seat. Hopefully good to go. The cross races where part of two series which was great as they had a good turnout of people who had traveled to Gunnnison specifically for the racing. The first lap of the womens race was serious carnage - crazy- actually kinda scary as I had a girl crash in front of me, and another girl crash by riding into my back wheel - whoa chill out a bit! During lap 2 I picked my way through and into the front. Whew - where for the sake of being able to control my own lines I wanted to stay. I did. Capping off a good days training. It was really fun - I know why cross is taking off like crazy. Good times. ( the only bit I'm not so keen on is the getting on and off to run over stuff - shame about that small detail).
Brian's cat 1 mens event was was pretty fast and furious, he started in about 10th and then picked guys off to move up to 5th, mid race drizzle made the course slick and he crashed on a concrete pavement but got back up and finished 6th. His bike worked awesome and after the race while showing me his hip from the crash, he saw where he'd scratched the Carbon lever ( sore hip was put aside- oh no ( ha ha, thats the problem I guess with a bling bling bike)
enjoy
Jenny

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Building to Maui

Heres a pre- race article from Xterra News. I think we are starting to get excited. Do you think there are enough men entered yet?

THE KAHUNA’S PRO RACE PREVIEW: Nobody on the planet has been to more XTERRA Championship events than the managing director of the XTERRA Global Tour – “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas. Having been to every World Championship race in Maui since creating the sport back in 1996, and having been onsite to see this years races unfold in Saipan, New Zealand, California, Italy, Alabama, Virginia, Denmark, Austria, Germany, UK, and the U.S. – the Kahuna is more than qualified to speculate on who might win it all this year. That doesn’t mean he’ll get it right, in fact, he’s hardly ever right (just 1 for 10 in picking winners over the last five years).
So, with a grain of salt (but with some tasty insight nonetheless) here are the Kahuna’s ’07 Maui prognostications:

It seems every year gets better. And I have to believe it does. The pro field is superb this year for both men and women; and the age group competitors are faster, stronger and more motivated than ever. So while I am excited, I face a real problem. Whenever I pick a winner it’s as big a curse to that athlete as being on the cover of Sports Illustrated. My record is 1 right for the last 5 years. But no matter, here’s how I see this fantastic upcoming event shaking out.
The women’s field is deep and will bring a great race. Three-time World Champ Melanie McQuaid has not had the season she wanted and she knows this is the BIG one that counts. Jamie Whitmore wrote last year after Maui that she had the “eye of the tiger” for 2007. Who can doubt her speed after winning 4 of 5 in the USA Championship Series? But there is more than the Melanie-Jamie shootout.
Julie Dibens (England) raced against a good women’s entry in Saipan and showed well. She stomped the field in the UK just a month ago and is rested and ready. Carina Wasle (Austria) had to work during the early part of the year and when she first appeared in Denmark did not have the spark of past years. But as she trained and raised her level of fitness she improved in Austria and won easily in Germany. This will be her third year in Maui and she says she knows what to expect.
Sibylle Matter has a 2d and a 3d at Maui the past two years and this year she is concentrating only on Maui. No Ironman double. Candy Angle has had an average year and surely wants redemption after last year’s bad crash. Anna Baylis-Scheiderbauer is a pro mountain biker who has triathlon history and won Denmark over Wasle and Matter. This is her kind of course. And speaking of mountain bikers we have many time mountain bike champ Shonny Vanlandingham and Dara Marks Marino, another NORBA gal, who has been consistently in the top 4 this year. Kiwi Jen Smith has been super fast this season finishing off the year with a stunning second at Tahoe and was 4th last year in her first attempt at Maui. Quiet and easy to overlook, Jen Smith is my dark horse.
You must look for Dibens and Matter to lead early. Julie is unbelievably fast in the water. Last year Matter came out about 2 minutes ahead of McQuaid and Julie is faster. Mel, Jamie, Carina and the others will have to chase these two on the volcano. The question is who will have the patience to stay within their limits and let their power and bike skills do the job?

For the men it seems to be the year of the Caveman. Other than a mechanical in Utah, he has gone undefeated all season starting in April in South Africa and finishing in September at Tahoe. For the US side folks, Seth Wealing has had an up and down season but is always fast, Mike Vine is having a strong year, winning in Brazil, and taking 2nd in the US Pro Series. Josiah Middaugh and Greg Krause love Maui and always have strong finishes there. Andrew Noble has not done well at Maui, but the “ageless wonder” is always at the sharp end of the field.
Olivier Marceau (Swiss) has gotten so close to the brass ring he is the sentimental favorite for sure. Always fast, always gracious, the man has talent and style to burn. While he has concentrated on qualifying for his 3rd Olympics, never look for Oli anywhere but close to the front or in the lead. 2005 Champ Nico Lebrun (France) is potent at Maui and won Austria and the UK to take the European Crown for the second time. The “Professor” knows how to race and how to finish strong. The wild card here is Olympic Silver medalist Bevan Docherty. We will never forget another Kiwi Hamish Carter showing up last year and winning in his first attempt. Bevan is equally skilled but is keeping quiet about his mountain bike skills. Marceau, when he found out Docherty was coming said “bloody Kiwi’s”. If Oli is concerned, everybody should be concerned.
Those are the clear options for the Global men, but young German Felix Schumann is getting faster every race and was just 9 seconds behind Lebrun in Wales. Ronny Dietz and Nico Pfitzenmaier are strong bikers and Maui demands power on the mountain. Both have been here before. The other Kiwi is Tim Wilding who won down under in the spring and has the talent to surprise. The unknown here must be Cedric Fleureton (France) who is an ITU World Cup winner and also surprised us all in Italy a few years ago beating Marceau. He won the French series this year and is ready to take on the best.
The age group field is equally strong with entries from 20 countries and 40 States fighting for that very precious World Champion jersey.
So now I have to make the choices; it seems to me that Conrad is simply too strong this year with the options of Olivier Marceau and Frenchman Cedric Fleureton. On the women’s side it just seems it is Jamie’s year and if she paces herself she can catch Dibens and McQuaid for her second title. OK, now you know and we can all laugh at the party Sunday night 28 October… I can’t wait.
MAUI PRO START LIST: The professionals competing in Maui are the best-of-the-best in not only the world of XTERRA, but also the mountain biking, triathlon, and adventure racing communities. More than 70 pros, including eight Olympians and former XTERRA World Champions Nicolas Lebrun (2005), Eneko Llanos (2003-04), Conrad Stoltz (2001-02) Michael Tobin (2000), Melanie McQuaid (2003 & 2005-06), Jamie Whitmore (2004), and Candy Angle (2002), will toe the start line on October 28. Below is the tentative start list by race number, determined by their finish position at last year’s XTERRA World Championship, then alphabetically. Tentative as of 10.10.07.
# (place at last year’s WC) - Name - Age, Hometown (2007 Championship Wins)
1 (2) - Olivier Marceau - 34, Cannes, France (Saipan/Italy)
2 (3) - Seth Wealing - 28, Boulder, Colorado (U.S. Mountain Champs)
3 (4) - Josiah Middaugh - 29, Vail, Colorado
4 (5) - Eneko Llanos - 30, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
5 (7) - Greg Krause - 30, Denver, Colorado
6 (8) - Nicolas Lebrun - 34, Digne-les-Bains, France (Austria/UK)
7 (9) - Ryan Ignatz - 29, Boulder, Colorado
8 (10) - Nico Pfitzenmaier - 36, Besigheim, Germany (Japan)
9 (12) - Andrew Noble - 42, Gold Coast, Australia
10 (13) - Hektor Llanos - 35, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
11 (14) - Jimmy Archer - 35, Boulder, Colorado
12 (15) - Sam Gardner - 32, Surrey, Great Britain
14 (16) - Dominic Gillen - 30, South Royalton, Vermont
15 (17) - Brian Smith - 31, Gunnison, Colorado
16 (19) - Lieuwe Boonstra - 31, Cape Town, South Africa
17 (24) - Brian Astell - 26, Gualala, California
18 (27) - Jeff Sanders - 36, Lahaina, Maui
19 (32) - Felix Schumann - 24, Germany
20 (35) - Chad Seymour - 25, Honolulu, Hawaii
21 (37) - Michael Tobin - 43, Boise, Idaho
22 (38) - Taro Shirato - Tokyo, Japan
23 (40) - Will Kelsay - 26, Boulder, Colorado
24 - Rom Akerson – 23, Tambor, Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
25 - Rodrigo Altafini – Itapira, Brazil
26 - Jordan Bryden – 20, Alberta, Canada
27 - Ryan DeCook – 26, Rochester, Michigan
28 - Mario De Elias – 23, Neuquen, Argentina
29 - Ronnie Dietz – 29, Chemnitz, Germany (Denmark)
30 - Bevan Docherty – 30, Taupo, New Zealand
31 - Cedric Fleureton – 33, France
32 - Kelly Guest – 30, Vancouver, BC, Canada
33 - David Henestrosa – 30, Manresa, Spain
34 - Brian Hughes – 30, Randolph, Massachusetts
35 - Jason Jablonski – 33, Wenatchee, Washington
36 - John Koenig – 37, Glenview, Illinois
37 - Jan Kubicek - 27, Chodov City, Czech Republic
38 - Chris Legh - 34, Melbourne, Australia
39 - Mark Leishman - 27, Palmerston North, New Zealand
40 - Alexandre Manzan – 33, Brazil
41 - Jim McConnell – 34, Oxford, United Kingdom
42 - Nat Ross – 37, Golden, Colorado
43 - Jorg Scheiderbauer – 30, Offenburg, Germany
44 - Klayten Smith – 33, Sydney, Australia
45 - Conrad Stoltz – 33, Stellenbosch, South Africa (SA, U.S. West, S’East, East, & USA)
46 - Jim Thijs – 27, Belgium
47 - Simon Thompson – 29, Canberra, Australia
48 - Mike Vine - 34, Victoria, B.C., Canada (Brazil)
49 - Cody Waite – 29, Denver, Colorado
50 - Luke Way – 25, Calgary, BC, Canada
51 - Michael Weiss – 26, Vienna, Austria
52 - Tim Wilding – 23, New Zealand (New Zealand)
53 - Sascha Wingenfeld, 20, Germany
54 - Yu Yumoto – 29, Tokyo, Japan

# (place at last year’s WC) - Name - Age, Hometown (2007 Championship Wins)
61 (1) - Melanie McQuaid - 34, Victoria, B.C., Canada (U.S. West Champs)
62 (3) - Sibylle Matter - 34, Bern, Switzerland
63 (4) - Jennifer Smith - 34, Westport, New Zealand
64 (7) - Michelle Lombardi - 38, Somerset West, South Africa (South Africa)
65 (9) - Shonny Vanlandingham - 38, Durango, Colorado
66 (11) - Carina Wasle - 21, Kundl, Austria (Germany)
67 (13) - Claudia Frank – 37, Rottach-Egern, Germany
68 (14) - Nicole Logan- 34, La Jolla, California
69 (18) - Amber Monforte - 29, Reno, Nevada
70 - Candy Angle - 38, Weymouth, Massachusetts (Brazil)
71 - Anna Baylis-Scheiderbauer – 30, Offenburg, Germany (Austria)
72 - Christina Begy – 37, Denver, Colorado
73 - Erika Csomor – 33, Budapest, Hungary
74 - Julie Dibens – 32, Salisbury, England (UK)
75 - Linda Gabor – 37, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
76 - Sonia Hill – 29, Upper Atiamuri, New Zealand
77 - Lisa Isom – 35, Vail, Colorado
78 - Kristy Lanier – 36, Marlinton, West Virginia
79 - Dara Marks Marino – 32, Flagstaff, Arizona
80 - Sara Tarkington – 26, Boulder, Colorado
81 - Jamie Whitmore - 31, Somerset, California (U.S. S’East, East, Mountain, USA, Japan)

a little time out

I am wasting a little time waiting for Brian to finish his run. So I've been surfing the net.
I visited http://www.daramarksmarino.com/ . She had linked a NPR http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15121685 program about Marion Jones and drugs in Sport. ( Click on the lsiten button) its about 20 minutes and a really good program.

I am jumping on the bandwagon here as like others I would like to think that most of the Women I MTB and Xterra race with are clean. I look at my competitors and see why they are better than me ( whether its power, technique, speed, efficency). Which means I can relate to their better performance rather than view it in a whole different league.

I would say however that more often than not in my experience if a performance seems too good to be true it usually is. Genevieve Jeanson for example, I am so glad she has come clean, and in the past I remember being amazed at Regina Jacobs running performance (and very saddened by her latter retirement amid Drug scandal), But unfortunately she was a classic case of to good to be true.

If you want to be inspired by real cyclists, check out the Granny Gear 24 hours of Moab racing this weekend. http://www.grannygear.com/ Its going to be a great battle in both the mens and womens solo racing. Jari Kirkland is racing in the womens event along with an Italian Woman. The mens event is a stacked field including Chris Eatough, Nat Ross and Ernesto. The http://www.trekmountain.typepad/ has a nice interview w/ Chris and links to Nat and Ernesto's Blogsites. Ernesto's site is great - this guy does his sport for love! (fairly certain there are no drugs there and seriously if anyone could truly justify them!).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Junk

Junk, Junk and ridiculous packaging! Brian's comment to unpacking his front derailleur.
C'mon people its a front derailleur For a bike, its going to get dirty in 5 minutes - just use a little bubble wrap or brown paper packing!
I wish this where an isolated incident but it is unfortunately a common theme throughout each and every day.
Complete JUNK is an even more apt description for practically every uneducated food choice in this country! And it drives me crazy! I am so bored with going to the store and prior to everything I buy reading the fine print to make sure it doesn't have 20 unidentifiable ingredients (JUNK), Corn syrup, corn oil, soybean oil or hydrogenated oil disguised as something else (JUNK), Hormones, GMO, chemicals or God forbid ridiculous packaging. There I officially ranted. I've been wanting to do this for a while.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

what just happened?

Our friend Nick is in town this weekend so we all headed up to Crested Butte yesterday afternoon for a loop on Upper/Upper upper and Strand Hill. Brian was rocking the Rig for his first time and was raving.
We where riding down the trail when we see Brian on a seemingly smoothish section skidding sideways and stuffing himself into the hillside?! Wow. What just happened?
Nick re-enacts Brians 5 second path to Carnage.





























As you can see Bri is up and aok. Phew. But the bike?
It got carried out. Crazy. The tube tire was still full of air in the front. The rear was flat. Weird. Oh well, Nick rode the loop, I rode backwards and got the car, Brian practised his walking in tri shoes and we all had a post ride Bloody Mary anyway. (the Last steep in Crested Butte is renowned for its $5 salad in a glass BM's, being only the 2nd one I've ever tried I can't exactly offer my expert opinion, but I love olives and they came with 3, a piece of celery and a hot pepper.

cheers

Jen