Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crazy happy

:Team Woody: 5th place overall

Sarah Gillis and Dave Scheefer

Sarah and Robyn

Pat Oneill and Jake Jones.


Wolfie.. I bet Sue D didn't pack Dave's bag!
Grand Traverse, Crested Butte to Aspen 09. Pics from Sarah Gillis.
Grand Traverse 2010.. I wonder if I could get myself over Star pass and on route to Aspen?

smith and brown

Finish of Grand Traverse 09. 9 hours 36, 7th place.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The witching hour

Its 17 degrees in Gunnison and an hour from the midnight start of the Grand traverse ski event. Crested Butte to Aspen.
Brian and Jon Brown, partners for 7 of the past 8 years are up in CB now 'warming up' for the start. Its going to be a cold one.
They are both using Randonee equipment this year a first for Brian, in this race, and with fresh snow last night it is a good call!
Its going to be an interesting race, the new snow has added another element . JB hopefully has Brian under the thumb and paced for the first part of the race..
Wish them luck.

Me? Maxwell dog and I are getting up at 5am to drive to Aspen for the finish. Hopefully we'll get there before they do ...crazy eh.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nice togs

Thanks Swim Outlet. Speedo Grab bag womens togs. $29.. seemed a reliable bet, Know the sizing, they are only going to get wet and ruined by the pool anyway. Didn't exactly expect this $19 beauty!

I realised yesterday after swimming in Montrose pool ( the Gunnison pool is closed for several more weeks or so..) I have swum in 12 pools, in 11 towns , in 3 Countries in the past 7 weeks.

This weekend if I swim in Delta on Friday, Aspen on Saturday and Grand Junction on Sunday.. It'll be the start of a fun new game for the year!

Notable in this is that I'm yet to swim at home in Gunnison - Post Feb 1st .

Monday, March 23, 2009


Travis Scheefer and Jon Brown got stranded in Denver International Airport on Sunday night, their way back to Gunnison from the USMMA randonee skiing national championships in, Jackson, WY.
This is great - and pales Brians airport antics.
What to do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Back in the Saddle

What a whirlwind winter it has been. I still have 3 ski events left this season and less than a month away from the first Mountain States Cup event. I do have to apologize for being the world's lamest blogger. I think I can count my blog entries on one hand. Jenny has done an excellent job updating with both our events and travels.
It has been in the 60s here in Gunnison. Unheard of temperatures for this time of the year. We've been hitting the road bikes this past weekend. A nice change from slogging in the snow all winter. Jenny and I even got the itch to train with Western State's distance running team this morning. We did a 4.4K tempo and I added a 600M following to really get on the toes. Its so good to get top notch runners to try and hang with. Jenny and I get our best speed workouts with the team.
Next weekend is the Grand Traverse. For Jon Brown and myself, it will be our 7th year racing together and my 8th. Eight years and only one victory. The GT is the most prestigious winter event in the Gunnison/Crested Butte valley. I think there are 120 teams of 2 this year. It sold out in 14 hours! Any of you that are good skiers and like endurance racing, this race is one of the most unique and rewarding out there. Just starting a race at midnight is cool but then covering 42 miles and 6000 vertical feet to the finish in Aspen is pretty sweet. I am looking forward to racing on my randonee equipment this year for the first time. Skiing off the star pass cornice will be much more enjoyable.
I bagged Carbon Peak for the first time this past week. Bryan Wickenhauser and I skied the spoon on Wednesday. We summited in 1:20 and were back to the car in 1:40. A firm ski but fast with the solid crust out the bottom. I think Wick said it was 3270 vertical. Wick managed to get 3rd today at Randonee nationals in Jackson Hole. Pete Swenson won and Travis Sheefer (another local from CB) was second. Travis won the 12K mountaineering event at XTERRA Winter Worlds, beating me by 11 seconds. Pete and Travis made automatic selection for worlds next season as the top 2.
Wick promised to send me a picture he got of me on the top of Carbon. I will be sure to attach on the next post. That's all for now. I will be sure to post again soon.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winter XTERRA World Champion x 2

Here's Xterra Planet's report.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Brian Smith, a 33-year-old elite endurance racer from Gunnison, Colorado, was as flawless as the weather at Snowbasin Resort today – putting together the best bike, snowshoe, run and randonnee ski times to capture the XTERRA Winter World Championship for the second straight year in two hours, 21 seconds, more than five minutes ahead of two-time Winter Triathlon World Champion Nicolas Lebrun from France. “It feels good to defend the title,” smiled Smith, who also won the USA Winter Triathlon crown in January. “I wanted to be flawless today, and was able to put some gaps on the field in the first climbing section on the bike and from there I just stayed on the gas and pulled away.”
Indeed, the man who was wearing the No. 1 jersey was appropriately out in front all day. The race combined 10-kilometers of mountain biking, 5km of snowshoeing, 5km of running, and 8km of ski mountaineering – all on the “Greatest Snow on Earth” at Snowbasin which is boasting the deepest base in Utah and solid mid-winter conditions to go along with the most beautiful sunshine days imaginable. Smith charged hard from the moment race director Dave Nicholas’ cannon blast sent a flurry of mountain bikers representing 15 states and four countries sliding down the hill to start the race. He had the fastest bike time in 25:04, and went out onto the snowshoe leg more than a minute ahead of Jay Henry, two minutes in front of Lebrun, and just about four minutes ahead of Josiah Middaugh.
Middaugh, an 8-time snowshoe national champ, made up a minute-30 on Smith during the deep powder snowshoe stomp through the forest and caught Henry and Lebrun by the time they hit the run. The trio of striders made for an intimidating chase pack but Smith stayed swift and kept his lead at 1:35 heading out onto the ski mountaineering course. By the final stage Middaugh had overtaken Henry and Lebrun and moved into second place, giving himself the opportunity to turn the tide on what happened at last year’s race when Smith made up two minutes in the last leg to steal the victory from Middaugh by a mere second. Alas, it wasn’t to be as Smith posted the fastest ski mountaineering split of the day – a 39:39 with a graceful giant slalom shuffle in front of a cowbell-ringing crazed-crowd at the finish line to seal the deal. “I’m sorry it wasn’t as spectacular of a finish as last year but it was a great race,” said Smith at the awards ceremony where he picked up an $1,800 check for first place. “These guys here at Snowbasin did an excellent job putting this course together – this place is first class all the way.” Those sentiments were echoed throughout… “The ski was awesome, just beautiful terrain and this was my first time skiing in Utah but I’ll definitely be back. I had a blast,” said Henry, who finished 3rd overall. Lebrun, who came into the ski stage in fourth, skinned his way up the hill in a hurry and passed Henry and Middaugh to finish second. All told, the 18-mile course featured some 3,000 feet of human-powered climbing up, down, and around the snow covered mountain whose base sits at 6,400-feet elevation.
Rebecca Dussault also of Gunnison, CO.. absolutely crushed the womens race. She is having an amazing season on snow this year!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two for one

I get 2 birthdays this year, One in NZ and then as I cross the dateline tonight the second on in the US. 20 extra hours to spend travelling!

I wonder how long the novelty will last.

The cool part though is the feeling of justified self indulgence. My day is going to start with yoga, loading the car, a swim at freidburg pool on the Wellington waterfront and breakfast at the Parade cafe.

Life is pretty good I say.

Wonder how Brian is doing in Xterra Winter Worlds at Snowbasin?



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Karapoti classic MTB and Rees's Cow

Before I tell you about the Karapoti MTB event. I have to share my coffee I am drinking. Its the best thing ever! and not just because I am tired and sore from yesterday's race. Rees Buck has milk in the fridge from his cow in Wanganui. You can't buy unpasteurised milk (legally I believe) so to get around it, there are co-ops here where you buy shares in a cow and your milk is delivered once a week. Anyone who has been to NZ knows how good the dairy is here. So add home made milk to the mix. Its utter heaven!
If I knew how good it tasted I would have been following Cameron around and down to the dairy shed vat, when I was staying on his farm last week, much like James the pig!

Okay the Karapoti. this race is so cool, seriously would be a good one for any ones MTB to do list. Its a mix of he, she and everyone, and really hard to boot. This year it was raining. So not exciting for me as I fly home tomorrow and you know how un-appealing cleaning everything right after a mud MTB race is in time to get it up to flying standards. Add that it is located basically in a paddock, rain - not appealing.
The race starts on the edge of a river. FUN?? in waves but waves of 100 or so. The river this year was chest deep, except for one line across rocks only thigh deep! I didn't get that spot so my line was into the river, hoist my bike above my head/ while holding my position/ in bike shoes, and a current/ up to my chest.
Amazing I had a good start! Until 10 minutes in when I flatted, my front tire, in the bead, a faulty tube stem, a second change, used co2 and hand pumping later I got back in 10 minutes or so ... long off the back of the train.
OH well. was a great workout to say the least, so much muddy messy, leg burning climbing, bike wrecking fun. As a bonus I finished 3rd with a little NZ pocket money for lunch and dinner.
Now 1 more day in NZ. what to do?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pets and VIC Australia.

Bec, Gavin and I rode out of the trail and into this guy walking his goat.. Of course!

When you get to know my sister you soon learn, quickly that her pets are a huge part of her. When I was staying, she picked up James, a hand reared runt.. ooh James loves Cam, Cam owns his dairy farm and has an endless source of Milk, for James... Can't wait to see the 150lb pig in another couple of months. He's cute though and bright, and boy can he throw his toys out of the cot and squeal.

Cam, Rachael, Missy and JamesThe Ollie man.

While In Aussie, I got my butt kicked in a 100k MTB event. Hopefully it also kicked my butt into better shape. 100k was quite hard out of winter and a few weeks on the bike. Very steep hills! While we where in Apollo bay we went on along the ocean road to see the 12 Aposotles.

West Coast NZ

Rachael, Dad and I in Denniston, Westport ( there are some great tracks for mountain biking there too!)

Musseling at low tide - Cape Fowlwind, Westport.

Punakiki ,Inland packtrack, loop, West Coast.