Sunday, January 27, 2008

12 Hours of Temecula Race Report

12 Hours of Temecula Mountain Bike race

5th place Solo Pro Men
10 laps, 11hrs
100 miles (well, 99.7)
15,400' of elevation gain

Last night I finished the 12 hours of Temecula, my first race 0f 2008. Many of the best Southern California mountain bikers, including Tinker Juarez, Pua Sawicki, Mary Collier and many others showed up at this popular series. With such a packed field and tough course this race was an ideal baseline test for my 2008 season.

The course had a demanding 1,500' of steep climbing per lap. Approximately half fire roads and half singletrack, It's only redeeming feature was a fast surface. It had rained all week long, and I fully expected to ride 12 hours in the cold rain and mud. The recent rain made the hard-packed dirt and sand surface tacky but much faster than the loose sand and mud I had expected.


Two weeks ago I drove out to pre-ride the ~9.9 mile course. I ran into a curiously fast woman, Mary Collier, also pre-riding the course and who seemed to know the trails well. I followed Mary around for 2 laps after doing a couple of my own. Also during the preride I ran into Robyn Benincasa, Loren Shaffer and Dale Blankenship who drove out from Cardiff.


My primary fuel was the new GenR8 drink (one scoop early in the race, 2 scoops later in the colder temperatures), Clif Blocks, PowerGels (with extra sodium and caffeine), Pringles, nuun electrolyte replacement tabs, and Red Bull. I took 5mg of BCAAs 30 minutes prior to the start, out of habit.

Fueling Lessons

My fueling must have worked, as my quads felt as good as new towards the end of the race, with over 12,000' and 90 miles under my belt. This was unexpected. I felt like a monster towards the end of the race, which I attribute directly to the highly concentrated GenR8/Clif Blocks and Red Bull combo. That's my new "jet fuel".

Learning Curve

I lost heaps of time on every descent. I took the descents much more conservatively than I could have. On every lap however I gained more confidence (and experience!), and by the 8th lap, just before sunset, I was finally beginning to take advantage of the free speed and momentum the steep twisting rollers had offered. Unfortunately I will have to wait until the June race to take advantage of this new Mojo!

  • There was a group of Navy SEALs racing. It is their strategy to find BUD/S candidates at adventure races, ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons, etc. Makes sense. They kicked ass.
  • Muscles in my legs felt better after 80-100 miles than during the first 3 hrs! GenR8.
  • Pondered the relationships of sugar to the Inflammation Cascade in these events.
  • Negative self-talk in the first half of the race...I'll make a conscious effort to avoid that in the future. Possibly related to blood sugar/fueling.
  • Need to work on skills and up-regulate my fear and skill limits/thresholds. Around lap 7, Team Sho-Air/Sonance teammate Caroline Goulard took my stuff and put it under their easy-up, and crewed for me the rest of the way. That was very kind!
  • Sho-Air/Sonance teammate Super Mario, thanks for the course beta and words of advice.
  • Mary, thanks for pacing me! Mary's report:


Woke up feeling awesome.
Paddled the surfski out of Newport Aquatic Center in Newport Beach with Cyril, Christian and the whole gang. Pizza and Stella Artois followed!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

GenR8 review...

There is a quantum leap in fueling for those who compete in events longer than 3-4 hours. It's called GenR8, and the active ingredient is NOT maltodextrin, but a carbohydrate calledVitargo. The following is my empirical opinion after testing this new drink over the last couple months. This company actively sought out hard-core ultra endurance athletes to test their product ahead of launch, and I was one of the lucky guinnea pigs.

When looking at energy drinks, gels, or bars, I consider both Efficacy and Tolerability. Providing constant energy is paramount. However, if it tastes terrible or causes stomach distress, I must trade a bit of efficacy for tolerabilty. Stomach issues will stop you in your tracks -literally- in an ultra endurance competition or even a long training day.

During 20+ mile runs at 7-8 minute pace, in 85 degree temps, and on 5-6 hour rides in the mountains, in cold temperatures, I had an increased sensation of 'even' energy and state of arousal. Just like having an IV in your arm.

Bottom line: GenR8 gave me steady energy on long sessions, no bonking. Steady blood sugar. Other drinks such as Perpeteum have given me similar results, but GenR8 seems to offer a more *sustained* energy, again like having an IV, and the taste is not chalky like Perpeteum.

I plan on using GenR8 for for the 12 hours of Temecula. I'll post a review.

New Rocket

My new Turner Flux is due to arrive in 3-4 weeks.
She's candy blue and fast as hell!

I am making the switch from my current Ellworth Truth to the 2008 TURNER Flux. The Flux fits me better than the largest Truth (I am a hair under 6'3" with long arms) and is a bit lighter and more suited to adventure racing, in my opinion.

You will see me on the 2008 Turner Flux in all of my Adventure Races and multisport events this year. I have only heard great things about the frame's ride and quality from my friends on Team DART nuun, who have put thousands of miles on their Fluxes in adventure races all over the planet.
Turner is actually based out of Murrietta,which is about 1.5 hours from where I live in Orange County. So I will drive down to pick up the bike in person at the headquarters, and meet the Turner folks. Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let's get 2008 started...

The above photo is from the Western States 100 training camp last Memorial Day Weekend. I am on the left. Next to me are Orange County athletes iMichelle Barton, Mark Matyazic, and Kiera Henninger. Little did I know that the next morning I would injure my calf muscle 8 miles into a 33 mile run, over the middle 3rd of the WS100 course. Those last 25 miles were painful, but still fun!

2008 promises to be an exciting year! The last several years have seen some serious ups and downs in my life... In 2008, I am entering the year healthy, fit, with a job I love, with a fantastic support network of friends and training partners here in Southern California, from San Diego to Santa Monica. Firmly ensconced my new abode in Aliso Viejo, I am just a few blocks from neverending trails for running and mountain biking.

This year I am going back to more of an Adventure Racing focus, which I am highly excited about. I will be racing primarily with my friends at Team Dart-nuun, who I have trained with for years and also raced with in the past in Mexico. When you race with friends whom you genuinely trust and respect, the experiences both good and bad are so much richer.

This winter I have been able to string along consecutive 20hour training weeks, something I had not done in the past. So far, I have been able to comfortably absorb the volume, and am much faster at my easy/aerobic heart rates than ever before at this point in the (pre) season. In this blog I won't get into too much training detail...I do that over at

I will try to journal my adventures in training, fueling, nutrition, and travels. That's assuming anyone ever reads this! Ha!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Adventure Racing, Triathlon, & Endurance Training

Coaching...Training...Adventure Guide

Do you live in the L.A., Orange County, or San Diego area?

Do you need an endurance fitness trainer for your next race? I am available to train athletes or teams on a case-by-case basis for development of fitness programs, guided training outings, or 1 on 1 consulting.

Running. Mountain Biking. Paddling. Hiking. Goal Setting.

If you need guidance in achieving your ambitious goals in the endurance sport world, or if you just want to learn where all the secret training spots are in SoCal, contact me.

If personal or team coaching is not in your budget, I encourage you to browse the links listed under "The Information" for a good start.

Train with passion,


For more information email