Thursday, November 10, 2011


Adventure Racers. CrossFitters. Triathletes. Cyclists. Ultrarunners. Explorers. Fighters. You.

We're blesssed to have the ability and freedom of movement and free will. Every day I thank God for my health, and my family's. Watch this video of Connor and Cayden Long. This 8 year old boy pulls his less-fortunate but much-loved 6-year-old brother through triathlons!

This video reminds me to put excuses in context and make the most of what I DO have, today.
What is under your control *right now*? Your posture, your thoughts, your words, your actions,
the way you treat people, the choices you make...

Every day is a gift.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Power Rankings: The Best Adventure Racing Teams in America

Explore Compete LIVE has just released their Power Rankings of the top American Adventure Racing teams. We (DART-nuun) are currently ranked #2, behind our friends Tecnu Extreme/StaphAseptic.

Tecnu just came back from the Adventure Racing World Championships in Tasmania, where DART-nuun racer Ryan VanGorder joined their squad in an impressive 12th place finish.

From the ExlporeCompeteLIVE website:

We have been juggling the idea of a team ranking for a few years and have finally decided to pull the trigger. Our panel has based our inaugural rankings based on an informed opinion of team’s performances at key races in the US (and a few international ones where relevant). This will be a monthly addition to the site so race hard and perhaps you will see your team’s name on the list (if not already) moving forward.

AR Power Rankings:

1. Tecnu Extreme/Staphaseptic—Strong showing at both CPT and USARA Championships (2nd at both), winners at Gold Rush, 12th at the AR World Championships in Tasmania (top North American team there), strong showing at APEX Switzerland race, 6th at RTNX — Kyle Peter is poised to be the first big AR star of a new generation of athletes, in our humble opinion.

2. Dart-Nuun-SportMulti—1st American team at APEX in the Swiss Alps, 3rd overall at Gold Rush and 3d overall at RTNX — Tecnu beat them head-to-head at Gold Rush in Sept and that’s good enough for us to place them under Tecnu.

3. WEDALI—Won the CPT Nationals race, 3rd at USARA Nats (behind hybrid of Tecnu/SOG teams); 9th at RTNX; overall body of work for 2011 too impressive to bump them out of our top 3.

4. Team Bones—3rd at Expedition Idaho (1st American team), 16th at the AR World Championships (2nd American team) has them in our 4th spot. They rarely race the shorter events, but for the big epic races you can count on Team Bones powering through the course.

5. GearJunkie/YogaSlackers—Despite a 6th place finish at CPT, they took 2nd at Gold Rush, 4th at Exped Idaho (2nd American team), and 5th at RTNX (2nd American team). Perhaps the best performance by this team was their 2nd place finish this year at what may be the hardest race on the planet, the Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race. The longer and tougher the race, the more money I’d put on these guys. I have no problem slotting them in at #5.

6. Team SOG—They won USARA Nationals and took 2nd (on a hybrid team) at CPT Nationals — so maybe they should be ranked higher, but their inconsistency in race personnel made us uncomfortable placing them above this 5th spot. Their 6th place finishing Expedition Idaho team, for example, was vastly different than their USARA Nationals team. Still, 6th place on this list is pretty darn good!

7. Odyssey Adventure Racing/—They won the USARA Nationals Masters division (finished 4th overall) and took 3rd at CPT Nationals. No expedition race results of note for this bunch in 2011 (although Mark Lattanzi has had a great race at the World Championships in Tasmania on the “Dancing Pandas” team).

8. CheckpointZero/Tech4o—5th overall at USARA Nationals, and 9th at CPT Nationals . . . Their 10th place finish at RTNX (5th American team) is just enough for us to place them above the Alpine Shop team.

9. Alpine Shop—USARA Masters 3rd Place (6th overall) and 4th at CPT Nationals. Not far behind Wedali at the 36-hour Berryman in September. No true expedition race results that we could uncover, though.

10. Bushwhacker A strong team from the midwest, 5th at CPT Nationals wrapped up a great season for them.

Honorable Mention:

• Team Granite (aka Team Light & Motion, Team Untamed New England)—A lighter schedule in 2011 than usual for this bunch, but impressive results when they did race.

• NYARA—Some different personnel racing under the NYARA name, but strong teams every time and top finishes to their credit.

• GOALS ARA—A disappointing expedition race in Costa Rica earlier in the year, but some redemption later in the season.

Dirty Avocados—A strong team on the West Coast, consistent results in Big Blue series and others in their region

Monday, November 7, 2011

Whiskeytown Extreme 24 Hour Adventure Race Report

NorCal Adventure Racing's series finale event for 2011 was the Whiskeytown Extreme 24 Hour Adventure Race.

Located in hilly Northern California near Mount Shasta, Whiskeytown Extreme was ominously billed as a "graduate level race". Teams faced mazes of trails and fire roads across challenging terrain strangely devoid of any flats. A single paddling section took racers across Whiskeytown Reservoir. Through narrow coves and inlets (too narrow to turn a triple kayak around) teams sought checkpoints hanging from high branches in the darkness of night. Mountain-top checkpoints gained by climbing and bushwacking up steep walls of forest rewarded racers with magnificent views of distant mountain ranges and alpine lakes.

The ~100 mile course largely avoided gratuitous hike-a-bike and bush-wacking in favor of multiple route choice decisions and strategies.

Significantly and quite impressively, Whiskeytown Extreme 24 stuck to a genuine Adventure Racing format. Teams found checkpoints in sequential A-Z order. This should seem quite obvious to most, but an increasing number of lame races over the last few years have foregone Adventure Race courses, opting for a new orienteering format where teams can hit checkpoints in any order, skipping the "hard ones" and still "finishing" officially. In the orienteering format, many teams strategically skip portions of the course as they please and the winning teams sometimes cross the finish line last, with all the checkpoints.

Kudos to Rich and his staff for keeping it "real". For back of the pack and new teams with developing navigation skills, there were short course options towards the end of the race.

Team nuun-SportMulti (Ryan VanGorder, Jen VanGorder & Sean Clancy) moved swiftly as a team but made a few uncharacteristic and costly navigational mistakes that would preclude a victory this time out.

The details of these navigational SNAFUs will be shared over beers and laughs at a campfire, or out on the trail. Suffice it to say that even the most experienced and successful teams can make self-immolating 'rookie' mistakes. The Whiskeytown Extreme 24 course punished any mistakes while handsomely rewarding the best navigation decisions, another sign that the course was thoughtfully and strategically designed by the highly experienced race directors.

After completing the course in a bit over 26 hours, a disappointed but focusedTeam nuun-SportMulti ran across the finish line as the 3rd place team in the mixed 3/4 person rankings. Whiskeytown Extreme 24 would be Sean Clancy's first adventure race since doing both 24 Hour Adventure Racing National Championships (USARA and Checkpoint Tracker Series) in October 2010. The race also marked Jennifer VanGorder's return to team 24hr racing after the birth of her second daughter Jora earlier this year. Lastly, it also served as a tune-up for busy dad Ryan VanGorder in his preparation for a moonlighting assignment Down Under. RVG is off to race as a hired gun with our friends and rivals Team Tecnu Extreme/StaphAseptic at the 2011 Adventure Racing World Championships in TASMANIA in November!

In Adventure,


PS, I snapped this shot of Golden Gate Bridge on my way up from Santa Barbara...taken from Crissy Field. I lived here in 2001 and would enjoy
this view on my evening never gets old.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What is Adventure Racing? Who is Team DART-nuun?

Our team put together a short promo video that SHOWS rather than tells you what adventure racing is all about. Team DART-nuun racers have been racing with GoPro HD cameras mounted to our bikes, boats, heads and helmets lately just so we can bring this footage FROM THE GNAR straight to YOU!

What happens in an Adventure Race over 24 to 100+ nonstop hours of racing is hard to imagine...or even remember! With severe sleep deprivation in multi-day races, sometimes we don't even remember the scenes we capture with our cameras, or the reality captured on film is different than our "altered" perception at the time. Sad, but true!

I hope you have as much fun watching it as we had making it!

Team DART-Nuun-SportMulti: Ultra Endurance Racing from 1iOpen Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adventure Racers = ROCK STARS in China

...and in Ecuador, Brazil, New Zealand...but that's for another post.

Adventure Racing's presence in China goes back to the 1990s with the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest, which is now called the Wulong Quest. The top teams from New Zealand, Europe and the USA have made the journey nearly every year to compete for one of Adventure Racing's largest prize purses in some of the most epic landscapes imaginable.

During my visit to Hong Kong a couple months ago, I spent a few days paddling surfskis in Deepwater Bay, traversing Lamma Island by foot and enjoying the hospitality of ex-pat Ryan Blair, co-owner of the largest adventure race/outdoor event promotions company in SE Asia, Asia Pacific Adventure. During my stay, Ryan opened my eyes to how big the adventure racing and multisport scene is in Asia, how sponsors-many large American companies who do NOT sponsor AR in the USA-have been onboard in Asia for years.

For years I have noticed the popularity of AR/Multisport in Asia, specifically the Mild Seven and Wulong Quest. During a recent trip to Thailand I turned on my hotel room TV in Bangkok and actually saw ESPN Asia covering adventure racing on their broadcast (footage of Tecnu/DART's Kyle Peter and Mari Chandler!) like it was the freaking NBA! It's nice to know that somewhere in the world, our awesome sport is appreciated and even celebrated. It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Check out the following footage and you will see how adventure racers get the "rock star treatment" in Asia.

Team AXA Sports Club at the 2011 Wu Long Mountain Quest, China (long vers.) from scott cole on Vimeo.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Don't Die Wondering

"Unless you're willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won't happen."

LISTEN, naughty little monkeys.

It's time for a splinter under your fingernail, some disruptive leadership that might even piss you off.


Conversely, this might affirm your *choice* to be HAPPY. Maybe you are CHARGING LIFE and sharing your passions and love with everyone you meet. Maybe you are rocking it full-steam regardless of what cards you were dealt...and maybe there is one important part of your life that remains neglected.

OK, it's time to ruffle your feathers. Listen up and think about where you stand.

Who are you? What are you afraid of? What are your Fears? Dreams?

What will you settle for in this life? What HAVE you settled for in this life? What are the excuses the little devil on your shoulder whispers into your ear, time and again? Do you really believe the negative self-talk?

The CHALLENGE we all face is to actively manage our focus and mindset. This is hard to do without defining our values and beliefs. It sounds almost simplistic, but tell me right now: how you rank your values and how you design your life congruently. I'll wait.

We have heard the expression "Iron sharpens iron", but an interesting study also says that the morbidly obese tend to hang out together as well. Are your beliefs congruent with those of your peers'?

Certainly I am NOT using my own life as an example for this discussion, as I have failed repeatedly in every area of life imaginable as often as I have succeeded. This is socratic, not didactic; directed at myself more than anyone else!

The happiest people I know are on their own paths with insatiable needs to learn more, do better and grow. They are obsessed with LIFE and excellence and most importantly filled with gratitude for what they CAN do...not what they can't.

One thing these people have in common is their affinity, not avoidance, of "impossible" challenges. They know failure is part of the process, and are HAPPY with the process. They acknowledge obstacles as they inevitably come and work around without breaking stride.

Kyle Maynard is a "truly unstoppable badass".

Are you living in a way that avoids pain, the path of least resistance? Where is it leading you? Are you waiting for conditions to be 'just right' until your life is "the way you want it to be"? (SPOILER ALERT: Not going to happen!)

The clock is ticking...relatively faster as you get older. What would it look like if you just went for it, 100%? What would that look like? What would the impact be? Can you see it?

Are you going half-ass or full-ass?

Don't die wondering.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"BREATHE" from Paul Schneider on Vimeo.

This CrossFit inspired piece is an experiment in sound, small moments, dynamic build and human intensity.

It's a race against the clock that we all must face, and a reminder to breathe, because you can.

Main piano track is Fugitif 1 by Swod:​jGkUvc

Directed & Shot: Paul Schneider (​commercials/​paul-schneider)
Edit: Andrew Maggio (
Sound Design: Paul Schneider & Andrew Maggio

Sunday, August 14, 2011


If you are an athlete that doesn't regularly incorporate Deadlifts into your training, you're missing out. Perhaps you have never been taught proper form, which is a great reason NOT to do deadlift, as proper form and focus is imperative. I encourage all non-deadlifters to learn proper form ASAP (visit a weighlifting or CrossFit coach) and incorporate this exercise immediately. In the interest of your time, I linked up a video below that most eloquently explains and illustrates why this is the case.

The benefits extend (sorry) far beyond strengthening your posterior chain. Check out the short video below from CrossFit founder Greg Glassman as he explains WHY the deadlift is one of the top two most beneficial exercises, and what this means for YOU, regardless of your age or health and fitness goals.

Keep Charging Life!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hear me Now and Believe me Later

(Freezing/LAUGHING our asses off, almost literally, at the intersection of Main Divide and Harding Truck Trail with my DreamCrusher Posse. We thoroughly enjoyed a rainy cold January morning, 5'000 feet above the sunny beach, while most of our neighbors were still asleep...)

Live your dreams now. Let reality catch up. Do not wait for conditions to be "just right" in your mind before enjoying your life and being Happy...Let it go and live life now!

This is YOUR Story!

That is all.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tough Mudder Beaver Creek

Tough Mudder Beaver Creek report in approximately 15 words, sorta:
Kickintheballs. Freakinghot. RidonkulousAltitude of 8-10,000'. Qualified for World Championships in Jersey!

On June 26th, I joined 8,000 other racers at Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Avon, Coloardo for the TOUGH MUDDER. I managed to cover the 10 mile obstacle course in around 1hr45. With 25 obstacles to swim or climb under through or over, elevation ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 feet, hypothermia-inducing ice water pond swims (UNDER floating obstacles) and a fun Log-carry halfway through, this was no ordinary Tough Mudder. If the altitude or 40 degree water didn't take your breath away, trying to "race" the course would certainly.

The father of these races, the Tough Guy in England, has been on my list for years. Only in the last 12 months has this style of event really exploded in the USA. By 2012, the Tough Mudder series alone will have increased to over 40 global events. The growth of the series is amazing, and makes one wonder about the wide of doing something not just "crazy", but "maybe impossible". These are my people!

Massive hoot n' hollering waves of 500 very naughty monkeys went off every 20 minutes, sprinting down a ski run at Beaver Creek in a scene out of Braveheart, with fantastic LOUD support from live bands playing right next to the start/finish at the bottom of the ski slopes. I was in one of the middle waves, passing hundreds if not thousands before I finished, but stopping and helping folks through obstacles along the way in the spirit of the event. This would be the funnest "racing" experience I have had in a very long time.

Most people were dressed in costume, racing with a team of friends and/or just having a good time experiencing the insanity of the course with it's two-pronged challenge of running/hiking up and down the high-altitude steep black diamond ski runs that connected the dozens of obstacles. For the shorter or less fit individuals, many obstacles would be impossible with or without help from other participants.

The top 5% of finishers in Tough Mudder events are privately invited two weeks after finishing to race in the 24 hour World's Toughest Mudder event this December in New Jersey. (Yes, December in Jersey...remember the "Tough" part?) I received the email that my time was in the top 1-5% out of the 8,000 participants and good enough for an invitation to World Championships, and accepted.

Although it may be the most miserable 24 hours of my life (that's saying a lot...) I look forward to taking on the challenge of 24 hours of nonstop 10 mile obstacle laps in freezing rain and/or snow this December. I'm up for a challenge, and my combination of adventure racing, CrossFit, ultra-distance endurance fueling & military experience in far longer events, in extreme conditions suits me well for success, whatever that may be.

Hopefully I will fly under the radar and quietly move through the course steadily for 24hrs. A muddy ninja! I am positive better athletes will be on the starting line, but with an expected attrition rate of over 90% the nature of the event plays to my experience, strengths and ability to suffer.

I would wager that MORE than 90% will drop out due to hypothermia, insufficient gear/food preparation, the realization that this level of pain and misery "just isn't worth it" or injury. Everyone racing will battle these demons on the course for 24 nonstop hours; that is one thing we can all bet on. Just like an adventure race...

Photos right

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Over the last month I have managed to spend some quality time almost daily on my local Colorado singletrack. Whether running, hiking or mountain biking; dirt, rocks or snow; Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, or Vail, I have brought my DROID X camera along for all of my daily excursions.

After a long cold winter, seeing and feeling the dirt and rock of the trail again is more than welcome. The subtle seasonal changes around the trail are barely noticeable from day to day. Seeing the snow line rapidly recede on the Indian Peaks from the summit of Green Mountain or running alongside Boulder creek's churning roar, the magnitude is more profound. I thought I would post some of the better shots from the trail.

The shots today are from a snow hike/run Lisa and I did from the Bear Lake area in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trailhead sits at 9100' and was covered by several feet of snow on this mid-June weekend. We made it up to around 10,300 to catch the sunset before running and glissading back down to the car, just in the nick of time.

Running and post-holing along tree-tops sticking out of the snow contrasted with the dry 90 degree day we left behind in Boulder, 5,000 feet below...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Colorado Trails: Boulder

One of the great things about being a trail runner in Boulder is the close proximity "in town" to Mt Sanitas and the multiple 8,000' peaks in Boulder Mountain Park. Today's shots are from recent Boulder area runs and rides. Guest stars are Lisa Matwijiw and multisporter fellow DreamCrusher teammate Slater Fletcher who is staying with us this summer.


Lyons Outdoor Games

Multisport racing is a selfish pursuit. To give back, I volunteered at the Lyons Outdoor Games, representing my team sponsors Epic, nuun and Keen. I manned a spot on the St Vrain river with the Water Safety crew, without incident. Over the course of an hour I watched some of the nations top kayak and canoe paddlers blast through the rapids at a blistering pace, with almost zero effort shown on their face. (Hey, that rhymes!)

It was tough to watch and not actually compete. It looked like fun and the course was manageable for someone with my skill. Watching true legendary masters like Gary Lacy, Spencer Lacy and DART-nuun teammate Jeremy Rodgers was "instructional" to say the least.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Geoff Roes video

Joel Wolpert has produced a fantastic video with another look at the ultra-simplified lives of today's top ultrarunners. Previously Joel shot">a story about the winter training of Boulder's Tony Krupicka. This time the subject is Geoff Roes, who has never lost a 100 mile race. This weekend Geoff returns to the Western States 100 facing a stacked field as the returning champion. Will he keep his crown?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Manila, Bacuit Archipelago, El Nido, Palawan Island...

Getting to El Nido isn't easy. We flew from Hong Kong to Manila, then took a cab to a small "airport" (that the cab drivers did not know existed) to catch a small plane to Palawan Island. We landed on a dirt airstrip and began a week-long adventure of island-hopping, mosquito-swatting and secret cove-finding!

More quick snapshots that I will add to and edit later:

Hong Kong

Hong Kong was incredible. Far beyond what I had imagined. Fortunately we had the advice of ex-pat pro adventure racer/race director extraordiaire Ryan Blair! Without Ryan, there is no way we could have done and seen so much in such little time. Some highlights were hiking to The Peak at night, running across Lamma Island, and enjoying the nighttime skyline from the water as we took the ferry back to Hong Kong from Lamma.

Some quick snapshots that I'll add to and edit later: