Good day friends! Sometimes, you just have to take a chance on a race because it looks cool. Such was the case when I decided to head to the Charlevoix region of Quebec from the newly-minted Ultra-Trail Harricana 65km trail running race. I've been thinking about trying to tackle a really long running race for a little while now, and this one looked like it might fit the bill. Beautiful region, challenging course, small starting field, and a UTMB points qualifier. It was also going to be my only real running race of the year, after tackling a number of different fun races all summer. Seemed like the best way to close out my summer race season, and get ready for the lead-up for the wedding! So, Deanna, and I made a long weekend of it, and made the journey together. Read on for the full story, and don’t forget to check out all the cool pictures Deanna caught of racers during the event. Oh yeah, and I also covered it for the magazine as well.
Welcome to another edition of ‘Where the heck is Steve, and what is he racing in this time?’ Well, the briefest of answers to that question is that I was in Timmins, Ontario racing in the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge, and covering said event for Get Out There Magazine. I have to admit right off the bat that this event was not on my radar earlier this year, and I didn't really have the intention of making that kind of trip. However, when a cancellation came up, and it was offered up to me, I decided: What the heck? Why not? I like paddling, and I like traveling, so why not combine them together? And so this trip was hatched. Sadly, it would be a solo trip for me this time around, as I was flying up, and Deanna had other plans. I didn't have time to snap too many pictures, but I did put together a whiz-bang video review once again, so please check it out! The trip was also a pretty much in-and-out kinda trip, so I couldn't play tourist as much as I’d hoped.
Without further ado, I finally bring you my story about racing in Leadville, Colorado at the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. This is a [now] storied event that has seen the likes of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, and Floyd Landis try their luck in the high altitude around Leadville on mountain bikes. As it turns out, it was also a race that was on my bucket list that I wasn’t even aware should be on it! It seems the more I get involved in the racing community and travel to different events, the more I learn about amazing races in far-flung places that I wish I could do. I’ll have to settle with a handful of them, and this race now gets added to my memory banks as one of the biggies! There is of course a video review, and also lots of pictures, thanks to Deanna being there (this doubled as our vacation!). Now read on for the whole story.
Good day my dear readers. If you have been a longtime follower of my blog, you may wonder where I've been in the past month, and if in fact I’m just eating bon-bons and kicking back through the summer. Well, quite the contrary my friends! Things have been as busy as ever, which is why there has been a marked lack of blog updates. In the past while I've had a lovely Canada Day paddling adventure, gone to the States for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race (don’t worry, that’ll be a whole post!), changed jobs, worked on gear reviews, saw my sister and family off on a new adventure to Belgium (for the next 4 years!) AND worked on wedding preparations! Yup, I (and the ever-lovely Deanna) have been quite busy indeed, but this short post should at least serve to bring you up to speed on our latest adventures. As usual, you can find most of my pictures on flickr shortly after events, and also, Deanna is becoming a bit of a shutterbug and has her own flickr account now too! So twice the photos! Read on now for a taste of recent events.
The invitation came exactly 11 days before the big event. I got an innocent-enough sounding message asking if I was interested in joining a U.S. team to race at Untamed New England, a well-known American adventure race. I was immediately interested, but also scared. Untamed is traditionally a multi-day race, and although I’d always wanted to tackle it, I wasn’t sure 11 days was enough prep time! However, this year, the race was actually being run as a 24-hour event instead of multi-day. For that reason, it didn’t take me long to respond in the affirmative that I’d join the roster! I was to be a last-minute replacement for an injured team-mate, and was recruited on James Galipeau’s recommendation (ironically, he was another replacement racer). All I knew was that I’d be racing on THE Untamed New England team (there were 2), and it would be a fast team looking to podium! What follows is the tale of that race, a tale of struggle, suffering, and success. Read on!
Note, the title is *not* wining and touring. This is (perhaps unfortunately) not a post about cycle touring in wine country :-). However, I’m still happy to say it does involve some drinking, lots of cycling, and even another race victory! As most of you know, I’m really more of an avid endurance racer than sprinter, but I find myself doing a smattering of short races these days, and actually faring quite well. My latest foray is the shortest to date, a 5-person 10km relay race, meaning I was only running 2km! I was actually kind of nervous about that, as I have no idea how to pace that distance. However, the majority of the post is dedicated to Deanna and I taking part in the annual Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour. I’ve got a bunch of pictures from that event to share, but no video, as this was purely for fun (and some good in-the-saddle training). Now read on to learn about both of these events!
As many of you will know, I have a bit of a love / not-love relationship with mud / obstacle races like the Spartan Race / Tough Mudder / Mud Hero, etc. events. Firstly, I absolutely love the actual races. Running in the woods? Hopping over and under stuff. Risking life and limb while getting really dirty and possibly destroying whatever you wear? Sign me up! However, what I’m not a huge fan of is the chance of huge crowds trying to do the same thing at the same time! The line-ups are long, the race crowds are think, and traffic jams are inevitable. However, there are a few tricks if you plan to actually COMPETE there. First, sign up for the 1st wave (‘elite’ if they have it). Second, Toe the very front of the start line. Third, and obviously, arrive EARLY. With that, allow me to fill you all in on my experience at Mud Hero’s inaugural Ottawa event to kick off their 2013 season. I grabbed a few pictures, and also covered things for Get Out There Magazine, so yes, there is a video that will be embedded at the end. So with that, read on friends!
I truly am a big fan of alliteration. That, and palindromes. Although, I’ve always wondered why exactly the word palindrome itself isn’t a palindrome. But I digress. The point of this post is obviously to tell you all about my latest race, not of my grammatical proclivities :-). This time I’m writing about the May Raid Pulse race, an 8hr adventure race. Note I’m calling this an 8hr race, and not a 5-8hr race. Thierry, the race director, does an impressive job at ensuring most racers are out there for the full duration, so it does, in fact, end up being a solid 8 hour physical effort. For this race, I teamed up with the formidable James Galipeau, a seasoned multi-day international adventure racer, so you know we were planning to go for the win! I was also covering the event for Get Out There Magazine, which meant I’d have cameras in tow. With that in mind, there are of course a nice little folder of pictures to check out in flickr, as well as the full video review at the end of this post. Now read on for the exciting tale!