Posts Tagged ‘Hoka One One’
Video: Off Season Run & Strength training #CavemanStyle
Join me on an off season training run through the bush on our farm – Roodewalshoek Conservancy, in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Also includes strength training, stream crossings, wildlife and a peek into what makes the #Caveman tick…
XTERRA Worlds 2014 tomorrow
XTERRA Worlds is tomorrow. Follow it live here on XTERRA website.
Look for the well camoflaged Caveman.
The inspiration for my race kit (leaves and tyre tracks) I got from the Delicious Monster plants here in Maui. Fantastic gear from Nimblewear. Light, comfortable, hydrophobic yet breathable, UV 40 protection, and best of all- it didnt arrive the day berofe race- like it usually does with other manufacturers / printers.
We’ve had some rain this year. A lot of rain. As you can see below, the earth here is quite clay-y. It has dried out quite a bit since this pic was taken (a week ago) but we may get some showers again tonight…
Fun & games!
I drowned my phone in the ocean this am, so dont expect much tweeting or phone calls. The Lifeproof case was not #CavemanProof after all…
Adventure at XTERRA Denmark
Caveman wins by 5 minutes. Extraordinary conditions makes racing even MORE fun at XTERRA Denmark. Photo credit: Martin Paldan. I'm borrowing from XTERRAPlanet.com: [Conrad Stoltz and Kathrin Mueller captured the XTERRA Denmark Championship in “Viking weather” at the beach and forest of Tisvilde. The ominous gray skies opened up just as the race started at 1pm. The cold North Sea, somewhere around 17 degrees Celsius (63 Fahrenheit), was just the start of the challenge Mother Nature dished out for competitors. To follow was slick roots, soft sand, biting trees, treacherous, relentlessly steep hills, pouring rain and slinging mud that made for blinding conditions. Nobody handled better than the “Caveman” – seven-time World Champ Conrad Stoltz who won his second major in as many weeks (it was XTERRA England last Sunday). By midway through the two-lap bike course he was up by almost two minutes and by transition it was more than four. Interestingly, the last split he got was still 1:40 (from after the first lap on the bike) so he figured he better lay down the hammer early on the run lest he might get chased down by the younger guns behind him. As such, he made even more time after the first lap on the run, until he heard he was five minutes for the good. “I got off the bike and heard I had 1:45 on three people, and thought I’m gonna have to run hard because who knows how fast guys like Ben are going to run. I didn’t know I had that time,” explained Stoltz, who collected his unprecedented 51st career XTERRA Championship win. He shared his thoughts after the race, saying “During the swim the rain came pouring down, which changed everything. It made a relatively easy course quite technical, which made it fun for me. Today was much more technical and slippery than yesterday. I crashed one time and I could hear my neck go “crraaacck”. I just clipped a pedal because you can’t see with all the water and mud in your eyes. It was just a little bump in the trail and my pedal caught it and I went flying and I could hear my neck wrench. And the run course was very challenging, long sections sliding down my backside, holding on to trees. This was my first time here and I really enjoyed it, and would love to come back and support the sport here. People here are passionate about the outdoors and it’s great to be a part of this event. It’s really true to the XTERRA tradition where you can combine a great country and experience with exceptional racing. I think the race was fantastic. Muddy and cold and wet, you really have to thank the volunteers for braving these conditions as well. Hopefully it grows from strength to strength and XTERRA builds roots here in the Viking country.” Behind Stoltz was a marvelous duel for 2nd, with Dan Hugo (7 World Tour wins this season), Ben Allen (2 World Tour wins this year and 7 last) and Francois Carloni who captured his first major in Greece this year. Allen led out of the water, followed by Hugo and then Stoltz. About 6K into the bike Stoltz passed Allen, then Hugo caught up and those two rode together until Carloni went flying by during the second lap and took a one-minute lead on Allen and Hugo heading into the run. Ultimately both Allen and Hugo caught and passed Carloni (as did Jan Pyott to take fourth down the finish chute) with Allen finishing runner-up.] Whatever you do- dont touch the roots! Stay off the brakes, go straight, or go through the air- or option D- "all of the above." I did cheat a little- by running a new super sticky Specialized rubber compound called #Gripton on the front tire:
Trying to find traction. Each lap had 5 really steep, short hills- and down hills. Hard enough after the sandy run and pedally bike, but in the wet there was no grip on the trail- you had to go find it in the leaves and grabbing onto trees
The muddy parts of the run course were also the steepest parts. Really really steep. Knowing it might be "a bit damp," I beefed up the grip on my Hoka Huaka racing shoes by putting 5 short screws into the sole of each shoe. But by the time we were on the course, it was much wetter than anyone anticipated, and no amount of crews could stop me from going down at least half of the 10 little hills on my backside, out of control…
Hats off to Steen Aagaard and his XTERRA Nordic crew for the big effort and fine details. Also Specialized Nordic who brought the Test the Best fleet. The #Fatboy was by far the most popular test bike.
With the XTERRA Europe Series drawing to a close, there was some tooth and nail racing! Well done everyone.
Impervious to the cold, (I'm wearing my entire wardrobe) "tough like a Viking"- Organic chef Casper Vulpius served delicious warm food from his modified Airstream all weekend. (I liked the venison, wild rice and chutney) Racing in the wet is not only a physical and skills challenge, but also equipment wise: After 15km the sandy watery mix had completely worn out my rear brake pads, which encouraged smooth lines and early braking (front only) even more.
Now that is a clean chain. Sand and dirt sticks to Squirt chain lube's wax, which then falls off the chain- leaving the chain clean(ish) even in the harshest conditions. "Dry" lube does not refer to "only use in dry conditions." It means after its applied properly, your chain will feel dry to the touch. As opposed to "oily" – like other lubes. These conditions wreck havoc on your drive train. Squirt chain lube, official chain lube sponsor of XTERRA, is a wax and water emulsion with no petroleum products added. Petroleum (oil) is what makes the sand (dust in dry conditions) stick to your chain and creates a grinding paste, which quickly eats up your drive train. Not to mention the high friction and noisy chain it causes.
The course meandered through what seems like little hills and menhirs, (planted stones) but they are in fact Viking graves. Kings and chiefs were buried here- with their servants, to look after them in the after life. And the servants didnt have a choice… Traditional Danish country home with thatch roof and Danish flag
Did you know? 40% of the Danish population ride their bicycle every day… (as you think about that figure, consider the weather)
On my day off, we visited the town of Helsingor and (above) the castle of Kronborg. Also known as the castle from Shakespeare's' "Hamlet". Even though Shakspeare himself has never been there
Dating from 1500 AC
Kronborg Castle B&W #PrincessHotstuff Now visiting family in Treviso Italy, some R&R for a week, then back to USA for the ramp up to XTERRA Worlds in Maui.
Caveman wins XTERRA UK and 50th XTERRA Championship title
Braaap! I havent had this much fun doing my job in a long long time. After being frustrated by many of the "ho hum" courses lately, the UK course was fantastic! "Semi retired" XTERRA Pros Sam Gardner and Richard Stannard personally built the trails and did an incredible job. The trails were easy (and safe) enough for everyone to ride, but going fast is tricky.
We made the most of the "Bahamas like weather" this British summer (note #PrincessHotstuff's summer wear) and visited a nearby town and tried warm beer. (only twice- the 2nd time to make sure its really really supposed to be warm)
Chilling with Carl and Terry at the Squirt chain lube stand. #PrincessHotstuff puts to test the eco friendly, bio degradable chain lube and bike wash. Apparently a German rider once mistook the Squirt sample in his race pack for an energy shot, drank it during the race, and afterwards went the the shop to buy more of that "Squirt energy product…" Memorizing all 1000 turns, one had one pre ride a fair bit- lots of fun…
Thanks to Saffer Carel du Plessis (not the rugby player) and his wife for the stunning pics. All the good photos in this blog is by Light Trapper
100% focus. With the light changes through the trees and open fields, choosing the right lenses for your glasses was crucial. Oakley Radar XL with VR28 lenses
There was not a single rock on the course, so I lowered my tyre pressre by 2 psi to 20psi. To reduce deflection (like rolling resistance) on this bumpy terrain, I took 10psi out of my front and rear suspension. I did bottom out the fork quite badly a few times…
I did plow the fields a but with my pedals, but fortunately my well worn LOOK Quarts' are #CavemanProof. I also tried, for the 1st time the Stages Power meter. Its the small black piece on the crank arm. Amazing how small it is and how well it works. Not sure how to interpret the power data yet, (as MTB is very erratic compared to road power) but the numbers indicate huge spikes in power. (see below)
Peak power was 992W and avs was 340W. Power file.
The day after disastrous ITU Cross Tri Worlds in Germany (last week- blog in the works), I made some huge changes to try get rid of the back pain. I moved my saddle forwards 3.5cm (huge move) to its "old postition" and moved from oval chain rings to round chain rings- in order to accomodate the power meter I've been trying to use the past year. Despite the huge changes in such a short time, I felt much better and only had some back pain.
I was 1 min down after the swim, and came off the bike with a 5 min lead. So I could really enjoy the technical trail run. Check out this short video I made of the run : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Zvo7b7jwY&list=UU5HJTF5nzeSPJonIgie455w
50th XTERRA Championship win. The 50 XTERRA wins I celebrated in January 2013, counted all the XTERRAs I'd won- apparently the 4 XTERRA Buffelspoort wins with its 2500 participants does not count.
Big turn out from South Africans- almost felt like racing at home. Dankie julle!
XTERRA Richmond 2014
A group of pros raced a new, fun event in pouring rain on thursday – XTERRA Super Sprint Relay, filmed by Luck Stone. Was good fun- should have more of those. Also an easier event to attract agegroupers. In the middle- holding the trophy- Maurizio Mendez. 18 year old Neo Pro from Mexico City. Fastest swimmer and fastest runner in the field- watch out for him
My week kicked off a bit rough. On Friday (8days before the race) I though my appendix is either about to burst or has already burst. Rushed to ER, they did tests incl n CAT scan. Lets just say the pain was sygnificant. I dont get in a wheelchair lightly.
It turned out to be a viral gastrointestinal entenites. A virus in my gut. No medication for that, but I was on a clear fluid diet for 2 days, an all liquid diet for 1.5 days and then started a “bland” diet. Cant believe how long it took to get my intestines going again- and get rid of the pain and cramping.
By race day I was still pooping like a pigeon as opposed to a lumber jack.
I went through the usual motions of warming up, but I felt shocking and told Liezel right before the start “I feel terrible.” She (and my coach Ian) said- “just do what you can.”
I was super relaxed at the swim start, sitting on a branch in my favourite brown river. Pic by Jesse Peters
This swim course was for sure the most fun I’ve done in years. The current was really strong, but varied according to depth. As you can see below, we had the swift current come from every single angle. You can see the rocks and shallow parts on the photo. And the sandbar (between bouy 1 & 2) where Josiah ran from mid pack to round bouy #2 in first place. He LOVED it- much to the swimmers chagrin. The dotted line is a run up Browns Island.
Other good & fun swims I remember off hand:
– Energade Triathlon in Durban where the surf was HUGE, I was off the back but caught a huge wave just as I turned the last bouy- and body surfed about 300m to shore! The wave (with me on it) went right over the lead group, and when I stood up on the beach, I had a 30 second lead.
– My first triathlon in France (1992) was a down river swim. (Kevin Richards / Richard de Villiers / Thierry Baron what was it called?) Not being able to understand the briefing, we just swam down stream. It was quite narrow- trees overhanging both sides, and soon it got wider as another river joined. I sighted and saw people standing ON the water, in the middle of the river! I had no idea what to make of it, but they were waving, and obviousy we had to swim towards them. When I got there I realized they were standing on quite a large concrete weir- about 5m long and dropped maybe 2m in height. The swim course went straight down it. The weir had a sheet of plastic over it and these people were shoving us down the weir! You slid on your stomach. It was quite a rush and came as a total surprise.
Back to Richmond: Lost 30″ seconds in a lacklustre swim, but was surprised when my legs came around on the bike. This course is just awesome- never a dull moment- I wish I had time -and know how- to properly edit the GoPro footage I have.
Picked off the guys ahead and took the lead about 6km in- just before the Tunnels. Really enjoyed this race. Richmond is a “must do before you die”
Really enjoyed the Zoo out there! It was 8 am, and the rocks were not yet slippery with beer.
Slid on some gravel on a narrow wooden bridge and took a tumble – lost some time and skin – and some time.
Some riders use brakes to stop. #Caveman uses his fore arm.
Enjoyed new red Supacaz grips
The Green Car on the course. Doubt its a Green Car in the California way
Got off the bike with a 30″ lead on Dan and 3.30 on Josiah. Craig Evans was in between. Felt surprisingly comfortble running – all the way to 8km. Havent been running much, mostly rehab with guru Lawrence van Lingen at Rausch PT in Orange County. “OC, NOT LA, I’ve been told”
The river level rose with the 4′ of rain, so the course changed from last I saw it, and I ended up waist deep in the river, (rookie!) with Dan breathing in my neck- I realized things were about to go pear shaped if I didnt do something pronto.
With 25″ lead and 2 km to go, I thought I had it in the bag, but when we hit hilly and technical section across Belle Isle, my body totally folded. Dan came blazing past in the woods, I tried to pick up the pace and promtly tripped over something. (probably my feet) Did a clumsy Judo roll, scurried after my still rolling new Oakleys, and gave chase, but Dan was gone and my body was empty.
Loved my new Hoka One One Huaka racers! So comfortable, I raced them out the box. Superbe ride quality, comfortable, fast and light. Not as big as other Hokas, but plenty cushy for a racing shoe- thanks to the magic of the RMat midsole.
2nd, but loved it. Nail biting finish. Good to be back racing after some seriously trying times. This was my 1st XTERRA ever (2001- also finished 2nd) and I fully appreciate why this place gripped me – despite the Speedo and borrowed 30lbs Soft Ride bike with road pedals…
My family loved watching this event live on their computers and being able to follow the athletes via GPS tracking. Thanks a lot to Luck Stone for pushing the envelope.
We also remembered Scud. With his wife Margaret. (l-rJosiah Middaugh, Margaret, Caveman, Maurizio Mendez (18 years old) Karsten Madsen & Craig Evans)
From XTERRA FB page:
You’ll notice the “Scud” in the background of your racing bib numbers. It’s in honor of long-time XTERRA Ambassador Scott “Scud” Scudamore who passed away on December 28, 2013. The XTERRA Tribe knew “Scud” well for his outgoing and welcoming spirit. He was the prototype XTERRA ambassador. He calmed racers nerves at the start line, fixed their bikes, gave them words of encouragement and helpful tips, was the ultimate training partner, and guided the XTERRA crew every chance he got. He was an icon in the Mid-Atlantic mountain bike scene, built trails, conducted how to ride your mountain bike with confidence clinics, and taught newbies how to ride. Scott was retired but hardly stood still. He was on the local water rescue team and had recently learned how to surf a kayak in white water. His volunteerism efforts were off-the-charts, perhaps most notably his connection with Trails For Youth, a program that connected kids to the natural world around them. He served for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a captain. He was famous for his fries, for making people smile, as a soccer coach, and a family man. He left an undeniable mark on this world, and he is greatly missed by his extended family within the XTERRA Tribe and far beyond. On Saturday we’ll gather around Brown’s Island for a toast in Scud’s honor at 3pm, and on Sunday his wife Margaret will fire the cannon to get the races started.