Monday, September 29, 2008


Team Helly Hansen Vancouver Island conquered the 2008 Cumberland MOMAR as a co-ed team of four... and it rocked!
The course was brand new for 2008, and thanks to course designer Bryan Tasaka, it was an amazing, beautiful & challenging!!  Jeff, myself, Justin & Carey had decided in early August (just shortly after J & C's baby Chase was born) that we'd race this one as a team of 4, and we sure had a good time!
The morning started out with lots of mini reunions with racing friends from all over the Island and Vancouver.  It's always fun to see familiar faces, trash talk our fellow competitors, and laugh at the awesome costumes, especially our friends Wendy & Norm who decked themselves out in hot 80's aerobics style lycra, it was awesome.

The day started out on the water, with a 10km paddle.  We knew this would be a bit of a weak stage for us, but we were out here for fun, so what's a little canoe between friends?  We brought our canoe from home and paddled in true Canadian style under the bright blue sky, the only canoe in a sea of kayaks!  It was a glorious start to the event.

After 1hr & 15 min of paddling we were off the water & into the first orienteering section.  This section was in a fabulously unique area right beside Comox Lake.  There were steep climbs & steep descents,  and poor Justin was among the 50% of racers that found a wasp's nest en route.  The boys handled the navigation beautifully and we had a clean 41 minute run, getting all the check points and gaining enough ground to catch glimpses of some top teams as we headed into transition.  

Next we were off on the bikes for the first of two mtn bike sections - a strong suit for us.  We did our best to pace-line on the paved sections, and hit the climbing hard.  We had to struggle to pass a number of teams in the single track, something that was new to the boys, as they are usually so far ahead by the time they hit single track they never have to worry about the congested trail.  The Cumberland trails were fresh and slippery; 'Classic Cumberland Riding!' - good times.  Time = 1hr 27 min. 
The next transition sent us off on a long trek/navigation.  Again the boys hit the navigation bang on and we had a clean run.  It was tough terrain with plenty of single track and (yay!) not much bushwacking.   Us girls had to work hard to keep up to the boys... and we finished the section in 1hr 36 min.

Transition from Trek to Mtn bike again.  We were all familiar with the trails in this section as it was the second half of a loop we did UROC's awesome '12 hours of Cumberland' 2007 race.  Carey ripped up the trail, and led us into the village (with a ride time of about 20 min) where we had one more short run through town to the finish line.  Sweet success!!  We'd finished.  We were happy... and, as it turns out, we surprised ourselves with our speed.  
Total time = 5hrs 31 min.
We were the second team of 4 across the line, and placed 2nd in our catergory.  

Carey was amazing, a true inspiration, she worked HARD and kept up a relentless pace, who would guess this woman had a baby less than 2 months ago!!  Way to go Carey!!

Congrats to overall winner's of this event Gary & Todd of Team Helly Hansen/MOMAR - you guys rocked the course - nice work!!
Huge Thanks to Helly Hansen for sponsoring the MOMAR races and supporting our team, we're all so proud to wear the HH!
The MOMAR events just keep getting better and better.  We had a blast and are talking about next years races already - can't wait!
Thanks to Frontrunners for the awesome prizing!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Team HHVI tackles the Cross on the Rock Series

As usual Norm Thibault, Wendy Simms and their team put together a seamless event that went off like clock-work on a masterfully designed, super varied course.

In the women's race Kristenn was battling for 3rd place and finally clinched it by the 2nd last lap.  As you can see below Bobbie was hot on her heels for a lot of the race:

Here's another shot of the tight racing for 3rd that resulted in Kristenn winning the 'most aggressive' award in the women's catergory:

Carey made her 2008 racing debut only 6 weeks after giving birth to beautiful baby boy Chase, she was out racing hard and pushing herself to improve.  She's hard core.
For a while in the stacked mens race Jeff was stuck racing somewhere in between Thibault and Simms, however a flat in the last lap had him passed by Canadian Champ Wendy and he placed 11th overall in the Expert Mens category.
Another shot of Jeff pushing hard:
Justin had a challenging race facing a complete flat after a 'take-down' battle by the swing set.  He fought hard at the back of the pack and stuck to it, pushing hard right to the finish.  Here's a video of him coming down a sketchy decent, he makes it look a lot easier than it is, trust me!

It was a motivating day, and I think all of us are fired up to add a bit of an extra kick into our training. 

What's next for Team Helly Hansen Vancouver Island?

Sept 27th:
Racing as a team of Four (Jeff, Kristenn, Justin & Carey) at the Cumberland MOMAR
Should be interesting!

Sept 28th:
Organizing (and possibly racing!) "The Ramble" Marathon XC Mtn Bike Race
The most unique grassroots event in BC!

October 5th:
The next Cross on the Rock race, Victoria.
More suffering.  Lots of fun.