Sunday, May 31, 2009

More MOMAR pictures...

 Justin & Chase at Registration:
 Jeff in aero position leading the way:
 Carey & Kristenn ripping down a road section:
Justin shouting "encouragement" to Carey.  Kristenn looks like she's smiling but it's a grimace. We're at peak 1 on the top of the Cheif!  woot!
Team Helly Hansen Vancouver Island

BIG thanks to Mark Teasdale and Amber Thom for the pictures!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Squamish MOMAR May 23rd, 2009

Justin Mark, Carey Sather, Jeff Riemer, Kristenn Magnusson.

Total time: 
5hr 28min 09sec.

1st place in our 'team of 4 co-ed' category.  
5th place in the overall standings.

We had a great race in the first of a series of two 2009 Mind Over Mountain Adventure Races. We couldn't have done it without our fantastic sponsor HELLY HANSEN and our amazing network of support (big thanks to doggie and baby sitters!).   An extra-huge Thank-You goes to Marc Campbell of Helly Hansen for looking after us. 

The Squamish MOMAR race course was designed by Jen Segger, an amazing adventure athlete who also runs her own personal training company called 'Challenge by Choice'.  At times during the race I wondered why I made the choice to challenge myself in such a manner!  At other times I knew that there was no where else I'd rather be than pushing my limits alongside 3 of my closest friends.  The course was certainly a challenge but here is nothing more inspiring than being amazed by what you & your friends can push yourselves to achieve.

At registration Friday night MOMAR race director Bryan Tasaka pumped Jeff and Justin on why the weren't defending their title of 1st overall from last year.  A jovial Justin quickly replied that we were challenging, and that perhaps we'd be the first co-ed team of 4 to clinch the overall title.  I thought he was joking.  I had no idea how close we would come, surprising ourselves and, I think, everyone else.

The race started with a brisk trail run around Alice Lake north of Squamish.  The pace was quick, everyone seemed to be attacking this course hard. We followed the run with a quick transition onto the bikes and hit the road for the first of what would be many tough climbs.  We knew that the mountain biking portions of the course would provide us advantage over other teams, but we also knew that we would be struggling to maintain our cohesion in this discipline as the boys are just so incredibly strong on the bikes. We managed to stay married and gain some ground on the first long classically Squamish mountain bike section.  Success.  Next up, orienteering.  The orienteering courses are generally run in a pretty tight area, but even a few minor errors can result in huge inefficiencies and doubling back can kill you, not only physically, but mentally too.  Our orienteering started off with one small hiccup (where are we on this map?), but Jeff lead a great course and we collected all 7 of the orienteering check points without problem and only a few brief domestic disputes (which seemed to keep our fellow racers entertained).  Another success.  Back onto the bikes we soon hit another tough grind of a climb (is there a bit of a theme here?).  At this point we knew we had a solid lead over any other team in our category and we were starting to pull away from the top all-male teams... this was now a race for the top team overall, holy crap!!   As with almost any mountain bike climb in Squamish we were rewarded with an awesome technical decent.  The only trouble with a technical single-track decent is that even though you are not climbing, you are still working very  hard, there is no chance to rest!  Once we devoured the single track we hit the logging road and formed a pace line, flying into transition to find that there were only 3 bikes there ahead of us.  Only 3 solo male racers were ahead of us.  Huge success.  We transitioned to running and hit the climb up "The Chief", a huge granite monolith of a mountain!  The way up is a grind (what did I say earlier?) and we were working hard & cheered on superstar ultra-runner Gary Robbins as he came from behind to move past us.  After huffing and puffing to the peak and were treated to an absolutely jaw-dropping rappel!   As we went over the edge we heard the Squamish Rock Guides safety crew comment "wow this is so cool, they are like 2000ft off the ground!" (not really what I needed to hear as I was crapping my shorts a little already).  Once done the rappel (a.k.a. adrenalin surge) we had to decent the rocky terrain we'd just powered up... again, no rest for the wicked as a wrong step on the way down could be disastrous!  We knew that as long as we cleaned this section of trail we'd be back on the bikes for a short hard push to the last few check points & the finish line, this motivated us and kept us quick on our feet.  We reached transition and had a quick change back onto the bikes & were moving strong.  More success!  We found the next check point on the far side of a waist deep icy cold river...brrrr!   Working together with fellow racer Jamie Stewart we navigated back into town and to the glorious finish line just behind 4th place good friend Norm Thibault!  SUCCESS!  We clinched 5th spot overall and were the fastest team on the course. HUGE GRATIFYING SUCCESS!  

Kudos to everyone who raced this aggressive course.  It was an outstanding day and as always an amazing event!  Thank you to all of our sponsors and friends at Arrowsmith Bikes, Steed Cycles, Frontrunners and of course HELLY HANSEN!

Also big high-five to baby Chase who is the worlds happiest & cutest baby and an awesome travel companion.  He logged his first volunteer hours out at the last transition area with superstar sitter Shannon, and was still smiling at the after party & loved the cheering!  

The pictures below were taken by race photographer Marc Teasdale of us crossing the glacier fed river.  We managed many laughs along the way!

We're hoping someone out there has some more pictures of us, and if we find them we'll post them for all to enjoy!  

Friday, May 8, 2009