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One long swim and run coming right up!

What are you doing this weekend? If you’re bored, you can check out Dan and I racing as a team in ÖtillÖ. 

No, it’s not a relay, but instead we have to stay together for the entire race. Basically, we will start on an island, run to the water, swim to the next island, run across it, rinse, repeat. When we’re done, we’ll have covered 26 islands, around 6 miles of swimming and 41 miles of running. Just a guestimate.

The race starts Sunday night at midnight Eastern time (6am Sweden time). If you’re a night owl or if you plan on throwing a few late-night brews back for the holiday, you can watch the live video feed at www.otillo.se. You can also track us live via the athlete tracking since we’ll be carrying a GPS unit. Dan and I are Team 23. Sara McLarty and Misty Becerra, good friends, training mates and XTERRA warriors are racing as well as Team 111.

Even if you’re not a late-nighter, you early birds can catch us on the site as we’ll probably still be racing when most of east coasters (in the U.S.) are waking up.

Also check out my Facebook page (link on the right) as Alba will be posting pics to my page.

Of course, there’ll be a lengthy race report coming, I’m sure. I have a reputation to live up to. Right, James?

#weswimrun #otillo15 #GUforit #inov8 #timexfactoryteam

Rockman–No One Will Ever Believe It

We were about half of a mile into a 1.2 mile swim across the fjord in 56 degree water when my legs began to shake and shiver.  This was swim number seven of the day with two more after it.  We were just a little under 7 hours into the race and I was beginning to tire a bit.  I had lost Dan’s draft so I resorted to sighting since I couldn’t see his shoes or bubble trail anymore.  As I looked up, through the rain, the power station we were swimming to didn’t look any closer.  “Damnit. we’re not even halfway there yet and I’m shivering,” I thought.  Just about that time, Dan stops, turns around, looks at me and says…

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Photo credit: Matti Rapila Andersson

Wait a second.  I’m getting ahead of myself.  First off, I know it’s been three weeks since this race.  I must apologize at my slack-assedness.  However, it’s been, work, train, eat, spend time with the family and somewhere in there squeeze in some time to sleep.  I know, I know.  Waaaah.  You have no place for whiners.

Second, in order to even begin to talk about the “impossible” race, as dubbed by the locals that live along the fjord we raced, I have to give you the backstory of how I got pulled into this race to give you some context.  Here comes a flashback… Continue reading

Rockman Swimrun in the Books

A lot of folks have been asking me about the Rockman Swimrun race and when I am going to get the race report up.  Itsacomin. Just compiling the photos like this

  
and Dan’s getting his disposable under-water camera developed. 

As for the results, there were 60 teams, made up of three categories: men, women and mixed. We finished 5th overall and 4th in men’s, with one mixed team finishing ahead of us. We held 3rd for a while and should have been on the podium but there were dramatic things that happened.  Wanna know more?  Stay tuned for the full report!

Transition Clinic and XTERRA Whitewater Course Preview

Why would you spend weeks and months to knock a minute off of your run time or to get a little faster on the bike but waste minutes in transition? It doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve been lucky. Lucky to have been coached, buddies and the honor to spend time with some pro triathletes and some REALLY fast amateurs. They’ve taken the time to toss some tips and tricks my way. With some practice, I’ve managed to get some decent transition times. You have the opportunity for me to pass those along to you and it won’t cost you a dime. Ok. Well, you’ll have to pay for parking, but my time is free. Want more info?  Continue reading

Hairy Rocks and Jungle Heat – XTERRA East Championship

Richmond definitely lives up to the “most unique terrain” statements floating around.  Hairy rocks, hand-over-hand climbs, hopping from boulder to boulder and some real kooky spectators dressed up in some wild costumes.  This makes it one of the most fun races on the circuit, but combined with the typical heat, it also makes it one of the toughest.  This brings me to a conversation that I seem to be having more and more.  “Why do you do it?” is usually part of this conversation.

“You don’t get paid for it?”

“Are there prizes?”

These are couple of the typical questions that are asked by someone completely puzzled by the concept of training for weeks and weeks, around work schedules, around family events, and all the other things that are typically vying for your time to compete in a race where you don’t get “something” in return.

“Only the pros get paid if they do good enough,” is usually my answer to one of the questions.  Then I have to go into how the majority of the racers are not pro and are competing with other racers within their division or age group.  With XTERRA, you get points based upon your placement within your division.  These points are used within a season-long points series (more on XTERRA’s site) and at the regional races, you’re also competing for slots to the World Championship in Hawaii.  But outside of these slots and points, why does the typical “age grouper” do it?  We’ll get back to that in a bit.  In the meantime, let’s take a look at one age-grouper’s race at the XTERRA East Championship.

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First off.  Richmond is a funky town.  Not like 70’s disco kind of funky, but funky as in you never know what you’ll see.  Like this ingenious contraption.  It’s a bumper on the back of Continue reading

Root Beer Swimming and Big Green Guys – XTERRA Myrtle Beach

The water was dark, almost black. It looked like coffee or soda that had been sitting in a cup until it was flat. You could peer through the first inch or so and see a brown tint towards the surface, but the deeper you looked, the darker it got.

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Of the five or six pontoon boats that ferried us out towards the ocean for the swim start, I was on the first one along with XTERRA fam, Josh Schaffer, Jim Dandro, Sam Chalk, and power couple, Jim and Tanya Houghton among others. I jumped into the canal for a quick warmup and someone shouted from another boat, “How’s the water, Marcus?” I have no idea why, but I responded with, “It’s like chocolate milk.”

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I stuck my face in the water and looked down to where I thought my feet were, but I saw Continue reading

Race With Your Inner GRRRR-XTERRA Tiger

Are you an Auburn fan or Alabama fan? Well, regardless of whether you yell “War Eagle!” or “Roll Tide!”, you can race an XTERRA near both of these colleges and their names reflect their alma maters. XTERRA Tiger takes place near Auburn whereas XTERRA Tide takes place near Tuscaloosa.

XTERRA Tiger is one of those races that I’ve attempted to make for the last two years but just cannot seem to work it into my schedule. Multiple things seem to come up both personally and professionally but needless to say, it hasn’t been doable. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to keep track of all the action, so this year, I had ultrarunner, XTERRA athlete and field reporter, Sunny Workman keeping me informed.

XTERRA Tiger is one of the earliest races on the circuit and in the southeast. Many come from all over to test the waters of how their training is progressing and to get that racing bug again. Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina were well-represented. With it being an early season race, the water temps are low and usually wetsuit legal. As the racers lined up in the water, the temp was still dropping from the day before. At breakfast it was 63, but at race start, it was 56.

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Owen Workman

The swim looked longer than the advertised 750 meters, but no one was sure if that was truly the case or if it was the typical “oh crap, this is the first race of the season” coming out. The skies were cloudy and it appeared as if it could Continue reading

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