Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yesterday I was told I crossed a barrier. Or better put, achieved a milestone, in training. But at the time it just felt like another ordinary daily training day.

There was a stiff headwind on the home straight - so strong that our warm up was blown apart with 10 laps to go. The pace for some reason was high after only 10 laps in and we just continued to drill it, with the head wind taxing the mind and body with each pedal stroke into it. First Tela popped, and Jennie shortly thereafter. And my endurance butt got to continue alone for the remaining 5 laps. I only made it three. Often our warm up is the hardest continuous effort of the day. It makes the efforts seem easy.

On tap for today (after an early morning weight training session) - four flying 250m efforts. I've been working on the wind up - getting slightly better with each one, but not quite where I want to be yet. Yet today was a break through - I pushed and grunted up corner one, flying into corner two, out of the saddle and driving it all the way to the line and was rewarded with a 3/10ths improvement. I received a few comments from Jennie and Tela about how it actually looked like a sprinter wind up.

And for this scrawny, chicken legged endurance rider - that is huge.

As the countdown toward Nationals continues, my anxiety of placing eggs all in one basket rises up and bubbles out with mention of going for the Madison, the team pursuit, etc.... and Jennie comments on how I have A.D.D.. Do I want to get a bunch of 5th place finishes or actually win a title?

Oh, right. Settle down, Jen. Settle down, I tell myself. Enjoy the practice. Don't get overly excited or rough around the edges, take each effort as a means to practice. Focus, drive, give it 110%. Trust. Patience. Hard work.

Reading Steph's blog hit home today. She quoted an excerpt from a Zen master that was very well suited to what I'm talking about.

“It is necessary for us to keep the constant way. Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual daily routine. If you become too busy and too excited, your mind becomes rough and ragged. This is not good. If possible, try to be always calm and joyful and keep yourself from excitement.

Usually when you do something, you want to achieve something, you attach to some result. From achievement to non-achievement means to be rid of the unnecessary and bad results of effort. If you do something in the spirit of non-achievement, there is a good quality in it. So just to do something without any particular effort is enough. When you make some special effort to achieve something, some excessive quality, some extra element is involved in it. You should get rid of excessive things. If your practice is good, without being aware of it you will become proud of your practice. That pride is extra. What you do is good, but something more is added to it. So you should get rid of that something which is extra.”

I would call 3/10ths a prideful extra. Yet it's hard not to get excited when you see a marked improvement on something you've been working on for days/weeks/months and years.

Ah grasshopper, so much to learn. So much to learn!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just spent the end of a great weekend teaching a woman's track clinic with Tela out in Redmond. 25 ladies showed up! Yay to woman's cycling!

Here's to growing the sport and giving back....

Friday, June 25, 2010


A year ago, Tela, Kendi and I were cruising south in Maggie, my VW van, on our journey down to San Jose to compete in the American Velodrome Challenge. Just outside of Oakland, Kendi in the back seat said, "Oh. My. God." Tela and I both responded in unison, "WHAT?"

Michael Jackson just died.

We kept driving - in disbelief and then listened to a marathon of MJ's range of music. What an influence that man had on the world through his music. Amazing that it's been a year to the day. But his legacy continues on...

When's the last time you watched this video?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cruising around the interwebs - and came across the super talented and extreme athlete Steph Davis. For those who aren't familiar with her - Steph is a world class climber and base jumper. Her talents are many. She lives life to the fullest and is an inspiration for sure.

The following is an excerpt she posted on her blog recently about taking risks and living life:

"personally i am very hard on myself if i get hurt, because i see it as a result of having made a mistake while doing something high risk. although i don’t see it that way for others, i am always very critical of my own mistakes, especially when it matters a lot. though of course, this is the way to learn and improve.

the only way to gain experience is to do things, so we all have to struggle with the learning phase, and partly hope we are lucky as we gain skills and judgment. i guess this is just like life, for everyone who grows from a baby, having to learn to survive. one thing i really enjoy is learning how to push my limits in intelligent, conservative style. freedom is a complex thing, and not easily earned…

i decided early on that freedom, for me, means taking on risk in this style and living all the way, rather than locking myself in a bubble and trying to reduce all risk from my world. but i do work hard to be competent, intelligent and conservative, to preserve that freedom….hence, the spot device, heli insurance, and the parachute ;)

you can certainly climb, base jump, hike, ultrarun, ski, surf, paddle or do anything in a less conservative style, and plenty of people do, as you only have to watch the youtube extreme sports channel to observe, but that’s not for me. it seems like if you can make it through the baby/discovery years with some luck, then competence and good judgment will keep you generally pretty safe after that. you can’t continually do things in a yahoo style, without your luck running out. you can push the boundaries of what you think is possible, and you can do it carefully. to me, this is really living."

Amen, sister. Amen.

Eiger Birds from steph davis on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I fumble with my rear wheel and try like hell to get the rear nuts to loosen so I can flip my hub around into the right gear combo. A couple of profane words slip through my teeth in hopes that my cursing will get it to magically work. It creaks in protest and when it remains stuck, I threaten to throw my training wheels in the garbage. They are meant to turn in circles, not be adjusted as much as I've asked of them. It's a love hate relationship, that's for certain. And someone overheard me in my moment of furry and offered to take them off my hands for me.

But the root of my frustration? I'm tired. I've been asking a lot of my body lately and pushing it to new extremes. And today is no exception. On tap for this evenings workout - a thirty lap warm up with regular increased intensity, two jumps (accelerations) in the warm up gear and then four "balls to the wall" 500m efforts in a large gear. One from a stand still and three using the banking to get my speed up and hold it.

To those unfamiliar with track racing, which to be honest, is pretty much everybody, only four efforts for a 500m distance sounds doable. And in the grand scheme of things - it really isn't that far. But the trick, and this is wear practice pays off, is to will your body, equipment, and mind into one singular focus - going fast as humanly possible. Where every ounce of energy, every muscle in your body, every cell in your brain is focused on rotating your pedals forward.

The wind up for the flying efforts (which just means you can use the banking to get going) is supposed to be hard. It's as nearly as hard as the effort itself. You glide along the rail at the top of the track and when entering into corner three, you start increasing your speed to come up off the banking. Between three and four, you start pushing the pedals to slowly accelerate, upping your speed as you use the easy speed on the banking between corner four and one. You then hit the gas to accelerate up corner one, the legs start screaming but you have to keep on the throttle before corner two as your whole body contracts and then out of the saddle as you exit corner two down the banking into the sprinters lane by corner three, like a rocket at 100%.

If you did the wind up correctly - the out of the saddle portion can only last a short while before your body forces you to sit back down. In a flash you're coming out of corner four, driving your knees up as you swiftly travel the long straight away, into the wind, wanting to stop, wanting so badly to quit, but driving it anyway. You feel your momentum slowing, but you keep willing your body to push on. Tunnel vision ensues, things start to narrow and a black tunnel tunes out external noise. As you push the final few meters to the line, you feel like you're detached to your body, floating above and cheering for it to come across the line. Immediately afterward the rush of being in the moment comes crashing back in and you gasp for air, ready to pass out from the sheer exertion of what just happened. The next lap is coming back down from the pain oasis you just visited, coming back into consciousness. The endorphins don't even do it for you any more. The pain has taken over. And as you roll out a few more laps before collapsing on the infield in attempt to recover and do it all again - you think how good it feels to be alive. How fortunate you are able to make your body push so hard and let it respond. How ultimately fulfilling it is to be in the here and now and doing what you love.

It's actually hard to relay this kind of thing to other people. I realize how single minded and focused this sport has made me - partly because if you don't you'll never know if you really gave it everything you had - and partly because I really enjoy what I do. I've sacrificed a lot - living a certain lifestyle that compliments my focus, surrounding myself by an army of people who support me, sought out the best experts, opinions and continue a disciplined approach toward my goal.

I am devoted to this sport as some people are religious. My pursuit is one of high performance and doing everything within my power to get there. It can be overwhelming at times, exhausting at others, exhilarating, giddy, and come to think of it, I've experienced every single range of emotions. It makes me feel alive and I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Early Summer Harvest

Just opened my last jar of jam this morning... which is just in time for the berry season! Since we've been having an unusual spring/early summer, only u-pick strawberries are available for $1/lb. If we get some more sun the raspberries will be right behind... and then blueberries! YUM! Bring on the summer fruit.

We're also going crabbing this weekend and giving fishing a go.... hopefully we'll catch some salmon or something to smoke at Danielle's. One thing's for sure - this weekend will involve lots of good season eats. That's a big W in my book.

A Gem....

Oh my goodness. This is way too good.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oh - and I'm still thinking about boxing.... check out this promo for a new book Mary Ann Lurie Owen made on woman's boxing.


Yesterday was a rest day. A complete and total rest day. I actually got bored but now am wishing it were still here. Actually, I thought I would take this time and do a little bit of catch up since the entries have been low the last couple of weeks....

Racing and training is in full swing. I am doing double days pretty much every day from now until Nationals. The goal is to make me as tired as possible so that I can perform under exhausting conditions and still do well. As I train my body to take the punishment, I am also focusing on the mental aspect and pushing beyond preconceived notions and expectations.... and instead am focusing on preferences. So far that's resulted in multiple podium finishes but not quite the big W. It is making me hungry for it, that's for sure. I am definitely stoked on the consistent podium placements but that top step alludes me for some reason....

What's on tap? Well crabbing season opened up June 18, which means this weekend Chris and I are dropping some pots in area 13 for the weekend. YUM- Crab!!! And maybe some salmon fishing this weekend?!?

It's almost July and Seattle has yet to have several nice days in a row - and the weather is what's on everyone's mind. Usually we Northwesterners put up with the 9 months of raining for the 3 amazing months of summer - so when we don't get it, well we feel cheated.

I sold Ryan's motorcycle. This is pretty big. It's been sitting in the garage for almost two years and I am trying to downsize my personal belongings. Some nice ladies out of Vancouver BC bought it and paid $200 above blue book value.

Maggie is still running like a rock star and boy am I glad I didn't sell her! She's the ultimate van - and although she can barely cruise at 70mph she certainly has saved me a ton of money by letting me sleep inside and cook up some meals. VW Westies are the best!

Next on tap? More Friday night race action. Come on out and watch me beat up some boys! And in July there's the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge in Portland shortly followed by the FSA GP. And for the first time in 5 years I should be around for Redmond Derby days....

And what's this? I see blue sky poking its way out of the clouds.... maybe summer will show up today after all. Good thing as I'm headed out to the track for an ass kicking by Jennie, Tela and Mary. Look out!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Some Friday Night action...

Headed out to the track in what felt like the first day of summer racing this year. It wasn't unusually warm - but it was dry. Since I was going to head over to Cheney that night (a four hour drive), I raced the first and last women race and the Cat 3 men's point race.

This first photo taken by wheelsinfocus.com is evidence of how hard I'm pushing... notice the body language? I'm giving it everything I've got to get some points. And it looks like Annette is too!

In the 6x5 points race, Annette and I both contested as many sprints as possible. But in a field of about 30 guys, our work was cut out for us! After the second to last sprint coming into corner two, I motioned to Annette for an attack and thankfully she was game. We put 1/2 lap into the guys before they even knew what hit them.

Bilko, being the wonderful announcer that his is in never giving the race away to the racers, didn't mention it to the racers. So Annette and I swapped leads for the next 5 laps, digging super deep and keeping the fellas at bay. Why didn't they chase?

Looks like they were thinking about it....

But alas, no one caught us. I had to dig DEEP. Check out this rare photo of my pain face. Winning the final sprint put me into 3rd for the Cat 3's! Not bad, not bad! But I did feel it the next day, that's for sure.

I had to lay down for a while after that one. The sky was spinning. Those are the kind of races and efforts I live for.

Next up? The woman's points race. With sprint every four laps. We had a really small turnout - ladies where are you??!!!??? But everyone came ready to race so although our field was small, it was competitive. Amara always comes ready to play and she pipped me at the line for a sprint...

No worries though - as I put her to work for the final couple of sprints. After that move we had a sizable gap over the field, so we kept the pace up and put some time into the field. Not only did Diana Boursaw catch my pain face in the cat 3 race - but she also caught Amara's!

At one point Amara said, "I'm not going to sprint Jen!" or at least I think she said that? Too funny. She did really well though - and I'm stoked to have done some two up team pursuit with her!

That night, Chris and I drove to Cheney, a town about 15 miles outside of Spokane for the Senior State Crit Championships. We got in at 2am and were up at 8:30 so Chris could race in the Cat 5's. The fields were small - with only 8 guys in his field. But he finished! And beat one guy! Not bad, not bad at all!

My field was bigger than expected with 12 super fast ladies ready to throw down for a state title. Bikesale.com had the best representation with 4 ladies, followed by Group Health with 3. Then there were several solo riders - including one girl from Montana who was ready to throw down and collect all the primes. The course was selective - requiring not only semi-sustained climbing ability but downhill cornering and a headwind, power section. I have to be honest - my legs felt terrible. Track racing the night before and a four hour drive? Not the ideal prep - but I gave it a go and suffered with the best of them.

Bikesale kept the pace high - with Lise being on great form - leading the pack for over a lap and shattering the field. Lise can also corner like a madwoman - and it was super fun following her amazing line down through the turns - she is so steady. The hill was interesting - shallow then steep, then shallow but taxing on the legs. By the finishing laps my mind had to will my body to keep pushing. We did about 20 laps? And each time up the hill someone would push the pace. It was brutal. And awesome! Late into the race, with 5 laps to go, a $50 prime was announced and all I could think of was gas money! Plus I had great positioning - third wheel with Lise leading, Alison second and then myself. I sprinted 100% to the line and barely pipped Lise. That time up the hill I was in a dark, dark hole. I was breathing hard, mouth open, legs exploding, foaming at the mouth - and somehow managed to hang on. Going into the bell lap, it was everything I could do to latch on the to bikesale train - but was positioned too many wheels back (5th I think?) so coming out of the final corner, I sprinted to the line to get third, silver in the state. Morgan won - great job for her! It's great to see team tactics come into play and pull off the win - congrats to them. It took me near two hours to feel normal again. Icing on the cake, for sure!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Miss and Out & Scratch

The Miss and Out is my favorite race. It requires power, positioning, endurance and agility. We started the race with 24 women, and after two neutral laps, the officials pull the last person across the line every lap until the field narrows down to three. This is a race that can catch you off guard - so it's important to go in confident and ready to throw down. I sat mid-field for the first several laps, and then made a move up and over the top to guarantee a podium spot. I would up the pace after corner two, drill it into four and then repeat, lap after lap, after lap. Even though I was breaking wind in the front, I don't have to worry about playing the devil and taking massive sprint hits out of the legs. My big move to ensure the top three cost me though - as Hannan sat up in corner three and I just kept drilling it through the finish line. When Beth jumped with a lap to go, I watched her and Laura pull away while my screaming legs rolled in across the finish for third. I'll take it.

And last, but certainly not least was the scratch race. I made a pack with several ladies after the points race that we were going to race our bikes this time. There were wine primes every 5 laps, which definitely helped keep the pace high. Instead of averaging 17mph, we probably averaged 28. That helped shell at least half the field. The final sprint came down between Laura, Beth and I again - this time I was bound and determined to not just sit in. With legs and lungs screaming, I was able to follow Laura in for 2nd. Not bad! But dang it - a win is alluding me this year....

Tela had a fantastic race too! She won a prime and placed 5th! Not a bad day for the two Broadmark ladies....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Points race

This one deserves it's own special post.

Once in a while, woman's racing goes backwards. Instead of demonstrating our ability to ride our bikes hard and fast, we sit up, hang out and wait for the race to happen instead of making it happen.

If you want to see what I'm talking about then view this video:

SportVelo Women Points TVC 2010 from Rick Adams on Vimeo.

So what happened? A whole lot of sitting on, cruising around at 17mph, back pedaling and paddy cake. Any attempts to bridge, chase, or change the race in any way were shut down. I was pretty disappointed with the race - usually we shell quite a few ladies from the field. But this year, every single person stayed in. Oh well. I hope I never experience another race like that again.

That night I tossed and turned in bed, replaying my frustrations over and over. Unfortunately my brain wasn't ready to let me rest despite the early morning wake up call for the sprint tournament. Since I've decided to give the International Omnium a go this year, the more fatigue and punishment I can get out at the track, the better! After vowing off doing the sprint tournaments I was back in the mix, throwing down a 200m TT.

Like clockwork the winds started gusting right at the start of the time trials. I did the 7th fastest time of the morning with a 13.02 and Tela rocked the house in 2nd with 12.7. It was so cool seeing her Darth Vader helmet it up and rock that time!

I was seeded with the 8th fastest time of the day and was a little nervous, yet too relaxed against my unknown competitor. She jumped with 3/4 lap to go, and I had to fumble around a bit too much to come around her and couldn't close it. Doh! No worries though, I could still make it into the semi's by winning a three up rep against Camile and another girl (sorry I can't find the results with names!). Going into the bell lap, Camile nearly took herself out by running into the boards at the top of the track, at which point I decided to get out of there and take a long sprint to the line. That put me up against Dana Fiess, the fastest lady of the weekend. Was I intimidated? Um, yes. And being inexperienced, felt like she completely schooled me on how to put your opponent exactly where you want them - behind you at the finish line.

That loss put me into the 5th-8th round - against three other girls. While they were sitting up, looking at who was going to go first, I made a move from behind and threaded the needle through them and hauled ass to put a substantial gap between me and 6th place. I was definitely happy to get on the podium once again!

Some things I learned - don't over think anything. If you feel the urge to go - then GO! Don't underestimate your opponent or yourself. Anything is possible.

That day temps reached 85 degrees and to kill time between sessions we headed to a salad food bar for some A/C and downtime. Saturday was definitely a busier day - with my all time favorite race, the Miss and Out, and scratch race....

Unleash the Amazon...

Boy, oh boy. Where to let the long story begin? I suppose I'll pick up where I last left off.... a soggy day, one of many, crying the blues as Ryan's presence was sorely missed.

And then, out of no where, a text from Dave (who's like a brother to me), announcing the arrival of Audrey Ryann Downing West. Such a beautiful baby and what an honor to have her named after Ryan. I'm very excited to meet and greet the little one - but had to delay in doing so as a track racing trip to San Jose filled the horizon.

The Wednesday before we (Tela, Mary and myself) left for sunny skies and better weather I scrambled to find a cardboard bike box and last minute race stuff. Thankfully the weather forecast was spot on as I packed a light as possible - sans arm, leg and knee warmers. The one item I will start packing though, especially to out of town races, is a blanket.

We arrived to sunny skies in San Jose on Thursday and after a short fiasco with Fox Rental Car, we headed over to Rick Adam's house to assemble our bikes after a quick bite to eat at Epi (the best deli in Palo Alto!). A couple of rotations around the track and the legs felt good!

The next morning we woke up to sunny skies (a recurring theme, how nice!) and helped sort through some last minute tasks for Rick. Speaking of Rick - for those of you who don't know him, he is the godfather of the American Velodrome Challenge. Simply put - this event would not happen without him. His tireless efforts and amazing fund raising skills as well as focus on putting on a show for spectators and making the most out of volunteers, donations, etc make this one of the best regional track events in the nation, four years in a row. Each year the event runs smoother and smoother - not to mention, he's an excellent cook!

The AVC was renamed this year to reflect the title sponsor's name - Testarossa Velodrome Challenge. Rob and Diana Jensen fully support the NorCal cycling scene and went above and beyond the call of duty to support this event. A few weeks ago during the Tour of California, the Testarossa Vineyard hosted an auction benefiting the Hellyer Velodrome Community by donating wine, a venue and an amazing list of auction items (signed pro tour jerseys!) to raise the final amount needed to pull off the TVC as well as the junior program. They also donated wine for the VIP sponsor appreciation tent held in the infield and gave away bottles of their wine as primes in both the men and women scratch races. And their wine is AMAZING! Check it out here.

Back to the racing though. First up for us ladies - the Keirin. We had three heats, the first two places advance to the final, 3rd and 4th go into the rep to have another crack. Tela and I both easily advanced into the final and Mary made it into the rep ride to have another go. The field was certainly stacked with sprinters - Dana Fiess, Jen Featheringill, Laura McCaughey, Shelley Evans, Tela, Shelby "scrappy" Reynolds, Beth Newell and myself. Young Dana drilled the pace once the motor pulled off and other than my attempt to move forward with a lap and a quarter to go, nothing really changed. We stayed in the order we started for the most part: 1. Dana 2. Laura 3. Jen F. 4. Shelby 5. Me 6. Shelley 7. Beth Newell 8. Tela.

Check out this video for all the action....

Veritas Women Keirin, 2010 Testarossa Challenge from Rick Adams on Vimeo.

These race reports take some time! More to come...
If you can't have summer in Seattle - then you can create it in your house. I turned on some Shaggy and turned my heater back on. Never mind I'm leaving the house in a wool sweater and socks and it's over half way through June....

I know, I've been really bad about updating lately. The short story - racing, podiums, training hard, babies being born, celebrating life and death and everything in between. The long story is coming soon...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It's hard to believe there was a sunny day in Seattle - and not too long ago! Check out the cool Redline I gave my nephew Coleman. Adorable!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ryan's 33rd birthday was Saturday. I had my dates all mixed up, thinking it was Friday but came to the realization that it was in fact Saturday after I had baked a carrot cake Thursday night in his honor. It's hard to believe how much time, and yet so little has passed since he passed away. It's an understatement to say I miss so many things about him.

Dave and Kristin had a little baby girl on the 2nd - and named her middle name after him, which is so touching. I can bet when ever she starts acting like the dickens - they'll be channeling Ryan's playful nature through her.

And another memory of a dear friend Brad - at the Brad Lewis memorial crit. Miss you too.

Soooooo close!

Nearly got Jadine with a bike throw. Next time!

Friday, June 04, 2010

"Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” - Chuang Tzu

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Welcome little one! Congrats to Dave and Kristin on their bundle of joy.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ski to Sea 2010

Every year over Memorial Weekend, the town of Bellingham bursts at the seams with visitors for the annual Ski to Sea race. This 7 leg, 8 person relay race is the coolest 90 mile race that goes from the top of Mt. Baker ski area down to the shores of Bellingham Bay. Cross country and down hill skiing, running, road cycling, canoeing, mountain biking and finally kayaking make this race a kick for all kinds of athletes. Not to mention there are about 10+ categories - from the open competitive to Whatcom County recreational teams and everything in between.

This year 475 teams competed with the top team of Boss Construction ringing the finishing bell around 5 hours and 45 minutes and the last teams finishing around 12 hours.

Together with a group of friends, Ryan and I have been doing this race for the past 4 years. The racers have changed from year to year - last year I missed the race (due to a broken heart of losing Ryan) but this year was back and ready to represent.

I am proud to say High Country Hoodlums placed 41st overall and 22nd in our category.

A little breakdown of our team:

Cam Charles - Skate skier extraordinaire. The first year we participated, Cam was living in SLC, and flew in to crush the field with a top 20 result. This year he broke out the full body skin suit and did an excellent job - 41st overall and 20th in his category.

Cam charged to the finish line to hand of to Brian Dorr, who's house we invaded for the weekend. Brian is becoming the uphill/downhill specialist as he has done every downhill portion of the race since the team first formed 4 years ago. The hike gains 1,000 feet of elevation and you can only carry your downhill equipment - no packs or ipods are allowed.

After pushing people out of his way and getting sweaty, he handed the timing chip to Emily Rimas, a first time participant and recent Boston Marathon finisher. Emily is an amazing athlete and pounded down the 8 mile run with ease.

After crushing the downhill section, Emily had to run 1/4 mile up hill to the road bike hand off where yours truly got to aero out and fly down Mt. Baker Highway at speeds in excess of 40 mph.

Things were going great and we were in the top 30 teams to start the competition. Unfortunately fate had another idea. Roughly 15 miles from the finish of the road portion, I discovered a flat. And rather than stop to change it, I rode the rim in to the finish. Only to discover my canoeist - Andrew Berger - was no where to be found.

33! Number 33!!!! ANDREW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bellingham Herald was all over that action. And about 5 minutes of yelling, cursing, wondering if he was hurt - he comes jogging up from the river!

Meet Andrew Berger. One of Ryan's childhood buddies and an avid canoeist and rock climber. He roped his co-worker Justin in to do the grueling 2 hour 18 mile river leg. In years past, Andrew and Ryan used our recreational canoe and were complaining about getting passed by racing boats. The next year, Andrew spent $600 on a carbon fiber boat that was super tippy - but fast and light. They crushed their previous time and showed off their guns in style.

Next up - the mountain bike leg. Fras Charles, Cam's younger brother and all around bad ass athlete was stoked to partake. He ROCKED the mud and pavement - placing 14th overall! He showed up to the finish line muddy and happy.

And last, but certainly not least, was Ben Hermil, Emily's boyfriend who rocked the kayak portion. He had borrowed Jess's (Brian's wife) dad's rec kayak and brought home the team to the finish line.

And the final shot - Ben cruising along in Bellingham Bay.

Some photos I wish I could have gotten are of our amazing support crew. Jess, Roanne, Abby and Chris - we couldn't have done it without you! Thanks for putting up with a bunch of smelly stinky athletes and sharing the memories with us!

We'll be back in 2011 and ready to crush again....

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lots of life happening right now. Birthdays, anniversaries, races, cavities, hospitals, emotions, ups and downs. Life certainly passes in a whirl wind if you let it. Most important thing for today? Make sure those you love know it.

I love you Gary and Anita and am thinking and praying for you both constantly.