Saturday, May 8, 2010

Polar Water Bottle Review

Well it has been a while since I have posted, but I started training again this morning for my marathon that I'm racing in on July 24th. None the less when I am just running I tend to wear my backpack, but carry my two Polar water bottles in it in stead of filling my Camelbak bladder. Usually works out well as I will carry one in my hands and leave one in my pack as I run.

Well as I was running Pass Mtn this morning, 8.2 miles, I did exactly that. One in my pack and one in my hands. As I was running I really paid attention to the design of the bottle. Honestly I just thought it was some goofy design that helped Polar have something unique to be able to sell more. Little did I know that I was wrong. As I ran and held the bottle today I really felt that unique design fit right into my hand. The design is perfect. Also as I switched back and forth from right hand to left hand it felt the same. These bottles rock.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

MultiTerra Targa Review

So during the Red Energy race about a month ago I noticed that Mike was wearing his Hi-tec MultiTerra Targa's. I was really impressed with them and wanted to get a pair to try out. Well I needed to get a few more pairs of Hi-tec's for some of our other members, so when I shot the order off to Josh at Hi-tec I added a pair of the Targa's in for me.

These arrived on a Friday with a few other packages that day. When I got home that afternoon I was sorting through things and seeing who got what and I found my Targa's in there. I slipped them on. It has now been about 8 days since I got this shipment in and I have woren these 7 of these days.

These shoes rock. The traction that these have is incredible. These are extremely comfortable and very easy to slip in and out of, because of the quick pull string design. I think the only thing that I don't like is the elastic draw-strings for the laces. I am a huge fan of the Kevlar draw-strings on my Salomon's. I am going to look at putting a pair of these on my Targa's. I am extremely pleased and excited about these.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hi-Tec Diablo Review

Okay, so as November was wrapping up and I was trying to finalize all of our sponsors and sponsorship for 2010 and I got this awesome response from Hi-tec Shoes that said that they would love to sponsor us and help us out. So as I reached out to the team to get their shoe preferances I started looking as well. Personally owning a pair of Salomon Speed Cross 2 shoes I wasn't sure what I would like from Hi-tec. So I picked a pair of water type shoes for when I'm paddling.

Really hadn't had much time on the water to try these out before my race this past weekend. But I knew that I wanted to use these on this race because of so much of the race being paddling. So as we started the day I through on my Diablos. The first couple of paddling parts I really just wore them as a shoe inside the kayak in case I had to get out for something. Then we got to a point I knew I wasn't going to be going super far, so there was no need to switch into my Salomon's.

It was up a running creek. I was extremely impressed by the grip that these had, as earlier in the day my Salomon's seemed to slip a little on some wet creek rocks that I had been on. The one down side to the Diablo's were the fact that they do have very open sides on them and I stepped in some really loose sand and it got up under my foot.

End of the day I like them and I will continue to use them as my paddling shoe.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Red Energy 18 Hour - Recap

Okay, so we started the day out about 3am meeting at Mike's house. Finally got all the gear loaded and off to Apache Lake around 3:45am or so. Showed up at the Start/Finish line around 6am. Note that I said Start/Finish line and not the transition area. The transition area today would be our floating kayaks.

So 6:30am comes and goes and the Pre-race meeting started about 7:05am. Ran through the basic stuff and laid out the race a little more for us. We got a little more information about how we should be packing our gear. Then we hit 7:25am. Time to start the race.

So we start out paddling about 2.5 miles to the area where we would do the orienteering course. Unfortunately Ryan's kayak was the same quality as the other 3 that we were using. We learned very fast that we need to be towing Ryan to help balance out the kayaking. Around 8:30am we got to the orienteering course. Took about 5 minutes and switched out of paddling gear and grabbed our gear for some trekking.

We headed out to the 11 orienteering points. The first 5 or so came fairly easy to find. Then we got to point 9 and wouldn't be a true adventure race if the point wasn't at the top of the hill. So we trekked up it. Took a good 20 minutes of vertical climbing. From that point we could actually see the next point and then we wrapped up point 11 and headed back to the kayaks. This section was about 5 to 6 miles of orienteering.

Sterling and Ryan immediately start transitioning back into paddling gear. Mike and I started laying out the next points. Sterling quickly came over and helped plot the points as soon as he was ready to allow me to start getting ready to paddle. 5 more paddling points. Out we headed.

Paddling was very slow. We had about 8 miles of paddling before we finished up that leg of the paddling section. Finally got to the next transition point. Here we knew we would be leaving our kayaks and floating transition area for a long time. We knew we needed to pack as much fuel, water, extra clothes and our climbing gear. As we got to this transition point we got a new map that we had to plot 4 more new points.

We headed out on foot to trek. The first point from our transition area was about 6 miles away. We hit that point finally. Lots of trekking and very little jogging, but we made it. Luckily at this point there was water as we were able to top off again. About the time we left this checkpoint was when we hell started.

Trekking up and down through creek beds. Then we finally got to the next checkpoint, which was the turning point in the canyon. We were pushing the time cut off for the canyoneering section of the race at this point. We had about 1 1/2 hours to make it to the canyoneering section and about 3 miles to go. I would say all but about 1/2 mile was all up hill.

We finally made it to the top. Reading the map and a description of the canyon that we were heading to we took a wrong turn. This is the second part of hell kicking in. We were rapidly approaching sunset and the time cut off for the canyoneering section. Well the description was completely wrong and we never made it to the next check point.
About 6:45pm we started heading back to the last manned checkpoint. We got there about an hour or so later. The downhill was just as tough as the uphill.

Upon getting to the manned checkpoint we were done. 14 plus hours later and we did not finish. This was tough. Tougher than the last 12 hour was. If we would have made the canyoneering section cut off we would have finished I think around 6am Sunday morning. Many many lessons learned.

For more pictures click here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Final Week of Preparation

As Saturday rapidly approaches I wonder exactly what I and the other 3 members of Madness are getting into this coming weekend. For the past week it has been in the in the mid 60's and we have gotten almost 3" of rain in the valley.

60's don't concern me if this was only a sprint race (8 hours), but we are 18 hours. The water in the canyon's concerns me with that much rain fall and with the race director telling me that more than half of the race will be canyoneering. These are two concerns. Then we throw in there the possibility of paddling on flat water in the dark in 50 degree weather and there is no transition areas, so all gear is carried the entire race.

Look for the post race report next Monday the 1st of February. If there isn't one than we didn't make it.