"Ask not what your team can do for you, but what you can do for your team."
-Ian Adamson

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sponsorship Benefits

Madness Adventure Racing has managed to pick up some pretty cool sponsors, and those sponsors have been kind enough to give each Team Member some pretty cool gear. Sponsorship gear is better than regular gear in a couple of ways: It being free or reduced cost (of course); but also because it says that these companies, that make gear for the type of racing we do, think that we are worthy enough to carry their names out in front of thousands of people at the races we run.

We, the members of East Coast Madness Racing, have received or will soon receive gear from three of Madness' sponsors: Hi-Tec outdoor/adventure footwear, Gargoyles sunglasses, and Nuun nutritional supplements. It is still early in the year, and the training conditions around here have been abysmal as of late, but this is my preliminary performance review of the gear which I have received and had a chance to test on the trail.

Hi-Tec Multiterra Targa HPI

I got a pair of these amphibious trail shoes from Hi-Tec, and I love them. I understand that some of the other members of Madness had some sizing issues with Hi-Tec, but mine fit great. They are light-weight, airy, and I think that they will dry fast on the run. The day I received them I threw them on and took them for a quick four mile run. The soles are a little more solid than I'm used to in a running shoe, but will be great for running through creeks and rough trails. They are a slip-on style with a quick cinch instead of laces which will be nice for transitioning from one shoe to another during a race. Admittedly, I haven't tried many amphibious trail shoes, but my first impression is that these will work great. I like Hi-Tec's corporate attitude, not just their willingness to sponsor us, but the companies overall outlook, and I look forward to a good relationship with them throughout my racing career.

Gargoyles - Firewall

Gargoyle was generous enough to send me two pairs of glasses, a pair of these Firewalls and a pair of Rovers (go to Gargoyles website for pics and info). Unfortunately, I haven't really had much of a chance to wear the Rovers yet, but I have worn the Firewalls out for a good training session. A seven mile trail run followed by a ten mile bike ride in snowy/icy conditions.

The Firewalls are comfortable and light, I hardly even noticed them. It was very cold, and they never fogged up, and the polarized lenses completely cut out the snow glare. I hope that I like the Rovers as much as the Firewalls.

Nuun - Active Hydration Tablets

On that same seventeen mile training session, I used the Nuun Tri-Berry flavor tablets in my Camelbak. Following Scott's advice I mixed it weak, only using two tablets for 100 fl oz, and I have to say that was good advice. Early in the run I thought that the mix seemed a little weak, but the farther I went the sweeter it seemed and by the end I wouldn't have wanted it any stronger. All in all, the flavor was good, and I'm sure the additional electrolytes helped me stay hydrated.

Don't expect this hydration additive to really serve as fuel however. The only other fuel I used was a ClifBar between the trail run and the bike ride, and by the end I was almost totally out of gas. That was the closest I've ever come to Bonking, and I will definitely fuel accordingly in the future.

So, in review, all three products that I've received as sponsorship have performed well for me, and I look forward to testing them all harder in the future. I'm also on the look out for better performance fuels to try out, so if you've got any suggestions I'd love to hear them, and try them out. Stay tuned for more product reviews as I get the change to test different things during training and races.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blackwater Creek Results

We got together in the rain on Sunday to run the second of our training 5Ks, and then ended up running a few extra miles. By the end everyone had run between 6 and 6 1/2 miles, in the rain. Trail conditions weren't that bad, only one or two icy spots, and the rain was really more like a drizzle or heavy mist most of the time.

Todd - 24:00
Alexis - 25:06
Jordan - 25:35
Erin - 28:00
Tyler - 34:22

Team Average - 27:24

With the exception of Jordan, everyone's times slipped a little since the last race, which we all agreed was the result of a more challenging course and the rain, and some cramping for some of us. So congratulations Jordan for the most improved time! Where everyone else added roughly one minute to their times, Jordan shaved off 1:05, which translated to about a two minute improvement the way I see it.

With the first real race of the year coming up in less than a month we all need to stay focused and keep training. We also need to make some final decisions about our race calendar and get a schedule hammered out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This Team Trains Together

Sunday we all got together at Peaks View Park, braving 20 degree temperatures and icy trails, to run the first of our Motivational training races. Nobody wanted to be there, but we all showed up, ran a 5K through the park, and everybody ended up feeling pretty good about their times. Being the middle of winter, where it is hard to find time, appropriate temperatures, and the proper motivation to train we were all wondering what the times would be like.

Todd - 23:04
Alexis - 24:20
Jordan - 26:40
Erin - 27:20
Tyler - 32:55

Team Average - 26:52

Granted, it was a really easy course, I think that it gives us a good reference to base our training on. Also, it's just nice to get out in the fresh air (even if it is freezing) and run with your team.

So, with these encouraging results, we'll see how this coming Sunday's run goes.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day Fun Run

This morning the girls of East Coast Madness (Alexis, Erin and Jordan) managed to make it out to the Riverside Runners New Year's Day Fun Run and put away five miles like it was (almost) nothing. The temperature was cold, the roads a little icy and the donuts all gone by the time we got back but nothing beats a group run and it was a wonderful way to start the year off on the right note regarding our training and our spirits. This year is shaping up to be a big year for East Coast Madness with triathlons, adventure races, and marathons (both half and full) filling up the calendar. We must keep on one another to stay on target with our training goals to see that this year is as successful as I know it can be.

A huge thank you to Chris who stayed in with four children under three so that we could start the year off on the right foot and a Happy New Year to all.

New Years Resolution

So after a few good training sessions and a few discussions about the 2010 Race Season, I believe that East Coast Madness is planning on racing the Angels Race in Lynchburg VA on the 25th of April. It is a triathlon with a 300m swim followed by 25k on a bike and wraps up with 5k on foot. I think it will be the first triathlon for each of us and we are already making additional resolutions about training for it.