Breck Epic 2014 … Race Report

6 days, 240 Miles, 40,000 feet of climbing, cross the Continental Divide Multiple times, this is XC Racing!  This years edition was at its finest, including representation from 25 countries, and 350 athletes.

During the 6 days, a lot can happen when you are racing in the rarified air of Breckenridge.  Bikes and Bodies are run to the limit, and preparation in both departments is key.  Arrive to this race fit, and with a well prepped bike.

In addition to fitness and a good bike, bring your nutrition.  You will be consuming 5000 calories per day.  This starts on day -1 (day before stage one).  This was my mistake during this years edition.  We were so busy, working, travelling, packing, unpacking, etc… that I neglected to start the cycle of eating.

Extra bike parts are key as well.  If you have them you probably won’t need them is the normal adage.  In this case, you will use them.  Normally in 6 days of riding, the only maintenance that occurs is chain lube.  Breck Epic changes that.  Every day, you wash, inspect, and repair / replace parts.  Each stage has tremendous support, but each stage is a really big loop out in the back country.  A hike back to support can take hours.  A few things we replaced this year (they were new when we started).

  • Brake Pads Replaced after stage 4.  Yea, I know.  It’s a race, what are you using brakes for.
  • Tires replaced after stage 4 (side knobs were shredded).
  • Flat tire stage 6.

 

Stage 1 – Pennsylvania Creek – 35 Miles, 6000′

BEStage01Profile

As Mike McCormack (race promoter) says, welcome to Breckenridge, let the Gut Punching Begin!  My lack of nutrition the day prior really set me up for a long painful day in the saddle.  The category we compete in, “Old Guys that are looking for the fountain of youth” is generally huge.  This race is no exception.  At least 40 males, and I was behind most of them at the finish of this stage… Ouch!


 Stage 2 – Colorado Trail - 43 miles, 7200′

BEStage02Profile

The gut punches are rewarded with a descent down Colorado Trail that left a grin on my face for the rest of the day!


Stage 3 – Mt. Guyot - 46 miles, 8100′

BEStage03Profile

This is the Queens Stage of this race.  It is my personal favorite that mixes high alpine meadows, brutal climbs, 30% grade technical descents, and bacon feeds.


 Stage 4 – Keystone Aqueduct - 44 miles, 6300′

BEStage04Profile

The spectators were out in force as everyone tried to climb up Vomit Hill.  Vomit Up!, Vomit Up! was the cheer on the day.   Vomit Hill was followed up by Keystone Gulch Road Climb.  2000′ of vertical.  In case you were wondering, the Aqueduct part of this stage gets it’s name from the old mining flumes that the race route follows around Keystone Ranch.


 

Stage 5 Wheeler - 32 miles, 4900′

BEStage05Profile

Up and over Breckenridge Ski Area at 13,000 feet!  Descend to Copper Mountain, then off to Frisco to ride the Peaks Trail back to Breckenridge.  We covered a lot of ground and elevation on this day.  I have to say, the hardest part of this day is the climb back from Frisco to Breckenridge.  We came back a road as opposed to the “proper” Peaks Trail.  Sections of 30% grades combined with babyheads made this a particular FM section.


 

Stage 6 – Gold Dust - 28 miles, 4800′

BEStage06Profile

Last Stage!  This is the shortest stage, and huge fun.  At the summit of the first climb, we are greeted by a banjo player.  Once we summit the second climb (cross the Continental Divide) the descent is singletrack luge style run.  We then start the last climb of the day, and the race entirely.  The feed zone at the top is full of bacon / skittles / whiskey, pick your poison!


I ended up in 8th overall.  After finishing nearly last at the beginning of the first day, I felt pretty good climbing back up to 8th.

 

Great Results this past weekend!

Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill Climb Road Race

  • Ed Chamberlin – 1st MM 65+
  • Ryan Christianson – 12th Male Cat 5

Winter Park Epic Cross Country Mountain Bike Race

  • Ryan Deppe – 1st Novice Men 16-18
  • Jonah Howe – 1st Expert Men, <=18
  • Marta Morris - 1st Expert Women, <=18
  • Ben Swain – 5th Sport Men, <=18
  • Will Swain – 1st Novice Men, <=15
  • John Klish – 14th Pro Men
  • John Morris – 6th Sport Men 45-49

Manifesto for the Week of 7/21/2014

Good evening LTR team!Klishy here to empower ya with the ride manifesto below!  Before I do that, how did everyone do this last weekend?!  I know we had quite a few people going to Salida…

Tuesday - I’m attending the Local Tuesday / Thursday group ROAD ride @ south end of Canyonview Park (6:00pm); This is a great time to put those critical group / pack riding skills (drafting, reading the group, bridging gaps, sprints, etc!) to practice… The pace varies and you decide what you need / want to do on those local group rides. Some weeks I take it easy and sometimes I put the hammer down, just depends on what my training phase / mode is.

Wednesday - LTR Sports MTB Demo Day @ Lunch Loops Trailhead parking lot (4:00pm-7:00pm); Please tell your friends and family that we are offering free 1 hour-ish demos. Bring your own pedals and helmets for the best ride comparison! We feel it’s not enough to test ride bikes around a parking lot and that you get the best feel for the bikes on the actual trails you’ll ride! We understand how big of an investment it is to get new bikes and we want you confident with your ride… I feel that we offer the best expertise and knowledge to help you achieve the best bike for your riding style… No one else is as passionate as we are!

*NEW ADDITION* – I’ll be riding after the Wed. Demo.  Roll out 7:30ish, depending on if people returned all bikes by then.  This ride is about going with the flow and riding with a group.  Bring your night lights too! :)  Reply back with RSVP!

Thursday - I’m attending the Endoholics TNT ride…

And this weekend, we have FOUR exciting events (two mountain and two road) coming up…  Feel free to send the team (team@livetrainrace.com) an email to coordinate gatherings / carpooling efforts / ideas!  If I missed anything, please let me know as well!

Mountain Biking:

  1. Saturday - Winter Park #4 (Click here for website)
  2. Saturday - Utah ICUP # (Click here for website)
Road Biking:
  1. Saturday - Bob Cook Memorial Hillclimb (Click here for website)
  2. Saturday - Heber Valley Circuit Race (Click here for website)

Bring your bikes in early in the week (Tuesday / Wednesday) to ensure they’re in shape for all the playing you’ll do through the weekend! We want you to play your heart out and live the weekend with passion… After all, your passion is our passion!

Telluride 100 – Inaugural Race

100 mile mountain bike race.  That sentence should be enough.  It was also billed as a 100 mile inaugural mountain bike race with 18,000 feet of climbing in Telluride, Colorado.

Whew!  Honestly, my wife Kristy stumbled across this race online.  She signed me up, and yelled out to the garage, “Hey honey, just signed you up for a Hundo in Telluride, hope you’re fit”.  “WTF, really?  As long as you are OK with me thinking of you 60 miles in and thinking, “Kristy must want to kill me. I am in.”

We arrived in Telluride the day before the race, at about 3pm.  Just enough time to go for a short ride and spin out the travel in the legs.  We ran into Yuki Ikeda and Jeff Kerkove of Topeak-Ergon racing.  They were prepping their bikes for tomorrows race.  I asked if they had any course intel that they were willing to pass on.  They were flying just as blindly as all of us (just stronger).  Juki passed on that the 4wd traffic was pretty amazing up Black Bear Pass.

Race Start.  6am sharp, sortof… 605, and we were off!  Mass start, neutral roll out through Telluride.  We were instructed that once our escort vehicle left us, we were racing, and were allowed to sprint off the front.  Escort vehicle left, and no one left.  I think everyone was thinking 100 miles, uncharted territory, you go first, and sanity prevailed.  Once we hit the initial climb up Black Bear Pass, that all changed.  360 watts was what I was showing as I was dropped from the lead group.  Settle down, just 97.5 miles to go.

Tell100Start

Black Bear Pass, then Ophir Pass, then Coonskin, then Last Dollar.  If I go on about the exploits of each, you may get bored, and leave.

This race was about nutrition, hydration and elevation.  The lowest altitude we were at was 8000′.  The highest was 12500′.  12,5000 feet is HIGH!  The rarified air makes everything a challenge, including feeding and hydrating yourself properly.  Cognitive skills go out the window “The less oxygen you have, the stupider you become”.

Look Close ... There is a Black Bear Feeding from our Feed Station.

Look Close … There is a Black Bear wondering what is in our Green Feed bags… (To the right of the tall building).

We crossed the 11,000′ elevation 4 times.  That makes me, pretty stupid.  We all know that, so let’s just go on from there.

Racing like this requires a team.  From an athletes point of view, it is incredibly uplifting to roll in to a feed zone where your team is there with a presence!  THANKS!

Tell100Feed

My personal finish was 17th overall, or 7th in my category.   Yuki finished first, and was absolutely awesome!

CREDITS:  Race promoter:  Jennifer & Tobin Behling.  They brought a small army of MTB passionate volunteers.  They put on an amazing race, in what they bill as “The Most Beautiful Race on Earth”.  We agree!

LTR TEAM Results from Winter Park Race Rendezvous #3

The Winter Park Race yesterday was tough and had last minute course changes.   But the LTR Devo’s had great finishes: 
NOVICE MEN 15 & UNDER – WILL SWAIN Placed 4th (1:39:12.1)
NOVICE MEN 16-18 – RYAN DEPPE Place 1st (1:40:27.1)
SPORT MEN 18 & UNDER – BEN SWAIN Paced 4th (1:27:22.8)
EXPERT MEN 18 & UNDER – JONAH HOWE Placed 3rd (1:15:27.6)
EXPERT MEN 18 & UNDER – ERIC PIPKIN Placed 10th (1:19:54.9)

Way to go TEAM!

Go Pro Games Results

2014 Edition of the GoPro Games in Vail saw great efforts from great team members!

Saturday 07 June, 2014 – Mountain Bike XC Race

Class : Boys Junior Beginners
Pl Bib Name Age
===========================================================================
3 2604 DEPPE Ryan 16

Class : Boys Junior Sport
Pl Bib Name Age
===========================================================================
4 2351 SWAIN Ben 16
8 2621 BRYGGER Erik 14
9 2352 SWAIN Will 14

Class : Men Sport
Pl Bib Name Age
===========================================================================
9 2349 PRICE Richard 40

Class : Men Masters 45+
Pl Bib Name Age
===========================================================================
3 2390 DRIVER Mike 49
13 2405 BRYGGER Michael 47

Sunday 08 June, 2014 - Time Trial Road Race

Class : Male Masters 45+
Pl Bib Name Age
===========================================================================
7 890 DRIVER Mike 49

Class : Male Masters 55+
Pl Bib Name Age
===========================================================================
1 840 CHAMBERLIN Ed 65
5 821 LEOPOLDT Gerd 68

2014 Gunnison Growler

The 2014 rendition of the G2 is in the books.  I don’t mind saying that it was tough this year.  Two 32 mile laps for a total of 64 miles and 8000 feet of climbing.  The race and terrain is challenging.  This year, rain added another element to the mix. Early in the week prior, we checked the weather for Gunnison.  70% to 100% chance of rain on race day.  Uggh!  We went back and forth several times as to weather (spelling mistake intentional) we should make the trip.  We arrived on Saturday, the day before the race. Race day for G2 starts early.  A 7am shotgun start means 630am staging, leave hotel at 620, wakeup and eat breakfast at 430am.  Personally, a couple of hours of digestion before a race effort is a good idea.  Any less, my breakfast ends up back outside.  After eating breakfast, now all we can do is not look at the weather radar.  Our area on the map is dark green and purple.  It is pouring rain outside at 430am. After packing our musette bag (food, hydration, tools, parts, clothes for the pit area) we left for the start at 620.  The rains had let up, but it is still 32 degrees and drizzling.  This race is tricky to dress for.  You will be on the bike for 5 to 7 hours depending on conditions.  It is a really well supported race, but there is only one pit area that you only get to pass through at the halfway point.  You have to pick your clothing wisely.  In addition to our kit, we went with stretch-cap under shirt, arms, double embrocation on the legs, and carried a wind jacket. The start of this race sets it apart from others.  At 7am, a shotgun blast sends 350 riders onto the road for a neutral roll out start.  We are on the road for about 4 miles being paced by Gunnison PD.  Racing in a tight group is always fun.  Add to this the loud hum of knobby tires on the pavement, and this Mountain Bike Peloton is pretty awesome. Once we hit the dirt, or more appropriate mud, the racing begins.  The first climb on the course is called “Kill Hill” appropriately named for the 20% grade that it is for app .5 miles.  My personal time up this hill was nearly a minute slower than any previous year.  Indicitive of the mud, and things to come. This race is a challenge for a lot of reasons.  Keeping your body going “race-pace” for 6 hours requires more than just fitness.  You have to arrive to this race fit, and with a good plan for hydration and nutrition.  The temps are usually cooler for this race.  This requires even more attention to hydration, as it does not “feel” like you need liquids.  Don’t drink, and the fittest athlete can end up dehydrated inside of a couple of hours.  Dehydration at this altitude, at these temps can lead to hypothermia very quickly. This race is a great mix of single track and double track.  Thrown into the mix are occassional rock drops, step-ups, and other skill testing, and potentially spirit breaking obstacles.  In a 6 hour race, this course works your body and mind. Towards the end of lap one, there is a steep, long climb called powerline.  It is hard in any weather.  The rain forced everyone off their bikes this year.  As you hiked up the mile long hill, with every step your bike got heavier and heavier.  At some points, it became necessary to clear the mud off your tires so they would roll through your frame. It is always a great, welcome sight to roll in to your pit and see your crew.  Fresh bottles, Fresh Gel Flasks, chain lube, and out you go on lap two. Lap two the sun actually came out.  The tread of the race course immediately began to harden, and the speeds picked up dramatically.  This was the redemption lap.  It feels good to be able to push hard on the pedals, and accelerate forward.  That is what we did.  Fitness, Hydration, Nutrition all were good, so we could begin to really crank up the watts for the second lap.  It felt awesome! The end of the race found me in 15th place.  15 minutes faster than my previous best in good weather.  All in all, this was a pretty great day at the races. Quick word about recovery.   Just follow my Strava or Garmin segment the next day.  They lead straight to Signature Reflexology massage in Grand Junction.

LTR Athlete Update – 05/18/2014

Wow!  Summer has kicked off with a passion!  MTB, Road, Tri, Yup!  We are starting off the updates with road, as we have a rider down.

Road …

05/16/2014 – Results for LTR Sports for Superior Morgul Classic- TT

USAC # Name Club Race Group Place
193003 John Klish LTR Sports SM Pro-1-2 33
315188 Marta Morris ExergyTWENTY12 SW 3 9

Results for LTR Sports for for Superior Morgul Classic- Criterium

USAC # Name Club Race Group Place
193003 John Klish LTR Sports SM Pro-1-2 39
315188 Marta Morris ExergyTWENTY12 SW 3 8

Results from Ltr Sports for Superior Morgul Classic-Road Race

USAC # NAME CLUB RACE GROUP PLACE
406945 Ryan Christianson LTR Sports A 11
315188 Marta Morris ExergyTWENTY12 SW 3 14

 

20140517_MorgulBismark_Klishy

Klishy is doing OK.  He went went out for a run today, and although bruised, he will be alright.

Mountain Bike – Firebird 40

20140517_Firebird40ArchieNicole

Archie & Nicole Lopez crushed it at the Firebird 40 in Eagle, CO!

Nicole finished 11th

20140517_FireBird40_NicoleBottleHandup

Archie finished 34th

20140517_Firebird40_Archie

Mike Driver took outside assistance at the Firebird 40.  While it may get him disqualified, he is willing to take his chances.

20140517_Firebird40_KMStart

 

Training …

Adam was training today and dislocated his shoulder.  Stop by the shop so he can tell you how it happened.  The good news, he is on the mend, and will be back at it soon!

Firebird 40 Mountain Bike Race in Eagle – This weekend, 05/17

Are you in?  No excuses, you should be there!  There is a distance for every liking:

DISTANCES (real ones)

  • FIREBIRD 40(ish) “But you said 40…ish”. Yes. We did. Yet making you turn another lap seems kind of cruel. And last year’s field (led by World Cupper Todd Wells) all agreed. Trust us – it’s long enough. You get 24.2…but it’s an awesome 24.2.
  • SMALL BLOCK V8 Riders: please eliminate the 4th loop. Your course will be slightly shorter at 18.8 miles.
  • 4CYL TURBO RIDERS: you’ll complete the FIRST loop along with JUST ONE LOOP of what’s been describe above as the “Third and Fourth Loop”. Your total distance is 9.4 miles.

Race Intel is here.