August 2008
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Month August 2008

YMCA Strong Adventure Race: Team Sponsorship Opp!

BIG thanks to the Ocoee Dam Deli & Grill that has stepped up their sponsorship, wanting to give away a FREE team entry to this year’s race! Here are the details… put your thinking caps on people!

YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga
PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release

For more information
contact Lisa Talley

The YMCA Strong Adventure Race announces the “I Want Adventure!” essay contest

Chattanooga, TN. (August 7, 2008) – The age old question of how to get sponsorship in the world of adventure racing is about to be answered. The YMCA Strong Adventure Race, along with the Ocoee Dam Deli & Grill, announces the “I Want Adventure” essay contest.

Interested teams should submit an essay that explains, in 200 words or less, why they should be chosen. “Adventure racing makes for GREAT stories,” explains Cathi Cannon, race director of the events. “We want to hear yours.” To enter, teams should email their essay to adventurecontest (at) by September 8. The winner of the free 12hr team entry will be announced by September 15th.

“We are excited to be a part of the YMCA Strong Adventure Race this year,” says Johnny Gorman, owner of the Ocoee Dam Deli & Grill. “With the race practically in our backyard, we wanted to do something special. In keeping with the spirit of the Strong Kids Campaign, we are offering an entry to a team that normally might not be able to afford to race a longer distance.”

The race, now in its second year, will be held at YMCA Camp Ocoee on October 18, 2008. It will feature a youth race along with 2 adult races: a 6hr and 12hr adventure race. Athletes will explore the majestic Cherokee National Forest by mountain biking, trail running, and canoeing. Youth teams can be made of of 2, 3 or 4 people. The 6hr race accepts teams of 3, and the 12hr race accepts teams of 3 or solo competitors. For more information, please visit the race website at

About the Ocoee Dam Deli & Grill:
The Ocoee Dam Deli & Grill serves up delicious home-cooked breakfasts, deli sandwiches, burgers, and fresh local produce. They are located at 1223 Highway 64, Ocoee, TN 37361. Please call for current hours. 423 338 8184.

About the YMCA:
According to Tripp McCallie, executive director of the North River Family YMCA and Aquatic Center, YMCA programs and services include health and fitness activities, but also provide many other services to the community. The Y provides day camp, youth sports, family enrichment and other programs for children and youth. Through these programs, the YMCA contributes to the health of the community, supports families, builds tomorrow’s leaders, enhances the educational system, works to prevent juvenile crime, promotes good citizenship and volunteerism, and gives parents of all incomes a caring and safe child care environment.

The stated mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Mr. MCallie stressed that “the YMCA is for everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, age, income or ability. The YMCA’s financial assistance program, supported in part through contributions to the Strong Kids Campaign and United Way, provides scholarships for YMCA programs and services for those in need within our available resources.”

Leadville 100…. I survived!

Yes, I did it!  Report, pics, etc to come soon. 

Here’s a great link to a video & pics of Dave & Lance – when you see these two struggle, you know the climbs are bad!

Amanda and I heading down to the start at 5:45am

Tawnya & I riding the red carpet in together

Me & Tawnya, happy to have made it!

the countdown has arrived

actually it’s been going on a long time. too long. i’m at the point where i’m ancy. over the wait and just ready to be at it. it’s a bit scary to think how much i’ve prepped for this one race. yeah, i’ve done bigger/longer stuff, so 12 hours should be totally doable. but all the unknowns just make the butterflies chase eachother: altitude. weather. the crowd factor (riding the course with 3 people is much different than 700+.)

altitude. during my training trip out here 1 month ago (yeah, that one i took that i never wrote about here – oops. check out pics here.), the altitude had minimal effects on me. no headache, no nausea, no extreme fatigue. not to say it didn’t tire me out some – i certainly felt it, especially on some tougher sections where my exertion level would shoot up. i’ll need to be careful there, as it seemed to kick in my asthma a bit. (my plan is to get off my bike and walk a few sections and save my breath, rather than try to muscle up it, lose all my breath, and be on the side of the trail slumped over trying to find oxygen). 
there’s all kinds of theories on acclimatization. 3-4 weeks minimum. go the day before and surprise your body. day 4 is the worse. do this, that, etc. sure, let’s quit our jobs and just move out a month before so we can be ready. but seeing as how that’s not possible, we just have to make a decision. i flew out to steamboat on the 1st (to see my friends during the relay), where i’ve been doing the taper thing all week around 6800′. i’ll have 7 days at this elevation, then driving up to leadville (10,200′) friday morning. last minute. who knows if this will be the right decision. just gotta go with it and believe you’ll be ok. sure, i felt ok during the training trip, but what works one time won’t necessarily work the next. fingers crossed and i’ll continue to hydrate and rest lots. (so far i’ve been feeling good, although some light arrhythmia today. nerves?)
weather. mother nature is always the big unknown. amanda said they’ve been getting showers every afternoon. sure, no problem. maybe it will even make the ground a bit tackier (the elevation gain/loss on the course didn’t seem to be a problem during the pre-ride, but rather the dryness and looseness of the terrain. quite unlike anything back east!) then today the weather says flash flood warnings out there. oh joy. well, i hope it just gets out of her system and we’re left with dry skies; then i can deal with the temperature change more easily. right now, the highs are in the mid-60s and lows right around 40. sounds nearly perfect! the descent off columbine will be a kicker though – that will be around 6 hrs in, topping out at 12,500′. sleet/snow/hail here are not uncommon. 
crowds: sure, any race gets crowded at the start. but take 700+ people and one nasty climb up st. kevins… and what was a challenging climb before becomes even more so when you can’t pick your line but are left to whatever your are forced to take in front of you. yeah, that’s going to be fun. not. then the start line itself. i’ll want a good starting position so that i’m not stuck too close to the back – when i’m going to be fighting to make the time cutoffs, the pack-of-the-packers are certainly at a disadvantage and i don’t need any wasted minutes. at the same time, since i know i’m not going for the gold buckle, i don’t want to be too close to the front and be “one of them”… you know, those annoyingly slow people ahead of you in races that leave you cursing them as you desperately fight your way around.
so those are my thoughts right now. at least the ones that are clear enough to write down, as a zillion things are flying through my head. i’m tired of thinking about it, of talking about it. (sorry if you’ve tried to chat with me and i’ve been in la la land). now to try and get some quality sleep. 

a quick hello from CO

i arrived in denver friday afternoon to sizzling temperatures of 100. luckily it feels better in the mtns of steamboat, but still pretty toasty.

the rock/creek race team successfully got their asses over the passes and finished the wild west relay : 195 miles of running from ft collins to steamboat. i met them en route,  then we crashed at aunt lorraine & uncle steve’s casa for the rest of the weekend. recovery efforts included banana pancakes, icy soaks in fish creek (conveniently located in the backyard), soaks in the hot springs of strawberry park, and lots of local beer. more pics to come.
matt, natalie, lisa, chad, leigh, sam, kevin
today was catching up on some work and enjoying some great weather. i need to find a tripod for better sunset photos. squint and pretend it’s all sharp. :)

Chattanooga Press

Chattanooga has been featured in several mags lately as one of the cool places to be. Last month’s Outside Magazine chose Chatt as the #2 “Best Towns in America“.  The September issue of National Geographic Adventure Magazine includes Chattanooga in its cover article, “Where to Live and Play Now: The 50 Next Great Towns.” They did a small interview with me about my move from Atl to Chatt. Check it out!