Team Nike Kicks off the 2008 Season with a Win in Moab

7 04 2008

Moab Adventure X-Stream startThe team got the season started on the right foot, with an emphatic win at the 8th annual Adventure Xstream 12 Hour Race in Moab on Saturday. Team members Mike Kloser, Michael Tobin, Daniel Weiland and Sari Anderson finished the 50-mile course in just over six hours, well ahead of a strong team from Boulder Performance Network.

The race started with seven mile duckie paddle on the Colorado River from Gold Bar to Potash.
Sari and Dan paddling out in front

The team from Boulder Performance Network, led by world-class paddler Mike Freeburn, set the pace and reached the take-out for the paddling leg about a minute ahead of Nike. The teams then transitioned to their mountain bikes, for the long, steep climb to Gemini Bridges via Longs Canyon. Nike’s strength on their bikes helped them quickly catch up to the Boulder team and pass them on the climb.

At Gemini Bridges, the teams dropped their bikes and set off on an hour run to the top of the arch, where they roped in for the rappel.
The Rappel at Gemini--look closely and you can see Mike on the rope.


The highlight of the race was definitely the ≈300 foot rappel from the top of Gemini Bridges.
The teams then mounted their bikes again for the descent back to Gold Bar. Team Nike finished with a comfortable margin over the Boulder team, and then sat back to enjoy some cold beers at the finish line while cheering on the other 400+ racers who raced on Saturday.

All alone at the finish


Kloser Wins Record Fourth Elk Mountains Grand Traverse

31 03 2008

Photo Courtesy of the Aspen TimesMike and Jay congratulate one another at the finishMike and his teammate Jay Henry endured blowing snow, freezing temperatures and even a few wrong turns in the dark to claim another victory at the eleventh annual Elk Mountains Grand Traverse on Saturday with a time of 9 hours and 4 minutes. Jimmy Faust and Pat O’Neill of Crested Butte, who have won the race three times, finished in second place.

The race was neck and neck for the two top teams from start to finish. For the first time this year, both the Nike team and the CB team choose to wear lightweight AT skis and boots instead of nordic gear. On the rolling terrain atop Richmond Ridge, just a few miles from the top of Aspen Mountain, Mike and Jay kept their skins on while Jimmy and Pat skied the downhills and bootpacked the uphills, gaining time and eventually passing Mike and Jay. Cresting the final hill to the top of Aspen, Mike and Jay stripped their skins and skated back into the lead, while Jimmy and Pat had to click back into their skis. Mike and Jay skied down Aspen Mountain through several inches of new, wet, heavy snow all the way to the finish line at the base of the gondola, three and half minutes ahead of the CB team.

Jay, a ten year veteran of the pro mountain bike circuit, said it was one of the hardest races he’s ever done. Mike now has a won the Grand Traverse a record four times.

The Aspen Times has a full account of the race here.

And Scott Willoughby from the Denver Post wrote a great story as well.

Preparing for the Elk Mountain Traverse

21 03 2008

Elk Mountains Grand Traverse logoby sarianderson

Mike K. and I are finishing up our training for the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse, the epic ski race from Crested Butte to Aspen, which starts next Friday at midnight in CB. Mike has won the Traverse twice with Dan Weiland and then last year he won it with Stephen White. This year Mike is racing with our buddy and pro mountain biker Jay Henry, who helped the team win an adventure race in China last year. Jay is a strong nordic skier and together with Mike, they’ll definitely be the team to beat.

I’ll be racing with veteran adventure racer Billy Mattison, a member of the original Team Vail that won the Eco Challenge in Morroco. Billy and I hope to win the co-ed division.

In the weeks leading up to this race we’ve all been debating whether to use nordic ski gear or randonnee gear. Brian Smith and Jon Brown from Crested Butte raised a lot of eyebrows with their strong performance at last year’s race. They were in the lead for much of the race wearing lightweight rando gear. Although Mike and Stephen ended up passing them for the win, many of us are now wondering if rando gear is the way to go.

At this point, we’ll be waiting to see what the weather and snow conditions are like on Friday afternoon and making the gear decision then.

A Pair of Seconds at America’s Uphill

20 03 2008

Team Beaver Creek

The America’s Uphill race begins at the base of Aspen Mountain and climbs 3,267 punishing feet up to the finish line at the Sundeck Restaurant, which sits at an elevation of 11,212 feet. Racers can wear whatever they want to get up the mountain: snowshoes, nordic skis, tele skis, AT skis, running shoes, etc. This year, Mike and Sari chose to wear lightweight Nike flats modified with metal cleats screwed under the forefoot for uphill traction in the snow.

Team Beaver Creek brought a strong contingent of local athletes over to defend their team title, but the competition from the Ute Mountaineer team proved to be too tough this year. Mike finished in second place behind 2007 Mountain Runner of the Year, Ricky Gates, while Sari finished behind legendary mountain runner Anita Ortiz. Full Results here.

Sari wins XTerra Winter World Championships

19 03 2008

Sari XTerra finish line
Sari Anderson of Team Nike won a come from behind victory at the XTerra Winter World Championships on March 8. Anderson’s Nike teammates, Mike Kloser and Michael Tobin, finished in fourth and fifth place respectively at the inaugural winter XTerra event, held at the Snowbasin ski resort in Utah.

“This was an incredibly exciting win and comeback for me,” stated Anderson, who gave birth to her baby girl Juniper just eight months ago. “It was a terrific course and the competition was world-class.”

The XTerra Winter World Championships multi-sport competition began with a 10km mountain bike ride in the snow, followed by a 5km snowshoe race, a 5km snow run and an 8km ski mountaineering race.

Rebecca Dussalt, an eight-time U.S. National XC Ski Champion and 2006 Winter Olympian, jumped to an early lead in the race, putting a four minute lead on Anderson after the mountain bike leg. Anderson held onto second place through the snowshoe leg, but on the snow run Kerri Nelson, the North American Snowshoe and Winter Triathlon National Champion last year, overtook her. At the beginning of the ski mountaineering leg, Dussault had a three-minute lead over Nelson, who left the transition just a few seconds ahead of Anderson.

Read the rest of this entry »