Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rachel Challis Update

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I have been so lazy at keeping up to date blogging on the ZOOT Ultra Team site but I've found my way in now....

It's part way into the season now so i have a few results and memories to share.

Results: 12th Pro California 70.3, 9th Pro Wildflower, 2nd Elite Encinitas Sprint.


CA 70.3: Very very cold before we got into the ocean. Warm water once we got in the ocean (as it was SO cold outside). Cold getting onto the bike. Haley (ZOOT Team also) whizzing past me near the end of the ride. Part of the run being on the beach (this was an unwelcome change from last year). Seeing my 2 kids out there cheering for me on the run. Feeling better and better on the run to finish feeling strong

Wildflower: Trying to find the camp ground at 1am with 2 kids in the car and the gas tank near competely empty. Arriving to set up site noticing that my 2 year old had wet his car seat while asleep. Amazing atmosphere once everyone arrived - you have to experince this race just f or the camping atmosphere, but make sure you get an elite site as the rest of the place is mahem. Treatment like a queen - as a Pro we were SO well looked after. Thank you Dixie! Very green water (to swim in). Very steep hill to start the ride. Realization that Polar Heart Rate Hill was nicknamed that for a reason - it never ended! A run like I could never imagine - trails, hills +++. But again, a great atmosphere as the run looped through the camp ground. My 3 and 4 1/2 year old running up to me at the end of the race showing me the sign they had made - always a tear jerker for Mum! Really really sore quads as soon as I stopped. Being amazed how ice could improve my pain totally.

Encinitas: Fun, well organized local race. Good competition - Kate Major! Lots of happy clients (I had 12 Training Transition clients also racing) cheering for me and for me to cheer on after I finished. Trying SO hard to hold onto Kate for the swim and the ride, but I just couldn't keep up with her in the run.

What's next? San Diego International then Vineman 70.3.

Keep up the good work everyone and good luck.

Rachel Challis

Friday, May 29, 2009

Racing the Spring Classics

Get used to the view at the right...

The short of my spring...4 races, 5 weeks

10th - St Anthony's Triathlon
Swim –
POW goes the gun, & 2009 is underway. A bit of contact as we dashed into the water. Everybody started dolphin diving as I continued to wade driving the legs forward in the water. The swim was a 4 foot chop. Chop, not waves. They knocked you every which way with no particular interval. I just swam hard chasing splashes ahead of me. By the first turn buoy, 500m, I was sick from the beating and rocking of the waves. I kept after it, the swim never really got hard, because it was more of a wrestling match with the water. You never really got into a groove and was able to get your stroke efficient. I would emerge from the water 12th and charge through T1.

Bike –
Home sweet home, flat windy roads. I quickly charged into 6th place in the first 5K, it was then that I was working on passing a very familiar bike, Terenzo. We had pushed each other for much of 70.3 Worlds last fall, and he and I knew, it was time to roll. We flew riding side-by-side (which is allowed in USAT Pro racing). We were making up ground and fast when at mile 15 my legs weakened. I jumped out of the saddle, but there was nothing. I bit my lip geared up tried to spin, then geared down and tried to roll the large gear, nothing. DAMN. I watched Terenzo maintain pace and roll away. I kept the pace strong and maintained 5th place…I charged into T2. Grabbed my left shoe, and put it on my left foot…$H!T, that is my right shoe. Valuable seconds lost.

Run –
After becoming frustrated at the end of the bike and transition I really pushed hard the first mile of the run, holding Stuart Hayes about 10 seconds up. Then his legs came to him and he drew away. Mile 2.5 the ITU boys caught me, 3 more positions gone. Then David Thompson caught me at the turn around. I was able to hold pace with him until just before mile 5. He then set sail for Cameron Dye, as I began to struggle. With 500m left, Kevin Collington caught me, we both surged, he had a lot more than I did. I would look over my shoulder and see nobody, I gave it one last push, but would maintain the 5m gap. 10th, with a time that any other year would have placed much better. It was a great all around performance, but I just wanted a better finishing position.

1st - TriZou Triathlon
RACE DAY - As Joe & I roll to transition, I am nervous. I know that today I will race against argueably the best triathlete in history, and head to head. Mark Livesay (Race Director), puts each elite in their assigned lanes, I got first pick being defending champ, Simon got 2nd pick...Finally BEEP. We are off. I swam strong and after 200 I was a body length up on Lessing and even w/some young blood 5 lanes over. Then wham...missed the wall. Suddenly I am even with Lessing, I paniced and slipped even further behind...Costly mistakes, but as we exited the water the three of us were seperated by 2 seconds. We entered transition and I quickly took the lead. I jumped on my bike and it was time to punish. I hammered down on the pedals and the Veritas put every ounce into the pavement. As I came to the pigs tail at mile 13 I looked around the long radius turn and saw nobody. I had at least 40 seconds. T2 went just as smooth as T1. Time to RUN. The first opportunity to get a look at my lead was on a short out and back at mile 1. Ok 10 steps, 15 steps, holy $h!t, he's on a mission. I focused on cranking it over. I would look 2 times more in the next 1.8 miles. I just had to keep it pinned. I had a big enough lead, I think. As I started down the finish chute I glanced one last time, 60m back. YA BABY.

3rd - Memphis In May
I had a great start and just rolled in the swim. I got out of the water feeling like I had a solid swim, and now it was go time. I tripped over myself in T1 and fumbled around.

The bike, 25+mph winds, just my bag. I rolled, I felt the wind, but I cut through it well. I caught #4 at mile 5, then it was just me riding by myself. I saw nobody the rest of the bike. I just pedaled, no officials, no photographers, no athletes, fans...just me and the wind.

I got into T2 and kept the transition woes. My number belt was caught under the rack. COME ON! DAMN IT! For the frist time at mile 2.7, Walkers on the road. I am not the only person out here. I would see Cameron as I neared the turnaround...I was guessing I was still 40 seconds out of the W. I pushed, but kept cramping. I just kept my foot in the throttle. I would see Cameron on the Levee, maybe 700m up...race over? NO, Never say die. I pushed it all the way though, but it was just not enough. I walked back down the levee and cheered on the remaining pros. It was a solid race, but I got beat by a guy in better shape right now. I did have the fastest bike split, but still need to work on all three (for sure).

15th - ITU Austin
The swim was strong. I faltered a bit here and there but all in all I was strong and accomplished goal 1. The first 35K of the bike worked to perfection. I would do a few pulls, I accidentally rolled off the front 1 time, but I was spot on. As the bike got closer and closer to the end, I started salivating. I was stoked for the run. With 5K to go I went to the back to stretch my back and legs. I really meant business on the run.

It was right then when an ITU bonehead (somebody that can swim and run, but could not handle a bike, there are a lot of these in the sport) decided to look over his shoulder clipped the curb then swerved back into the road and crossed wheels and then it was the classic peleton accident. 1 Lane wide, curbs on both sides. I was on the brakes and moving left when I got hit from behind and a bicycle flew in front of me and I went over the handlebars, and anthor rider and landed on a bike. It was a soft landing as I felt carbon cracking. I quickly dislodged my arm from under the crank of the bike that I landed on. I tried to stand up but I was still clipped in, that problem was quickly changed and I was back on my feet. I rolled the bike forward and the rear tire wouldn't turn, brakes are fine, then I look down to see the rear derailuer is pushed into the spokes. I give it a yank and it is out of the spokes.

I jump on my bike, twisted derailuer and all and drop a 5K TT to try and catch the peleton. I made up everything that I lost in crash, in the 55-11 (my only gear) with a derailuer that was badly twisted. It took a toll on the legs but I got off the bike in the game. My legs were no longer fresh for the run and as I started the run I felt a throbbing in my quad. I deep bruise from the wreck. It hurt emmensly and I considered bagging it after 1/2 a lap but muscled on. I would run with Dave Kuendig and Eric Limkeman much of the run. I would melt into 15th place. If I was fresh, who knows. I was so pissed from the events that had happened. ITU needs to add a bike test to get rid of these hazards. This is the 2nd time I have gotten wrecked with somebody elses shit in 7 ITU races that I have done. All in all there were a lot of positives. Swam well, ran well. Now I just need to FIX myself and my bike!

The spring was very successful thanks to Veritas Coaching, Gin Optics, Gu, Alcis, Zipp, Suunto, View Goggles, & especially ZOOT! THANK YOU for the support.

Train Hard
Train Safe

Andrew Starykowicz
Keep up with me at:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Austin ITU Pan American Cup Race

Hello to all you Zooters!

I wanted to do my first race report on this blog and see how it turned out. It looks like everyone is off to a great start from what I have read so far! I'm glad to see that. 

crashed in a crit/road race last Tuesday and tore my bib shorts and ultra jersey up when my body met the road :( There was a lot of blood, so I had to get stitches on my left middle knuckle and I have some gnarly road rash on my leg and the worst is the damage to my left shoulder, it suffered a large skinning on the road and so it is taking a while to heal. I was able to train after taking a day of rest and believe it or not the hardest part has been swimming, because of the left shoulder not being able to move from the large scab! Gross I know! 

On a better note, I decided to keep to my plan of racing at the ITU Pan American Cup in Austin, Texas. I got there on Saturday night and the race was on Monday. My body was weak from recovering from the crash on Tuesday, but I was really excited to race! It was really hot in Austin and the race was at around noon. There were over 50 pro men at the start, but only 38 would finish.

The swim was tough for me, but I held on to get in the front group. We swam 1500 meters in around 16:20, so it was a quick swim. I was lucky to make the front group coming out of the water and settled in on the bike. We got swallowed up by a larger pack on the bike, and so I just sat in that group and relaxed, looking to run well with fresh legs off of the bike. Unfortunately, there was a crash in the middle of the pack on the last lap of the bike and so I got caught in that and crashed again! I was able to get up and check my bike, continue on with the race, but I was very tight and stiff from falling. 

From there the race was painful to say the least. I hurt my right leg this time, landing on someones sharp chain rings :( So, the run was not fun, but I pushed on and was able to finish 32nd out of 50 or so pros. I was struggling to survive the run and wanted to quit, but I kept calm and pushed forward. It was not the best race of my life or what I wanted, but I was lucky to come out of the race without any broken bones. I will take this race as a motivator for training and racing in the future.

I hope to get healthy and continue hard training! Thank you to Zoot and all of the great sponsors, GU, Orbea, Fuel Belt, Cheetah Bar, Suunto, and Alcis for all of the support the season! Good luck to everyone in your up and coming events!

Kalen Darling

Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon

Hi, Team ZOOT

Just wanted to update how my season is going.
I did Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon about two weeks ago (May 17, 09).
It was my first "Tri"athlon for this season. I went down to Oceanside for Ironman California 70.3 in April, but I had to pull out after the bike due to the heel pain, which started one week prior to the race. It turned out to be a stress fracture and kept me away from running for four weeks.

Anyway, I started to run two weeks before the MHST and decided to do the race in the last minute. I knew the run would be ugly, and it was.... but I managed to place 2nd in my age-group and 4 th overall. It was such a fun local race (some big name pros came out!) and great to see a lot of familier faces. And, I was glad to be able to do all three!

Hope all of you are staying healthy and having a great early season!
Megumi Masuda

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

Hey Team Zoot! Just wanted to chime in with some deets about my race this past weekend - the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon. Even though this race was not on my "A" list this year, I still look forward to it every year. The Race Director, Sean, always puts on the best races around here. Plus, the race finishes at Lambeau Field (which you also get to run through) and has all-you-can-eat-brats with beer at the finish. Gotta love that!

The day before the race we had some crazy wind around here. Thankfully, it died down and gave us a decently nice day - mid 40s at the start, sunny, some wind, but not too bad to start off with. Overall pretty nice. Taking this race in stride with training, everything went pretty well. I've had better races but still a decent showing for today. I took a time of 1:18:39 - placing 3rd out of 158 in my age group and 27th out of 3744 overall.

You can have all the details in the race report that is on my blog. I also have a few pics of the day which will be up here as well.

Up next, Kansas 70.3 in June. I'm really looking forward to tri season around here! Any one else racing Kansas?

Take care...train hard!

Taken from

Monday, May 18, 2009

Encinitas Sprint Triathlon

Hey gang, Just back from yesterday's Encinitas Sprint, which saw a number of impressive performances by local San Diego Zoot team members....Carlsbad pro Rachel Challis (at far right) came off the bike with Kate Major (second from right) to an eventual 2nd overall placing, Encinitas-based David Valencia ran an incredible 16:53 5K off the bike to cinch the 2nd elite male place and Kristin Mayer and Darcy Eaton were 2nd and 3rd in the always competitive women's 40-44 AG. As for me, let's just say I hung in there as best I could and tried to keep Rachel in sight during the run. I was starting to run on fumes as this was day 2 for me of the Macho Man competition, a new kind of multisport race, which might be why Eli asked me to do this post. For those of you who haven't heard of this idiotic competition and might want to do it next year it's the brainchild of (who else?) Paul Huddle and Roch Frey. It involves a 5K run and 6 mile paddleboard race the first day, then a sprint triathlon and 1 mile ocean swim the next. Huddle and Roch had a small group of us--Kate Major, Scott Tinley (second from left) and a couple of local studly triathlete/paddleboarder/swimmer-types--test out the event this year so they could work out the bugs for next year. This year's prize was a framed photo of our governor for the winner of the cumulative time, muscle-t-shirts with Arnold on the back for those like me who managed to finish all the events. I was at a bit of a disadvantage since everyone owned paddleboards and I'd never been on a paddleboard before in my life. But Roch said no problem, brought one of his spares to the beach and gave me a quick 30 second lesson (paddle it like a surfboard). I grew up surfing, so I figured like a complete idiot, how hard could this be? I found out the next morning when I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. It wasn't pretty, let me tell you. I spent 30 minutes on a foam roller trying to get the kinks out of my neck, arms, back and legs before I could even get into the car to drive down to the race on Sunday. Anyway, long story short, if you paddleboard and can recover quickly, this 2-day event may be for you. It may not gain the popularity of Ironman, but you'll feel like you did one the next day! For those of you interested in how things sorted out at the beach in the Macho Man yesterday after the one-mile swim...a local triathlete/paddleboarder named Deon Lourens (at center with appropriately enough no shirt) won the overall, Tinley was second and I came in third. Kate (winner of the women's division, but also the only woman to compete) beat me as well (hey, at least I'm coming clean with all the facts), but we were within about a minute of each other. Which gives me hope for next year, cause it'll give me some time to get in some paddleboarding---Kim McDonald

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hey fellow Ultra Team members! Bryan here with a quick early season update. In March, went to the Lake Havasu triathlon and crashed 3 miles into the bike and had to drop out. Don't worry, it wasn't the Ordu....oh and I was fine. Next up on April 18th my wife and I traveled to Rocky Point, Mexico, for the Las Palomas triathlon where I was 3rd overall in the Olympic, she won her AG in the Sprint and neither of us got Swine Flu. Good times...oink, oink...
But the best was the Dirty 6 Mud Run 2 weekends ago. 6 miles with 9 obstacles and water hazards ending with a 20 yard crwal through the mud. I ended up 2nd overall but manged to score the best finishing pic...EVER!
Train Safe, Be Well!

Bryan Dunn

Kaanapali Klassic Rough Water Swim - Maui

April 26, 2009
The start was at Canoe Beach in knee deep water and I was out with the lead pack to the first turn. I was in the first three swimmers to the turn and came out in the lead. I swam at a strong steady pace off the front, but only briefly, because I was caught and swam side by side with the eventual winner. I got in his draft for a little while and would have been happy to stay there, but when he surged I could not match his effort.

He put about a 10 meter gap on me before he settled back into his pace, and I was resigned to swim in second place. There was a glimmer of hope when I was passed one more time by another young swimmer making a strong move. I sat on his hip, and then his feet, and we were gaining on the leader. If we had worked together, we would have caught him and it would have been a three way sprint for the finish. I'm not sure what happened, but the 2nd chaser dropped off when I took over leading the chase.

We had gained enough ground that I thought I might have a chance to catch the leader, I worked and worked and pulled up to about two body lengths behind. He was taking an outside line for the final turn, so I cut to the inside to gain as much time as possible. I almost had his feet again going around the turn, but I got tangled in the buoy's anchor line and was slightly disoriented.
At this point I failed to look up and spot the finish line on the beach, and zig-zagged my way back in 10 seconds behind. A win would have been nice, but I think the fastest swimmer took the race today. Congratulations to everyone who competed, it was a lot of fun! From The Life Upcountry

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Welcome to the official Blog and public Update hub of Zoot Sports' team of high octane triathletes, the Zoot ULTRA Team.

This site will feature updates by the athletes, the team's sponsors, and the Zoot managing staff.

Check back often for updates and the occasional training/race tip!