Last May I spent a few days in New York City talking to Outside TV about the role of athletes in product development. The Polartec segment starts at 2’45” in the video below. Also included is Peter Whittaker for Eddie Bauer First Ascent and Jeff Lenosky for Teva.
Also, psyched to be a part of the 2012 Sportiva ski mountaineering team:
(Boulder, Colo.) –La Sportiva North America introduces its ski mountaineering team for 2011-2012.
On the women’s side, the team includes last year’s Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup (COSMIC) series winner Sari Anderson, 2011 national ski mountaineering champion Janelle Smiley and IFMGA guide Olivia Race. The men’s team features some of the top skimo racers in the country including Adrian Ballanger, Keith Garvey, Jared Inouye, Chris Kroger, Luke Nelson, John Race, and Jason McGowin.
“I’m excited and honored to be a part of the La Sportiva ski mountaineering team,” states Sari Anderson .“My set up of Stratos boots, RSR skis and bindings is incredibly light and performed without fail last season.” Read more here.
And for next season:
(Boulder, Colo.) –La Sportiva North America, makers of the world’s finest mountain products, announces today that it will debut a full line of technical ski mountaineering apparel at the 2012 OR Winter Market, SIA Snowshow, and ISPO Munich tradeshows.
“The culture of ski mountaineering is thriving in Europe and shows signs of significant growth in North America,” states Jonathan Lantz, president of La Sportiva North America. “Our team of designers in the Dolomites used feedback from some of the world’s best ski mountaineers to design apparel that is fast, light and highly efficient. For randonee racing, backcountry touring, and alpine climbing, the La Sportiva apparel line sets a new bar for performance and innovation.” Read more here.
Over the years I’ve worked with some terrific sponsors and had access to a lot of really cool gear. I’ve tried top of the line bikes, running shoes, lighting systems and even an awesome bike trailer. One of the coolest companies I’ve worked with recently is Polartec. As a member of the Polartec Athlete Advisory Board I get to test some of the most technically advanced fabrics in the world, before they’re available to the public. For example, I tested prototypes of the new Power Shield Pro fabric all last year and provided the team at Polartec with feedback about how breathable, wind and water resistant the fabric is (it does all those things really well, by the way).
Anyway, my involvement with Polartec has just landed me what is certainly the coolest piece of gear I’ve ever gotten. Yesterday, a delivery truck showed up at my house with a brand new mattress from Embody by Sealy. Now, a mattress may not seem like the most technical or advanced gear available to athletes, but to perform at your best, there’s really nothing more important than good nights sleep to allow your muscles to recover. And I’ve got to tell you, after just one night sleeping on my new mattress, it’s much more exciting than any bike, boat or clothing I’ve ever used. For the first time in months last night, I didn’t wake up sweaty.
As I learned on their website, the Embody latex mattress uses a proprietary design to allow air to flow through the foam. Polartec high performance fabrics move air in, out and around the mattress all night, regulating the temperature. Combined with the design of the foam, the mattress surface is up to five times more breathable than other latex foam mattresses. Like a good base layer, the Polartec fabric in the mattress also wicks away moisture, keeping the surface dry and in turn, healthy.
- Embody latex foams are free of CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals.
- The mattresses is also anti-microbial and resist dust mites, allergens and microbes.
As I said, I’ve only had one night’s sleep on the new mattress, but I think its going to become one of the most important tools in my training arsenal.
Everyone has been asking me all day how I’m feeling and I can only answer ‘fine’. The 24 Hours of Moab race has come and gone and I feel surprisingly great. Max Taam and I snagged the national championship in the mixed duo division and also placed third among the men’s duo teams by finishing 19 laps.
Prior to the race I was a little nervous about having the endurance to ride a total of about 12 hours and to be able to keep my laps consistent. It was a nice surprise to manage both and even pull off the fastest women’s lap of the race. I could not have have done this six months after having Axel without Lindsay Hyman of Carmichael Training Systems. Not only has Lindsay been coaching me and getting me back towards race shape but she also gave me an amazing nutrition and hydration plan for the weekend. I was able to get through my nine laps (135 miles) without ever being nauseous, bonking, or even feeling the need to drink caffeine. I drank a full bottle of water with a nuun tablet each lap to keep my electrolytes high and then another full bottle or two during of water between laps. My top priority of the race was to make sure I had plenty of energy to continue to nurse Axel throughout the race and this was no problem.
Thankfully and miraculously Max and I did not have any mechanical, lighting issues or major crashes. We both raced on our Trek Top Fuels with Bontrager XR1 2.4 tires which were perfect for the sandy, rocky and hard packed course. I was also super impressed with my other gear holding up to all the sand and dust including my SOLE Lightweight Sport Socks, SOLE footbeds, Specialized S-Works shoes with Boa Technology, and my borrowed Ay Up lights (thanks Kerry White!). And arriving just in time, the new Honey Stinger Waffles were a huge hit with everyone – thanks Lance!
And here’s some cool CONTOUR helmet cam footage of Max at the LeMans running start.