Tomorrow morning, Friday, we head to Cotacachi where the race will start and finish. We won’t know the exact route until we get the maps Saturday morning, two hours before the race starts. However, we do know that we will be trekking, kayaking, biking, trekking and finishing with another bike.
21km Trek – 8km Kayak – 41km Bike – 11km Trek – 61km Bike
From a quick look online, the area looks spectacular:
Streets of Cotacachi
This is where we’ll be kayaking, Lake Cuicocha, nestled in the crater of the Cotacachi volcano.
I’m hoping to have internet access before we start so keep looking to see if there will be a place to follow online. Or check the race organizer Facebook page.
Just two weeks ago, as I mentally prepared to go in for another small surgery on my ankle, I got a call from Jari Kirkland asking me if I could go to Ecuador for an adventure race. I told her that I was nowhere near trained for it. Of course, I really wanted to go. I talked it over with the guys from the team and told them that I might be a liability—they didn’t care. Ian told me that sure, it might not be prudent for me to race, but how often do you get a free trip to Ecuador. So, 24 hours later, I decided I was in for the Nonstop Ecuador Es Tu Cancha race.
I’m very excited to get out for another adventure race and to see Ecuador. My training has been upped significantly, adding some night riding and paddling.
Heading out for a night ride in Moab
Summit of Mt. Sopris. Round trip of 3 hours 34 minutes and elevation gain of 4,390 feet
Ian and I at the top of Searle Pass, 12,034 feet, on the Dirty Copper Triangle
Ian traversing between Searle and Kokomo Passes
Kokomo Pass, 12,027 feet
Follow the yellow brick road
I have a few more weeks squeeze in some training, especially at elevation (Quito is at over 9K feet!). I plan on running the Four Pass Loop this weekend and getting out on a few long rides. This race will be a wildcard for me, but I’m excited to have a goal to work towards and it’s motivated me to be as ready as possible.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Teva Mountain Games (TMG). As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve competed in just about every version of TMG going back over 10 years. It’s been amazing to watch the event grow and evolve. I look forward to the TMG weekend every summer – hanging out in my former hometown, catching up with old friends, watching all the amazing athletes competing, and of course, punishing myself in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.
I also stress out more over the Teva Mountain Games than just about any other event I race in all year. The Ultimate Mountain Challenge in the summer, which includes four races over two days, is exhausting. I also feel like there is more pressure on me competing in Vail, and the expectations are high racing in front of so many of my friends. Furthermore, Ian works on the PR for TMG, so he’s talking about the event constantly. It gets to the point where I dread it.
So, now the new, WINTER Teva Mountain Games is just a few days away and I’m getting more and more anxious. The winter version of the Ultimate Mountain Challenge includes a 10k Nordic race, a skimo race with 6,500 feet of vert and the two-mile, Vail Uphill race with 2,200 feet of vert.
I feel fit for the race, but not totally prepared. I skate skied for the first time all winter on Saturday. It hurt. I haven’t been running much, and definitely not uphill. There are some strong women signed up for the UMC, including my friends Stevie Kremer and Lyndsay Meyer as well as US Mountain Running team member Megan Kimmel and National Nordic Champion Morgan Smyth. It’s going to be a really competitive race.
This weekend I’m going to try adopt Axel’s mantra…just have fun in the snow! Hope to see many of you in Vail. Thanks, as always, for reading.
The Teva Mountain Games and I have a long history. I’ve competed in just about every Teva Mountain Games (TMG) since the first one over ten years ago (I missed the years when Juniper and Axel were born). I even met my husband at TMG.
Over the years at TMG I’ve participated in 12-hour adventure races with Team Nike, raced in a mountain bike crit around Vail Village, trail run in the snow, kayaked Gore Creek, and done the four-event Ultimate Mountain Challenge more times than I care to remember. A couple of things I’ve never done at TMG are nordic skiing and ski mountaineering. That’s about to change. I’m more than a little excited about the inaugural Winter Teva Mountain Games. I’m planning to race in the winter version of the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, which includes a Pete Swenson-designed SkiMo race. Check out the video below, where Pete explains the SkiMo race. It’s going to be sweet for both amateurs and pros. If you’ve ever thought about trying randonee racing, this is the event to put on your calendar. Hope to see you there!
Since it’s cold, snowy and December (-5 this am!), I suppose I should finally embrace winter. My new La Sportiva RSR skis and bindings are ready to race and my Hi5s are waiting for some more powder. The first COSMIC race is at Irwin Lodge next weekend so last weekend I decided it was high time to actually train on my skis.
Lyndsay Meyer, Todd Kennedy and I skinned a lap and a half on Ajax early Sunday morning. It took me awhile to sort my gear on Saturday evening but once my boots and skis were on the snow, I thankfully didn’t feel like I haven’t skied in almost six months. I actually felt really good – bring on winter!
After social hour at the Sun Deck complete with hot chocolate and a warm fire (it’s Aspen after all), I met the family for a ski day at Snowmass. Juniper also jumped right back into skiing and Axel thoroughly enjoyed his first day on skis.
…here’s hoping the skimo racing comes back as easily on Saturday in CB.