Monique Merrill rocking at at Loveland a few years ago
The ski mountaineering world championships started in Andorra on Monday. A strong team of racers representing the United States are competing with 22 other nations. As of today, two of the four races are complete with the US making a strong showing.
My adventure racing and Pierra Menta teammate, Monique Merrill, is especially proving that the US has a presence in ski mountaineering. Mona has placed in the top 10 for both the vertical and the individual races. Awesome job Mona – keep it up!
The team race is Friday and the relay will take place on Saturday. Travis Scheefer and Nina Silitch are updating their websites with race recaps and photos. Also, results can be found at the ISMF site.
Chris Forne at the finish of the 2009 Adventure Race World Championships
After a long tough race, Nike Beaver Creek finished in a very respectable second place at the 2009 Adventure Race World Championships. I have not spoken to anyone from the team so haven’t gotten the story from the source, but it sounds like the final outcome had to do with some confusion on cutoffs. The latest post on SleepMonsters has a quote from Chris stating that they thought they had to be through a bike leg by 2 o’clock when in reality they just had to start by then. Due to this, they missed three checkpoints in the trekking leg causing them to no longer have the most received checkpoints.
This race had a difficult format to follow (and race and support) throughout and I’m unsure how I personally feel about optional checkpoints and sections. From the results, it appears that some teams skipped entire sections of the race while still finishing ahead of other teams that completed all portions. Maybe I just needed to be there to understand better, but this doesn’t seem right especially for a world championships.
No matter what happened, the new world champions, Helly Hansen Prunesco of England, raced extremely well and strong to win in such a strong field. Helly Hansen Prunesco received the most checkpoints and came on very strong towards the end proving they have what it takes. Congrats to HHP! Lundhags Adventure, Orion Health (last year’s world champs) and Navigator RaidLight rounded out the podium.
Congrats to Mike Kloser, Monique Merrill, Chris Forne and George Christison and everyone that competed in the race as it sounded grueling. As much as I enjoy being the Monday morning quarterback, I miss being out there to experience it myself.
Mike Kloser, Monique Merrill & Chris Forne charging in Portugal
The Adventure Race Worlds Championships have been very difficult to follow. I honestly have no idea how Team Nike Beaver Creek is doing as far as the race lead is concerned. The format of the race is very different from other races especially expedition races. Most checkpoints are optional and if a team actually gets the checkpoint then it will be used as a time bonus at the end of the race. For the first few days it was being reported that Nike was the only team to have received all the checkpoints (even Orion Health had skipped one or two) but at this point I’m not sure if Nike has gone to all of them.
Coverage and tracking is very confusing because most teams are in the same vicinity even though many have skipped most checkpoints. I’m not sure how I would feel racing in an expedition race not knowing how the team is doing due to many variables. Strategy is usually based on position of your team and judging whether you have time to rest or have to continue racing all out. I know this is difficult for Mike Kloser, Monique Merrill, Chris Forne and George Christensen as they are unaccustomed to this race format. They have a day or so more of racing so we will continue to cheer for them from afar and then wait while all time, penalties and bonuses are tallied up to determine the 2009 Adventure Race World Champions.
In the mean time, continue to check out the race site, SleepMonsters, Cris’s blog (Nike’s support crew) and Twitter for as many updates as possible.
Joy Schneiter training with the Chariot. We cannot live without these!
With the Adventure Race World Championships starting this week in Portugal, I’m beginning to miss racing a little. Team Nike Beaver Creek, consisting of Mike Kloser, Monique Merrill, Chris Forne and Gordon Walker, are heading to Europe this week to hopefully regain our World Champions title. After a great race last fall in Brazil, Team Orion Health pulled out the win just ahead of Nike which has left my teammates yearning for the win this year. If I receive any updates throughout the race, I will try to get them posted as soon as possible.
Since I will not be competing this year, I’m just hoping to continue to get out for some fun runs and rides. This pregnancy has been much harder than the first which continues to have me on up and down swings of training. I’ve been working hard at listening to my body and not overdoing it. This past week, that meant much time at work and on the couch while my abdomen and uterus were cramping. Now that the uncomfortable cramping has subsided (at least for now), I’ve been able to get out the last few days. It was really nice yesterday to have Ian tow Juniper in the Chariot so that we could get out as a family. This morning Joy and I enjoyed just under seven miles of running with the kiddos at an eight and half minute per mile pace. Not outrageously fast but not bad for pushing the kids on some hills.
Sari and I have struggled to describe the sheer beauty, competition, excitement and celebration at the Pierra Menta race ever since we got back from France over a month ago. I just found this video, which is in French, but is a great recap nonetheless. Team America makes some cameos as well. Pete (sounding like a local) and Cary (not so much) at 5:37, Sari (picking her nose?) and Mona at 7:49, Brandon (big smile) at 16:47, Mona’s backside at 19:30 and Jason at 19:36.
We don’t know yet if Sari and Mona will go back to race PM next year, but for anyone who wants to experience the zenith of rando ski racing, this is the place and the race. We highly recommend it!
Vodpod videos no longer available.