What a day! The swim was a rinse cycle, a tailwind carried us into Providence on the bike, and the run... that damn hill x 2!! What a beater! Couldn't have asked for better weather and a better result.
Looking forward to see where the RAAM training can take my cycling, but before then see you in Kona!
Total 200 2009 posted by Eric Goetz :: Jul 16, 2009 :: 03:49 PM
We had a record number turn out for Total 200- the fifth annual ride. Not having as many base or long miles in my legs this was going to be the toughest year yet for me. But with proper pacing and nutrition I felt I had a good chance at a good day. Let me say that again.. pacing and nutrition. I was good out of the gate and kept myself in check over the first couple small climbs as I warmed up. Not riding for the previous couple weeks wasn't optimal but I'm a new dad and those responsibilities have been a new ride for me. No complaints!
Anyway, I got off on the right foot but soon pumped up the tempo and took a good size group under my wing and flew to pit 1. So far so good. On the next section I shared the work. The following section (50-75 miles) was the breaker. I was rolling smooth but I got a flat just a few miles into that stretch and had to pull through on my own- not a bad situation to be in because I had my own pace, but admittedly I tried to catch them-what? Yeah, how the heck do you make up 7 or 8 minutes on a group of 20 taking rotations. Well, at the pit I was spent and only had a few minutes to catch my breath. Getting to lunch (mile 103) I knew I had sprinted too hard for a 200 mile day but what's done is done.
A few of us jumped to the fast group on the return trip so our lunch was short but long enough. The weather was great - in the 80's and the wind was now a predominant tail wind going back to DC. I always feel better after the turn and today was no different but the cramps started to creep in at 110 and I knew my pacing would slow. Bummer. I had to decide how long to push and when to drop off the back of the group. I did drop back some on the second to last and last pit. I felt lucky to only be back a few minutes and being able to start with the group at each pit. The last stretch my legs were half there but mentally I was twice as strong- the finish in sight always pumps me up. So even though those 17 miles were grueling I also enjoyed them. Coming in I noticed I was well above 20mph average for the day (under 10 hours for 200 miles) which was on par with other years.
We had a great group of riders and an even more dedicated group of volunteers that kept with us all day long. Pretty sweet for the training to get some long days in.
RAAM 2009: Inspiring Us ALL posted by Eric Goetz :: Jun 29, 2009 :: 04:40 PM
RAAM 2009 had a ton of races within a race and just as many inspiring athletes. If you haven't already, make sure to check out their website blog and videos. It's a great insight into the real stories going on throughout the race. Here are just a couple of the stories from this year.
CONGRATULATIONS TEAM CAN BE VENTURE
Patrick Doak, Carlos Moleda, Dr. Hannes Koeppen and Vico Merklein are extraordinary athletes doing extraordinary things. They rode on handcyles and knew that no team has ever completed RAAM in 9 days before on handcyles. They knew it would be really hard, they knew it would hurt (physically and mentally) and they knew they would do it. Failure was not an option. They arrived in Annapolis at 2.29am. The journey took them an incredible 8 days, 9 hours and 6 minutes averaging 15.02mph. THAT IS FANTASTIC!
ANN WOOLRIDGE, 50+ WOMAN
Ann has passed through Rouzerville, time station 49. She doesn't have long to go now. She is currently averaging 9.49mph and has been out there for 12 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes. It was a tough day in the saddle. Still rolling along with a panty hose bottle holder, a found object modified campy shifters, an ace bandage "Shermer neck" support and the relentless support of the crew. Ann will not be an official finisher but will likely secure the record for the fastest crossing by a 50+ woman. That record has been held since 1992 by Bonnie Allison.
RAAM Race 2009- Keeping Track posted by Eric Goetz :: Jun 22, 2009 :: 07:00 AM
If you haven't been checking it out already - make sure to go to: http://www.raceacrossamerica.org
They have an alright blog which brings in little bits of info from the road about the teams and solo riders as well as all the TS (Time Station) data. I have yet to find out what the starting order was and the time difference- but likely like last year it was by team number every :30 seconds. So team 401 first then 402, 30 seconds later and so on.
It seems like they're really racing hard out there and have some great match ups on the road that will inspire them to push harder. It's always hard to tell what the conditions are like but they had an nice cool cloud covered start and this is a quote from the staff reporter: "The desert winds were insane. Riders just enjoyed an 80 mile an hour tailwind that kept them cruising at 65km/hr." -- Brandon
Now that's gotta be fun!
Congratulations Xtreme Athletes! posted by Eric Goetz :: Jun 21, 2009 :: 05:27 PM
Awesome showing by Matias Palavecino (RAAM 2010) and Patrick Serfass (RAAM 2008) at the Dextro Energy Triathlon. Matias came in 2nd overall and Patrick was right on his heels at 11th overall. Very impressive - way to represent!
Evening Ride posted by Eric Goetz :: Jun 18, 2009 :: 07:39 PM
Great ride this afternoon- doing laps and pushing hard here and there for a nice constant- what? - yeah, like 8 laps. I think the first 6 were in under 50 minutes. Anyway, as I rode around the short loop I couldn't help but think of the solo racers on their way across Arizona today. Here I was breathing hard for an hour and they were just getting starting on a 10 - 12 day journey. 24 hours a day. That's a lot of loops. Those days don't include much rest, the clock never stops, decisions are made in a daze, and the miles blend all the towns you pass through. What a thrill they must be feeling. They get to let go of the reality we live in for a short while and just bike. Sure they might hallucinate. Possibly endure extreme saddle sores. But it's fun.
Pulling 23 posted by Eric Goetz :: Jun 03, 2009 :: 09:37 AM
Yesterday I finally felt smooth on my TT bike with a glimpse of getting back to top shape. It was a cool morning and I was up before I had to get ready- a good sign I was well rested. I had no idea what my workout was going to be but when I showed up to the Point there was no real structure. We rolled out as a warm up and soon enough I saw Ryan "stroll" by at a good pace. Looked like he was doing a steady consistent effort and I kept him in sight and picked up my speed. We were rolling at about 25mph and I gave myself a mile or two to catch back up. After about four long loops (5.6 miles each) my average was well over 23mph and there were a few sipirited sprints on the back side to really push the heart rate. It was a solid hour of work with a warm up and cool down. All in all I felt great and ready to get back out on the longer intervals.
Fast Pace, Strong Group posted by Eric Goetz :: May 18, 2009 :: 10:46 AM
We went out for a 75 miler this past weekend. Our standard ride on Saturdays- out into the hills of north west Maryland. The pace was high right from the beginning and with each pull the intensity kept growing. None of the guys wanted to hint at slowing down and that drove us steadily right back home. It was a fast ride and we came in at about 21 mph average which for an early season ride with good size hills was great. The idea of competing in RAAM this year (2009) would be interesting but the reality of all the logistics and timing has us clearly focused for 2010.
Long Rolling posted by Eric Goetz :: May 02, 2009 :: 03:21 PM
Other than the Lighthouse Tour most of the winter rides amount to a quick 40 miles with some short steep hills. It's routine but it does the trick. Today though we drove out to someplace near Annapolis (the official finish line of RAAM) and set out for a longer route. 70 miles was the plan, that grew to about 85 by the time we got back. We charged through with hardly any breaks and a steady fast paced effort of about 20mph on a "rolling" course. It was certainly not mountainous but it never really settled down to being flat or anything like that. It was a great ride though - strong riders that kept pushing and we tempted each other into taping our legs as much we could.
Team Meeting posted by Eric Goetz :: Apr 30, 2009 :: 03:26 PM
It's early for 2010 and we know it. But time flies when you start to plan for Team RAAM. We got some of riders and crew chief together last night to brainstorm on 2010, the team, the logistics, the cause - but mostly to see what the vibe is. Who wants to crush it and where does each person find the passion. The energy was high and it only ignited my desire to ride even more.
I can't wait. The feeling of flying down two lane mountain passes at close to 50mph in pitch black while negotiating to pass another team car... well you don't get to that every day. Who gets to wake up in the wheat fields of Kansas and catch the first light of day as your shift starts. Or not grasp if you're going up or down in the midst of a fog filled night in the hills of West Virginia- because it doesn't matter that you can't see a horizon or your computer, you're always pushing on the pedals.
I take it back- I once said it was fun. This is way more than just fun, it's like spiking your adrenaline for a week to the point that when you make it back home you just can't reacclimate to these "normal" days.
Getting in Some Crazy Miles posted by Eric Goetz :: Feb 08, 2009 :: 07:10 PM
I just rode the Lighthouse Cycling Tour for the third time. This was the first time I took on the challenge without a full on training schedule in the works and a full season of races already planned out. You could say it's my off-season – the first one in a few years. And with about 400 miles in 3 days, the first being the longest at 160 miles, it really fueled the fire. Sure it was a bit painful here and there- mainly the lack of training miles in my legs but also the searing heat I haven't experienced since last summer. Going from below freezing temperatures in Washington DC to Puerto Rico, what I call double 90 (90 degrees with 90 percent humidity), is both a blessing and a brutal assault on your starved muscles. But it's fun. So I'm jazzed about getting back in the saddle- riding across some states- trading in a bbq for a double century, putting some serious miles.
When I get back from my week off- the plan is to stir up the team. Get them thinking and gear up the right group to go back and push hard in 2010. Every minute counts and there ain't no coffee shop rides.
2008 Race Pix: DAY 6 posted by Eric Goetz :: Jun 20, 2008 :: 06:00 AM
WE DID IT! Team Xtreme4 dominated the Race Across America! We finished first in the 4-person mixed team division with a time of 6 days, 4 hours and 18 minutes, setting a new speed record of 20.33 mph. We smashed the old record, which was 19.5 mph! The next mixed 4-person team finished nearly a full day behind us! And, if all that wasn't enough, we placed 3rd overall for 4-person teams, beating 7 out of 9 all-male teams!!!
What happened in the last 24 hours? Mostly a total dogfight with the all male, 4-person Irish Avon Navanmore team. They're not even in our division, but we were out to beat as many 4-person teams as we could, no matter how many women or men they had. It's hard to remember all the details, but for the last 24 hours, we were basically between 10 minutes ahead and 30 minutes behind, switching back and forth from West Viriginia all the way to the finish. We knew the terrain since we had practiced these last 24 hours twice before, and so all aboard knew the gruelling, super-steep hills to expect. Several RAAM media followed both teams for the last 200 miles as we chased each other all over WV, PA and MD, ending with an ALL OUT 11 mile sprint to the finish. At the last time station we discovered that we were exactly tied! It was amazing!! Who would have thought that 3,008 miles would be raced so closely with so many teams and that it would finally end in a legitimate full sprint to the finish line with all Xtreme4 crew on edge trying to make sure the riders had every fair advantage, motivating us through the radios and filling us with Red Bull and Coke to prevent the inevitable bonk!? No one could have crafted a more exciting finish.
In the end, the Irish finished 1-minute ahead. But with 6-days of excitement and adventure, a comanding #1 finish in our division, a new division record, no accidents, no time penalties, no rain (!) and one of the most idyllic, nail-biting, adrenaline-filled finishes ever possible, it hardly mattered. There was already enough to celebrate and we all felt fortunate to share our success with the Irish team when we pulled into Annapolis. They sure know how to celebrate!
It's hard to boil down 8 months of planning, preparing, training, organizing and fundraising along with 6 fast days of racing into a brief email.
Many of you followed our progress via our website, blogs and RAAM's official website. In fact you probably know better than we did where we were relative to the competition along the way. All we were doing out there was what we know best-riding fast and hard and making sure that everything we did moved the team forward as fast as possible.
The results show that our strategy and planning worked, but what they don't show is how much we depended on people like you to get there. Yes, not only did we want to send this email to brag about our results a bit, but we also wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything each of you did for us. Some of you donated money, others donated equipment, still others donated time. Everyone on this email list (and it's really big!) helped us along the way. We could feel your support throughout the process and the race itself, and many of the messages you sent to cheer us along the way were shared with the entire team, sometimes over the vehicle radios, as they came in. It's hard to describe how much energy it sent to the entire team to know that you were following our every move. It was incredible motivation and comforting to know you were there with us. So, to you, a heartfelt and sincere thank you from all the members of Team Xtreme4, riders and crew.
What's next? Well, tonight we are attending the official RAAM banquet for finishers. We'll be given a plaque for winning-which we'd like to dedicate to all our supporters, friends, and families- we couldn't have done it without you. We also would like to dedicate it to carbon-neutral transportation.
We set out to promote carbon-neutral transportation choices, and through our press coverage, those of you who pledged to go carbon-neutral during the week that we were on the road, and our zero-carbon race footprint, we think we achieved that goal. Again, we couldn't have done it without you. We urge you to continue to think about your transportation choices and their impact on the environment. Remember: if Team Xtreme4 can cycle non-stop at 20.33 mph for 6 days and 4 hours, maybe that ride to work isn't so difficult after all...
We'll have photo galleries (we have over 6,000 to choose from) and video galleries ready soon and will send you an email when they are ready. In the meantime, here are a few in this email.
With that, thank you so much for all you did for us, and we hoped you enjoyed the journey as much as we did!
Eric, Phil, Patrick, Andrea, Mariana, Dave, Christal, Paul, Laurel, Andy, Kip, Julie, Raquel, Pam, Erik, Erica, Lee, and Thomas
Xtreme4 wins 4 person mixed team RAAM!!! posted by Xtreme4 Team :: Jun 18, 2008 :: 06:18 AM
From RAAM Live blog: "5:49 EDT - Annapolis, MD The first 4 person mixed Team Xtreme4 finished on Tuesday evening with a time of 6:04:18 and set a new speed record of 20.33 mph smashing the old record of 19.5 mph. They were the 3rd overall 4 person team to finish. From Washington, DC, they were motivated to get home as soon as possible. They drew a big crowd at the finish area in Annapolis, MD."
Jen here with an update from the road. My brother Hamilton and I met up with the team in the middle of the night in WV somewhere and it was SO great to see them all! We brought food and supplies, and both the riders and the crew seemed strong and definitely ready to push it on home!
Needless to say, the close quarters of the RV were taking their toll on everyone, as were the multiple sleepless nights in a row, but, overall, I was pleasantly surprised to find Xtreme4 in much better shape than I thought they might be!
We hung out with them through two rider and crew changes, and it was amazing how smooth the transitions were between riders and crew. This might be everyone's first time competing in RAAM, but you would never know it from watching them. What this team has achieved over the past 6 days is truly remarkable!
Although there have been some hiccups along the way, as is to be expected, the riders and crew have taken them all in stride and keep on plugging away. The hills of WV were brutal, but the riders and crew remained optimistically focused on the finish and kept pounding the road, ignoring their muscle pain, saddle sores, and intense fatigue. At the time of writing this, they only have 93 miles to go and have just recently overtaken the Irish 4 person male team they have been neck and neck with for days....Awesome!
So, keep it up Xtreme4! Finish strong and we will be in Annapolis with cold beer and champagne to toast your amazing accomplishments, and with open arms to welcome you home after a long, epic, and amazing journey!!
Xtremely well done, team, and see you at the finish!
The Waiting Game posted by Kip Pierson :: Jun 17, 2008 :: 07:36 AM
For those of you wondering what the heck is going on--we had Team Ireland within 5 minutes last night and then it happened...we made a wrong turn. For those of you who don't understand how this works, a wrong turn can cost you dearly. Luckily, after having sprinted all across downtown Clarksburg, WV (I think that's where we were) I finally got them back on course--but down an additional ten minutes. By the time we got to the RV to make a switch our deficit was big. Thankfully, Eric and Patrick picked it up and stomped all over the course. By the end of their shift, we were back only 3:51. But this game has it's up's and down's and after a 2:30 hour nap for me and the boys, the deficit had grown again. This time to 28:51. But we're on the attack again and as of the last time station we crossed at 8:16 and Ireland 8:01------only 15 minutes. We are killing these hills. And if you look at the actually racing time, we're only down 6 minutes due to the staggered start. Unbelievable! We're all excited to see everyone in Annapolis. And Patrick's wife Jen and her brother along with Sean Ward have already greeted us in the mountains. Great to see you guys! You have no idea how much that helps the riders. Cheers!
Xtreme 4 Welcome Home posted by Paul Contino :: Jun 16, 2008 :: 09:23 PM
A group of us are going to be welcoming home the RAAM team tomorrow evening. Right now they are due to arrive around 7:00-8:30pm based on their current pace. I imagine their arrival time will only fluctuate within a couple hours either way at most.
We are planning on leaving Capitol Hill around 4pm to avoid DC Traffic out to Annapolis and get all set up for their arrival (be there about 5pm or so).
Also, don't plan on getting directly down there as the streets may be blocked off or have limited access. They get a police/parade escort from the Annapolis Mall down to Dock St, so plan accordingly!
So apparently we're only 8 minutes back of Team Ireland at the last time station! Unbelievable! We're stunned at the recent developments. We didn't think they would be in our radar until West Virginia---we're in OHIO! What's going on? Even more astounding is when we changed rider teams a few miles after the TS, the RV said that Ireland passed only four minutes ago. $#%#^#!!! This is exciting! By the time the rider made it up the hill and we did our mandatory one minute exchange wait (it must be done after stopping the vehicle for safety reasons) we were down ten minutes. We lost two minutes, but we didn't even know we were that close. Time to step it up a notch and be vigilant about making sure we don't break any rules. I'm suppose to sleep after this pull, but if we don't catch them this shift---I might just stay on to watch it all unfold. Less than 24 hours to go---WHO NEEDS SLEEP?????
Xtreme4 in "ATTACK OF THE KILLER SOLAR PANEL!" posted by Kip Pierson :: Jun 16, 2008 :: 04:59 PM
If it's not one thing it's another. First low blood sugar, then no air-conditioning and now we're under attack. This is coming to you from the Leap Frog Vehicle (a.k.a. a Large White Van) and if you can hear...read this---SEND HELP!!! We are under attack from a foreign object pounding on the roof. At the start of our pull everything was under control: smooth transition from Crew A to Crew B, excellent terrain, slight tailwind...and then it happened. The beast awakened. First it began pound ever so slightly on the roof, the sound of a branch fall off a tree and landing on a roof. But it began to grow in strength. The rapidity of the beast was unparalleled. It was certainly no human sound or movement. We stopped the car and checked to see unsightly gaze of a monster-but none could be found. We continued on, but the noise persisted. And then it hit us. It wasn't the lights on top of the car that I had already duct taped down, it was the solar panels being ripped off the roof. I jump out climb on top of the van and batten down the hatches while they make an exchange. We tell Patrick all about it and thinks nothing of it and only a couple pulls later he jumps out of his seat. They've come apart again. Once more into solar panels, dear friends, once more! Crisis averted. They say it wouldn't be RAAM without things going wrong.
Take it to the Limit! posted by Kip Pierson :: Jun 16, 2008 :: 02:43 PM
Mayday! Mayday! Blood Sugar is going down and FAST! It's insane!!! We can't keep up with demand! In our effort to push to the "Silver" in the 4 "person" division we've all kicked it up a gear, yet with that you pay a price. Our riders need food and fast. And clean jerseys are a hot commodity. We can't keep our shelves stocked and with the amount of calories these riders are going through 5 bottles of Infinit an hour isn't going to cut it. We need REAL food. So what do you do? You make an emergency stop anywhere you can---i.e. Chubby's pizzeria somewhere in God country's, Indiana. Now you may think, well just stop anywhere, but on the roads we're traveling sometimes you don't anything for miles. !@#%##!---THE AIR CONDITIONER IN THE RV JUST WENT OUT!!! Yes, as I'm typing this, the ship is going down fast! We're gonna try to fix it, but we're racing DAMN IT!