Finish Time: 4:19:15.97
From: New Salem, MA
What did you think of the course? Is it true that the gas was on all day, with not much chance for recovery-on-the-fly?
The course was great, and definitely as you stated, gas on, all day. While it wasn't a highly technical course in terms of a lot of single track or rock gardens, etc., it did involve a lot of elevation gain and a lot of steady pedaling all day. Sometimes when you are riding more technical stuff you get a chance to rest more on the descents or sections you have to tackle at slightly lower speed to be able to ride cleanly. At Wilmington, it was just steady hard all day -- and then, of course, the real kick was the final climb up Whiteface. Yikes.
You're Leadville bound again this year. What's your training and racing going to look like between now and the big day? What are you most looking forward to about going back?
I am really excited to be heading back to Leadville again this year, especially with all the things I learned about the race last time around. As far as between now and then, I am going to be racing the XC World Cup race at Windham Mountain (NY) at the end of June and am very much looking forward to that as Windham is my hometown. It's a pretty big deal to get to race in that caliber of event in front of my family and friends. After that I have the Wilderness 101, which is part of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series in PA. That's two weekends out from Leadville, so it will be a pretty good indicator of how my training is coming along. After that, I'm trying to maybe get out to Colorado a couple of weeks early to try and get acclimated a little more than I was last year when I flew out the day before. That depends on getting off work and things, so we'll see. I'll mix in some hard training and some local XC races and am hoping to be ready to go come August 11th.
Fans call you the Wolverine. What's that about?
The Wolverine was a nickname given to me when I was racing on the Targetraining road team. I think it started because I was sort of a tenacious and aggressive racer and I don't really like to give up very easily. The funny thing is, this past cyclocross season someone made a Cyclingdirt.org video parodying the now ubiquitous "honey badger" video and it featured me in it. Now I hear a lot more of the "honey badger" moniker than anything else. It's sort of ironic because the two aren't really all that different from one another. They are basically small, aggressive, tough creatures. I guess I take both as a compliment.
Tell us about your equipment and how it will help you at Leadville.
I am really excited to be riding for the bike company Redline this year, and I'm currently aboard the prototype of their Carbon D-680 hardtail 29er, which comes out next year. The bike is fantastic! It's what I rode at Wilmington and it's really a great tool for these long, hard races. The light weight and stiffness make it easier for me to stay fresh and the 29-inch wheels keep their momentum and help smooth the trail out. I think I'll pretty much be bringing that exact same setup to Leadville, maybe changing only the tires to better suit the conditions out there.
You seem to jump from race to race. Any recovery secrets?
Well, I think it really helps to have a plan and a coach. For a long time I was self-coached and I was always sort of second guessing whether I should train more or less, or whether I needed rest or not. Now that I've been working with my coach, Kyle Wolfe at Finish Fast Coaching, for the past few seasons, it's been really nice to have an objective and unbiased opinion. I've learned that sometimes between work and training and racing, you really do need to just take some rest days in order to be fresh. I used to just try and train through those moments and it wasn't doing me any good. Beyond that, I just really love racing, so for me to not race frequently feels out of place. I try to always feel motivated to race.