Friday, July 27, 2007

a dope-y conversation

me: Have you been watching Le Tour?
Pal Tom: Just in the Times and various odds and ends.
me: Damned dopers!
Tom [frustrated]: you know, i was just telling someone, they should just have two starts. one for the dopers, one for the clean people. that way, all the dopers can race themselves, and all the clean people get to race each other.
me: [silence; am on floor laughing.]

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crew Minion at rest

...SmartWool togs being put to good use.
Or summat like that.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Big Day for ARFE...

...and for SmartWool!
List of stuff Crew Minion Yi Shun and Crew Queen Pamela brought to the SmartWool headquarters in lovely Steamboat Springs, CO:

1. 30 mini notebooks
2. 36 mini gelpens
3. one honking-big laptop
4. one power cord
5. two matching SmartWool tops
6. two matching khaki skirts
7. two matching bike-link bracelets
8. one 1992 Toyota Corolla
9. one considerably speedier Subaru station wagon
10. thirty Leave No Trace Awareness certificates.

That's right, a large number of SmartWool employees and 15 members of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps are now Leave No Trace Aware!

Earlier this week, we did the same for the good folk at GoLite, our equipment sponsors. Thanks very much for having us!

Oh, what didn't we bring to the headquarters of the best title sponsor ever to walk this earth? A camera.

You'll just have to take our word for it. We were there, we promise.

Thanks, Rob, Dixie, and the folks at SmartWool, for having us! We learned so much from you, and hope you can say the same of us.

Pamela and Yi

Thursday, July 19, 2007

our favorite...

...AR junkie.

hello, chris, from team timberland!
check out chris' cool new project here.

hello from colorado

aaaand, hello from the bizarre world of Flatlanders trying to mountain bike at a mile and a half of elevation.
a race report from the Danskin Triathlon is up here. it is a tale of sucking wind, and, well, just plain sucking.
but you might enjoy the telling.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Cradle of Liberty Race Report

Bruce Tells the Story

This is the third year that Team ARFE-SmartWool has competed in the Cradle of Liberty 24-hour adventure race organized by GOALS ARA. Our team composition changed a number of times for this year’s event. We were first a four-person all male team. Then a three-person all-male team. Then just a two-person all-male team, and then, finally, the best combination possible in adventure racing: a three-person co-ed team. Our final setup was an interesting combination of ARFE staples Bruce Swanson and Chris Edmundson with a last-minute guest appearance of Jennifer Shultis. We were joined by a field of approximately 30 teams in Hickory Run state park for an event that was centered on Jim Thorpe, PA during ideal weather conditions.

In a departure from many 24-hour race formats, this event had a mid-afternoon start on Saturday. This was a welcome change and avoided the usual scramble to leave work on Friday to arrive at check-in on time. The registration, gear assembly and route plotting would take place from 11:00AM to 1:45PM followed by a pre-race meeting and departure on buses for a 3:30PM start.

The event began in the town of Jim Thorpe with a short run to an assembly of 6-person rafts on the bank of the Lehigh River. We were fortunate to take an early lead and maintain a short, but critical distance ahead of the pack. This position gave us maneuvering capability around groups of recreational paddlers that was unobstructed by our own competitors and also gave us the ability to observe the lines chosen by the lead safety kayak around river obstacles. The roughly 10-mile paddle was very scenic, but it passed quickly. In less than two hours we were leaving our raft and transitioning to our bikes for some speedy biking back upstream.

The biking portion was an interesting combination of fast rail trails through the deep Lehigh river gorge in addition to some time spent on ridgeline trails and a couple passes through the town of Jim Thorpe. The ascents were on surprisingly gentle inclines, but one notable rapid descent from the town overlook into town required a little concentration. Nightfall came as we left our bikes to obtain two checkpoints on foot above a series of waterfalls. The final biking leg followed the winding river along the speedy, well-maintained rail trail. This concluded in the vicinity of our vehicles for a quick transition into the final orienteering portion.

The orienteering points were widely scattered and presented the usual challenges of distance, sharp hills, tight brush and navigation. One checkpoint, however, was placed on the opposite side of the park’s most famous geologic feature, a field of boulders 12 feet or more thick scraped from the nearby hilltops and deposited by glaciers and associated water flow during the last ice age.

We finished the event at the end of the orienteering portion on foot in approximately 22 hours. This landed our team in 2nd place for the elite category (3-person coed) and 2nd place overall.

We would like to thank GOALS ARA for organizing this event. The time and efforts of the volunteers, safety personnel, rafting company, park personnel and other involved parties were certainly appreciated.

Of course, this event gave us yet another opportunity to utilize the SmartWool, GoLite, and Gatorade products generously supplied to us by our sponsors. We couldn't have done this event without LEKI, either, who offset our carbon output for the year. Our 674-mile round trip produced 28 pounds of CO2.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

weekend update

Preliminary reports from the field indicate that Team ARFE-SmartWool finishes second steps behind Team GOALS at the Cradle of Liberty. Congratulations, Bruce, Chris and Jen! This is Team ARFE-SmartWool's third time qualifying for USARA Nationals this year. Special thanks to guest star Jen Shultis, on loan from Team EMS.
Best Garbage prize in this race goes to Team White and Nerdy, from lovely Pennsylvania. Props to the hometown team! They win terrific prizes from our Best Garbage sponsors, CW-X
Team ARFE-SmartWool senior ekes out a good finish in this weekend's LionHeart race, too. Tentative results from the field indicate a tough race over tough Ohiopyle terrain. Stay tuned for more on these pages.