Sunday, January 18, 2009

Triple D 2009 - My View (and Arrowhead Ultra 135 Prep)

Photo by Mark Hirsch Photography

I had planned on posting a race update on the Triple D... so here it is: it was the worst bike race I’d done, pushing a bike through a foot of powder snow which has a sheet of glare ice underneath is not my idea of fun. Last year only 4 bikers finished the Triple D (which was perfect, I designed the course to make it difficult enough that only the toughest could finish), this year NONE! Taking into consideration the caliber of racers that attempted this race it is arguably the toughest 1 day race in North America or anywhere for that matter, multiple veterans of TransIowa, Idiasport 350, Sustana 100, and Arrowhead 135 all bailed before hour 11 (Ya, nearly 11 hours and nobody finished a little 55 mile bike race in Dubuque County Iowa). These are the guys that never give up... Nevertheless, it was fun, in a strange slogfest kind of event. It was also disappointing to a number of us having prepared physically and mentally for anything, and then to have THIS... I mean come on; could it have been any worse? (Don’t answer that, because the sun was shining and it was in the positive temps with a light wind, so yes it could have been worse).

The part that got me at Triple D was a bad “heat of the battle” decision… Dave Pramann, Dennis Grelk and I were trading spots for 1st for quite a while. I had ran out of water (had plenty to get me to Dyersville if we hadn’t been pushing for hours vs. riding). I had been eating snow for about two hours but was dehydrating… I needed water or I was going to drop or have to detour into one of the small towns… my decision… A beautiful running stream with crystal clear water (what could go wrong with this decision?). Filled up a water bottle and down the hatch! I nearly puked immediately it was the worst tasting water anybody could imagine! Long story short, Lots of antibiotics, antimicrobials and anti vomiting medication for two weeks! I lost nearly 10 lbs. in the four days after the race

This weekend I went for my first “ride” since Triple D and have started back on solid foods, so all is good. Today’s ride was with a bunch of roadie’s that I train with down here in FL. I showed up in shorts and fingerless gloves for a ride that rolled out at 30d F at 20+ MPH (it was colder than I remember Triple D being… I hate the cold).

I feel good about my gear and training for arrowhead, my goal this year is sub 24 hours which is achievable as long as the trail conditions are favorable. Reports from snowmobilers this weekend said the trails were great! Great for snowmobiling… not great for biking, the base isn’t firm and is difficult to walk on… this translates into awful to bike on. On the bright side: I got to ride with the master of snow biking (Dave Pramann) for a “couple of hours” at Triple D… I had nicknamed him Jesus after watching him ride his Pugsley over trails that the rest of us were having trouble pushing our bikes on. Watching his calm and relaxed riding style on tires with about 1-2 psi was awe inspiring, after doing my best to imitate him I too was riding, but more Charlie Farrow like, than the straight as an arrow no wasted energy Pramman. Dennis Grelk followed me in dropping his tire pressure way down and off he went… He’s the man to mark at AH135 this year as he rode Dave and me off his tire and was looking strong all the way until the end.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Triple D 2009 - YouTube Vid By 2 DDD Racers

YouTube Video by John Nelson and Grace Shirley-Couch

Also a short little one by rob:

Triple D 2009 - Must View Photos

Triple D Photos by Mark Hirsch Photography

Click here to view it as a slideshow...

To order high quality originals contact Mark below:

Mark Hirsch
2076 Airport Road
Platteville, WI 53818
Cell 563-590-2710

Providing professional photojournalism and commercial photography services.

Triple D 2009 - Racer Photos 2

here's a link to some more:

Triple D 2009 - Racer Photos

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Triple D 2009 Results (man vs. wild)

Send me your blog links & photos! I'll post my race recap sometime this week for a more personal view of the bike part as experienced by me...

Well… it must be done… so let me apologize for hosting the most miserable “bike” race around. For you runners and skiers I won’t apologize because most of you finished… Let’s start this year’s race report with the bad:

For all participants but primary for the runners and bikers, the course conditions were worse than just about all of us could image. The weekend before the course lost 9” of solid well packed snow to a rain storm which left a thick sheet of ice. While bad, the ice would have been acceptable to most as studded tires work well and would have allowed the race to be completed in less than 6 hours by some. However, this ice was then coved by Thursday night’s 3” and Friday night’s nearly 9” of fresh dry powdered sugar snow. This created trail conditions that were miserable to be optimistic. For the runners and bikers the deep snow wouldn’t support weight and would slide on the layer of ice below, for those that opted for studs or other ice apprentices the layer of snow was deep enough to keep these from biting. How bad were the conditions??? Well, multiple veterans of the Arrowhead, Iditarod and Susitna 100 said it was the worst they have ever seen. While pushing parts of a race is SOP for true winter bike racers having glare ice under the virgin powdered sugar snow was a new experience for all.
Numerous bikers and runners dropped from wet feet due the deep dry powder working its way into every crevasse of their footwear then melting and thus soaking the feet, Others threw in the towel out of shear frustration of the initial bike race turning into the worst slogfest they had ever been a part of, others because there was a beer and a bar stool that was calling, and one committed racer because no one else was left.

For the good, this year’s weather was "pleasant" with temperatures during the race ranging from 20dF down to only 8dF. The race also garnered exceptional publicity which may help heal the pain that most racers experienced, as they can now say they were a part of the toughest one day bike race in North America (I mean how many people can say they participated in race so difficult that in 2 years there have only been 4 people have ever finished, or can say they ran a marathon in the dead of winter on a foot of snow covered ice... all cross-country across corn fields and half frozen streams). There were a number of local articles (click here to read the TH prerace article) and news crews around (click here to watch segment on the nightly news, then click watch video in upper left). Many thanks to the Dyersville and Dubuque Chambers for the help in promoting and putting on this event.

No event would be possible without the many volunteers who tirelessly helped with this event, while I put a lot of planning in to this race (I did forget to coordinate the weather with GOD… and for that I apologize, next year I’ll see what I can do about that):
Course Coordinators: Traci Andre
CP Coordinators: Anne Potter, Patsy Troy, Sara Sroka
Trail Safety & Sag: Frank Flack, David Hartig, Mr. Austin, Paul Pettinger,
Race Photographer: Mark Hirsch
Trail Coordinator: Tom Spalla (Asbury Snow Hawks)
Other Organizations and volunteers: Dubuque County Conservation, Jim Heavens, Dyersville Police, Grand River Center, Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, Dyersville Chamber of Commerce, Chariot Limousines, The Handle Bar, Quick-n-Handy Dyersville.
Sponsors: Surly Bikes, GU Energy, Running Magazine, Asbury Snow Hawks, Free Flight Bikes, Grand Harbor Resort, Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, Chain Reaction Cycling

Here are the finishers for the Triple D 23 Mile Run:
1. Joey Richey (Overall) 5:08
2. Lisa Paulos (Overall Female) 5:15
3. Annte Hall 6:00
4. Mike Hodge 6:00 [+2:44 for 50K bonus loop]
5. Seth Dugeon 6:11
6. Paul Steichen 6:55
7. Karl Steichen 6:55
8. Marcus Nashelsky
The only skier to finish was:
1. Matt Maxwell 5:04 [+2:19 for 50K bonus loop]
Here are the finish times for the 38 bikers:
Yup nobody… but because competition was intense, if you could have seen the determination at mile 12 as the lead pack of 20 bikers were running their bikes uphill in deep snow… I did, I was behind that group saying to myself how much this sucks… we must give credit to all the bikers who didn’t know they were signing up for a “push your bike until you give up race”… placement for Triple D for non-finishers is determined by total distance traveled on the marked race course (check point in italics) + bonus for not having to be sagged (if you know your exact mileage please email me, and if you blog, email me that and I’ll link it (good or bad):
1. Corey Kronser (Dyersville in 7:00, sagged at Farley +2)
2. Dennis Grelk (Dyersville in 6:21, sagged at Farley)
3. Lance Andre (Dyersville in 6:30, sagged at Farley)
4. Dave Pramann (sagged at Dyersville 6:29)
5. Tom Miller (sagged at Dyersville 6:55)
6. Brad Dumville (Farley, Alternate sagged at Dyersville 9:10)
7. Justin Meyer (Farley, Alternate sagged at Dyersville 9:10)
8. Joel Austin (sagged at Dyersville 10:40) – Frozen Saddle Award
9. Nicholos Wethington (Farley, Alternate sagged at Dyersville 9:10)
10. Jesse Reyerson (Epworth, Rode Back Alt Route)
11. Adam Blake (Epworth, Rode Back Alt Route)
12. Josh Peterson (Epworth, Rode Back Alt Route)
13. Rob McKillip (Epworth, Rode Back Alt Route)
14. Mark VanderWoude (Sagged at Epworth)
15. Maxwell Anderson (Sagged at Epworth)
16. Ben Shockey (sagged at Epworth)
17. Tim Ingram (Sagged at Epworth)
18. Scott Marx (sagged at Epworth)
19. Trevor Rockwell (Sagged at Epworth)
20. Mark Sirek (Sagged at Epworth)
21. Devon Dyreson (Sagged at Epworth)
22. Coleman Retziaff (Sagged at Epworth)
23. Irene Schroeder (Halfway to Epworth, Route back to Graf) – First Place Female
24. Jeremy Riniker (Graf, Route Back to Durango)
25. Dustin Quade (Graf, , Route Back to Durango)
26. James Ryan Zimmerman (Graf, Rode Back Alt Route)
27. Todd Erickson (Graf, Rode Back Alt Route)
28. James W. Zimmerman (Graf, Rode Back Alt Route)
29. Joe Nolan (Graf, Rode Back Alt Route)
30. Scott Sundby (Graf, Rode Back Alt Route)
31. Sean Mullins (Graf, Rode Back Alt Route)
32. Eric Sovern (Graf, Rode Back Alt Route)
33. Michael Lemberger (Graf, Route back, Sagged at Sundown)
34. Ronnie Fangman (Sagged at Graf)
35. Nate VanDerWeide (Sagged at Graf)
36. Tracy Thompson (Sagged at Graf)
37. Grace Shirly-Couch (Humkee, Rode Back Alt Route) – Second Female
38. Jerome Full (Humkee Road, Rode Back Alt Route)
39. John Nelson (Humkee Road, Rode Back Alt Route)
There were lots of photos and videos taken and many will be posted in upcoming blog entries as I have them compiled. Also we hired professional photographer this year and I believe some of those photos will be available in the coming days.
Thanks to all, and I look forward to this hopefully being a different race next year! I know there will be a number of racers who will not come back next year and some that didn't participate that will called to the challenge of doing the most difficult one day race... well be forewarned this race is done in the true fashion of winter snow racing, we are dealt the weather and the route...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bad Water...

I'll be posting the complete and final results here in a day or so...

During the race I took on some "tainted" water, and I’m a "little" under the weather today, and maybe for a couple more...

Quick recap for all: Weather forecasters, should simply use the lotto system for selecting the weather forecast. This years racers SLOGGED the entire length of Heritage trail with nearly a foot of super soft powdered sugar snow over a super slick layer of glair ice, creating the most difficult trail conditions that even the most conditioned winter racers had seen. Run times were 3 hours slower than last, and NONE of the bikers made it passed the 2/3'rds mark. YUP, everyone abandoned the race. Our frozen saddle award (last racer on the course, 10 hours 40 min) went to seasoned Alaska winter racer Joel Austin who pushed his bike for 30 of the 37 miles to Dyersville and said the race conditions were about as bad as he'd ever seen.

The only bikers of the 40 who started even made it to the turnaround point at Dyersville were:
1. Dennis Grelk 6:21 (dropped at Farley on the way back)
2. Dave Pramann 6:29 (dropped)
3. Lance Andre 6:30 (dropped at Farley on the way back)
4. Tom Miller 6:55 (dropped)
5. Cory Knonser 7:00 (Cory would eventually travel 2 miles further than Dennis and Lance, to take the overall win (determined by greatest distance traveled on the designated route))
6. Brad Dumville 7:10 (dropped)
7. Nicholos Wethington 7:10 (dropped)
8. Justin Meyer 7:10 (dropped)
9. Joel Austin 10:40 (dropped)

We had a lot of racers this year who were making this their first “Alaska style” race, and well, other than the warm weather (9dF towards the end) they got the worst of the worst.
Kudos to all who helped and all who raced.
Again, when I get some sleep and fluids to stay down I’ll write up the full race report.
Sorry, Lance
Only one skier finished: Matt Maxwell, who also skied the extra loop for a 50k.

We had 7 runners finish the entire 23+ mile route, and one slogged the extra loop for the 50k (Mike Hodge). The winning runners (Joey Richey & Lisa Paluos) posted respectable times of 5:08 and 5:18 given the foot of fresh powder they had to slog through.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Check the weather! The SNOW IS COMING!!!, and gone...

They were calling for 5-8 inches... last night, but we've only gotten 1" of new stuff. They’ve lowered the forecast for today to only a total of 2-3 inches. It will also be warm today (about 20d) so the snow should pack well IF any snow machines head out...

I'll be finishing the marking of trails today... Cheers!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dubuque TH Artical

Nice Article, they didn't mention two key local sponsors (Dubuque Conservation Board and the Asbury Snow Hawks) without these two local organizations we wouldn't have these unique winter trails to race on.
TH Artical

2009 Late Entries

  1. Due to cancelations we have FOUR openings for Runners or Skiers (looks like we will get a bit of fresh snow tonight and tomorrow).
  2. I'm also accepting late entries for bikers.
  3. In either case, for a late registration spot in this year's race you'll need to contact me at 563.543.2784 to reserve a late entry.
  4. We are also looking for a volunteer or two to help with the finish line at the Durango Handle Bar. It's an inside post with free drinks...

What is Triple D?

(photo by Juan Ocho)

What is Triple D? Triple D is a winter endurance race that traverses Dubuque County in the dead of winter by bike, ski or foot.
What makes this race different from other marathon distance races? Winter racing isn’t just about being in shape, it’s about mental toughness. You must be properly prepared to handle the extremes of winter weather for hours on end. Racers will spend many hours in all sorts of extreme winter weather so that they can test various clothing and equipment options.
How difficult is Triple D? Last year all the runners and skiers (who started) finished the standard distance event of 23 miles in -9F temp. However out of the large group of over 35 bikers (who started) only 4 finished the ultra marathon distance of 66 miles. The bikers were exposed to -30F wind-chill for over 10 hours and more extremes of weather as they were not on the sheltered Heritage trail all the time as the runners and skiers were. The first 1/3 of the event is on private snowmobile trails hosted by the Asbury Snowhawks… and as most can imagine bikes aren't easy to ride in the snow. This year (2009) dealing with the ice and avoiding injury will be the determining factor for success. Remember this race is only entered by the toughest of competitors (this isn’t your easy summer marathon), so for over half of the racers in 2008 not to finish, it’s tough! Think you have want it takes???

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Triple D 2009 - Race Roster

Below is the official and unofficial roster for the 2009 Triple D Winter Adventure Race (updated 1/8, 8 pm). I’ll update the roster on a daily basis as the late entries arrive. There’s still time to talk the unsuspecting soul into joining us.
Update: We had a couple skiers back out: There are still FOUR openings on the Limobus to Dyersville for runners or skiers.
====== Official Roster ======
1. Run Joey Richey
2. Run Seth Dudgeon
3. Run Karl Wagner
4. Run Lisa “the ultra queen” Paulos
5. Run Paul Steichen
6. Run Annette Hall
7. Run Mike Hodge
8. Run Marcus Nashelsky
30. Ski Matt “you can’t punish me enough” Maxwell
31. Ski or Run (TBD) Karl Steichen
50. Bike Ben “the shock star” Shockey
51. Bike Dennis "Finished '08 and kept my toes" Grelk
52. Bike Lance “I hope this year is better than last” Andre
53. Bike Scott Marx
54. Bike Corey Kronser
55. Bike Justin Meyer
56. Bike James Ryan Zimmerman
57. Bike Ronnie Jr. “Love the Girls” Fangman
58. Bike Nate Van DerWeide
59. Bike Michael Lemberger
60. Bike Trevor Rockwell
61. Bike Brad “I signed up for Hypothermia not a race” Dumville
62. Bike Scott “What am I doing” Sundby
63. Bike James W. “I’m racing in my Birthday Suit” Zimmerman
64. Bike Irene “I love studz” Schroeder
65. Bike Jerome Full
66. Bike Sean Mullins
67. Bike Mark “Result of Anxiety” Sirek
68. Bike Tyler Graham
69. Bike Eric “I hate bike poetry” Sovern
70. Bike John Nelson
71. Bike David “I’m staying dry this year” Pramann
72. Bike Jesse Reyerson
73. Bike Todd Erickson
74. Bike "Jesus Joe" Nolan
75. Bike Jeremy Riniker
76. Bike Adam Blake
77. Bike Joel Austin
78. Bike Coleman Retzlaff
79. Bike Nicholos Wethington
80. Bike Josh Peterson
81. Bike Tracy Tompson
82. Bike Grace Shirley-Couch
83. Bike Dustin Quade
84. Bike Devon "Off the grid in Arizona" Dyreson
85. Bike Max "the man" Anderson
86. Bike Timo "i'm not watching this year" Ingram
87. Bike Thomas Miller
88. Bike Mark VanderWoude
89. Bike Rob McKillip
====== Unofficial Roster ======
9. Run Adam Harmer
10. Run Nick Martin
32. Ski Mike Zeigle
33. Ski Jeff Barnes