Halloween Photo Contest

Halloween Photo Contest with Moms RUN This Town!

Hey Moms RUN This Town members – we’re having a Halloween Photo Contest over on Instagram, and we want to see your funny, spooky, creepy Halloween Running Costumes!

Here’s how to enter:

1.) Follow Headsweats on Instagram – @Headsweats

2.) Take a photo of you going for a run in your Halloween costume or during a Halloween Race

3.) Tag Headsweats in your photo. Use the hashtag #HeadsweatsHalloween

4.) Top 3 most creative costumes win a custom sublimated MRTT hat or visor of their choice!

You could win one of these!

You could win one of these!

Hurry! Contest ends November 2nd.

Posted in Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pruhealth ITU London Grand Final Sprint Distance Championships

Our Headsweats-sponsored Athlete and Ambassador Erin Lockwood got back from London this Fall after competing in the ITU London Grand Final Sprint Distance Championships. It was an amazing experience for such a young athlete…here’s her recap of the race:

Erin Lockwood, HS Athlete

What an incredible and amazing experience. I could have done without the cold water temperatures, but hearing people from all over the world yelling my name and Team USA as I biked and ran past them, it went above and beyond my expectations.

My trip to London started on Wednesday September the 11th when my mother and I arrived with bike in hand at Heathrow airport. We took a shuttle to our hotel which was located right at Hyde park where the race took place, so that was very convenient. After we checked in I went to pick up my race packet at the expo which was full of booths, people practicing in the pond and of course biking and running.

Some people had been there since Friday. I however couldn’t take off because of graduate school classes. once everything was taken care of, mom and I began to wander around, and by wander I mean go to Harrods and Burberry. By 9 pm I was in bed exhausted since i didn’t sleep on the plane over.

Erin Lockwood, HS Athlete

The next day, we got up wandered some more, it had rained overnight so the roads were slick. I practiced biking and running before I had to drop off my bike at 6 pm and went to bed early prepped for the next morning. I heard from some folks at bike check in that in the morning when the U23′s raced that many crashed because of the roads so I of course was more nervous than before.

Friday morning, it was raining, 61 degrees but kind of humid and oh the water temperature was 61 degrees. THAT WAS FUN. I have never swam in water that cold, prior to that it was 68 in wisconsin. The transition area was huge (ie more to run) and they did not allow towels inside…. so no drying off after the swim. It was very cool being with my fellow USA’ers and how our bikes were all racked together. We also had a lot of room at our transition spots which was lovely. The race started at 8:00 and my wave went off at 8:45. Everyone was so friendly and nice and cheering each other on. It wasn’t mean or rude.

For more on her race update, go check out her blog: http://adventuresoftribarbie.blogspot.com/

Erin Lockwood

Posted in Headsweats Athletes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Athletes of the Month ~ Gold Rush Adventure Racing

This October, we’re happy to feature an amazingly dedicated team of individual athletes and adventurers. Meet Gold Rush Adventure Racing – our Athletes of the Month. Here, they’ve recapped an epic championship race – the 2013 Gold Rush Mother Lode 4 Day Expedition Race.

Gold Rush Adventure Racing

The 2013 Gold Rush Mother Lode 4 Day Expedition Race was a tight competition between the top 4 Teams in the beautiful California Sierra Mountains: Bones (USA), Sweco (Sweden), YogaSlackers / GearJunkie (USA), and Adventureteam.dk (Denmark), all teams vying for a winning free entry into the Adventure Racing World Series in Costa Rica. Weather was a factor, as it was very hot the first day, mild the second day, and cold with snow, hail, and rain on the third day and night, clearing up on the fourth day for a spectacular finish.

The Day Before – Wednesday, Sept 18th

The Racers Arrive

climbingThe day before the race, 15 3-4 person coed teams gathered at the Long Barn Lodge in Long Barn, CA. That afternoon all racers were required to do an equipment check, rope climb, and swim challenge to make sure that everyone had the basics. That evening we all congregated for a hearty meal and warm welcome and introduction by Adrian Crane, race founder. After dinner was the moment everyone was waiting for – the revealing of the maps and race directions by Mark Richardson, course director. Racers spent hours looking over the maps and charting the check points from the masters to their copies, making sure each one was correctly placed. Then it was off to bed to try to get some sleep. Not so easy for everyone as the excitement was building!

Race Day – Thursday, September 19th

At 6 AM all the buses were loaded and ready to take the racers to the starting line on Lake New Melones. Once we were all gathered, the clock started ticking at 8:00AM marking the start of the race. It began with a 3 mile run, followed by a 30 mile kayak interspersed with a 15 mile fast trek. Skies were clear and the temperature rose close to 90 degrees by noon. Not really a problem but a bit challenging to those not used to the heat. At the end of the first leg teams tied their kayaks to a buoy in the middle of the river, swam to shore and trekked up a steep bank for 3 miles to the first TA (transition area).

 race start

TA1 – Kayak to Bike

Teams started arriving at TA1 in the early evening and on throughout the night. Here teams rested a bit (or not!), resupplied with food, built their bikes and started a 60 mile mountain bike out of the canyon. There was a tremendous amount of very steep climbing involved. Teams rode all night, up and up and up. Some stopped for a quick cat nap and to fix any mechanical issues due to all of the fine dust on the climbs.

Kayak to Bike

TA2 Sponsored by FRS –Bike to Trek

By now in the teams started to be spread out. This is typical when you have world class athletes competing with weekend warriors and every combination in between. At TA2 racers took apart their bikes and repacked them into their bike boxes. Once again they rested if needed, resupplied and planned their next assault – a monster trek!

bike to trek

This trek, which was the crux of the race, started with a 45 mile trek to the climbing site, a HUGE ropes course. Each person had to carry their climbing gear to the site. The ropes course was epic with a 300 foot free hang ascent, then a low angle repel to a 300 foot zip line and finish with a 300 foot repel. They then scrambled back to the CP to get some water and drop off their gear. The accent was daunting and not for the faint of heart. A number of people were unable to complete the ascent as it was technically and physically very challenging, especially after such a long trek and so little sleep.

trek

trekThe trek continued after the ropes course for another 30+ miles and climbed to over 8700ft. No one can predict all the variables that will be encountered in an adventure race, especially when it comes to Mother Nature. This year was no let down as far as surprises go! Up to this point the weather had been excellent… But then it turned ugly with an unexpected winter storm rolling in. Slower teams that got caught before doing the climb and ones that were well on their way past the climb fared better. It was the ones in-between that got hit the hardest with a 30 degree drop in temperature, drenching rain that turned to sideways sleet and finally snow.

It’s always a hard decision on whether to accept outside support since this will take teams out of the running according to race bylaws. But given enough lack of sleep, fatigue, cold and lack of supplies, it can be the only choice. This is a hard decision for an adventure racier, but sometimes any other decision could be disastrous.

TA3 –Trek to Bike to FINISH LINE

As the storm raged on many teams accept outside transportation and were dropped off at TA3 were they got something to eat, rested and most importantly, warmed up. Then it was off again for the final leg of the race, a 60 mile bike ride that was, thankfully, mostly downhill! By the time most teams did the bike ride the storm had blown through and the skies were sunny and clear. Hard to believe that just 18 hours before there was a howling storm with sleet and snow whirling in sideways.

All together the teams had traversed hundreds of miles using just a map and compass to find as many check points (CPs) as possible. In all there were 30 CPs with the podium teams getting them all. Quite an accomplishment!

And a big congratulations to everyone for their valiant effort…

finish line

Teams competed non-stop, navigating with map and compass to find checkpoints in four disciplines: Trekking, Paddling, Mountain Biking, and an awesome Ropes Course. The Ropes course featured a difficult free ascent with Jumars and a 500 foot Tyrolean/Zip Line over a 300′ deep canyon that ended up being the Achilles Heel for a few teams. Partly through careful strategy, Bones was able to throw Sweco off their trail, and Sweco ended up missing CP25. YogaSlacker / GearJunkie and Adventureteam.dk were the only other teams besides Bones to capture all checkpoints on the course.

The final standings were: First Place: Team Bones, Second Place: YogaSlackers / GearJunkie, and Adventureteam.dk came in Third, Sweco in Fourth. The competition was outstanding, and as usual the Gold Rush Team put together a fantastic race.

Check out more videos here.

About Gold Rush Adventure Racing

Gold Rush Adventure Racing is proud to be the North American qualifier for the Adventure Racing World Championships. We offer an event where US teams can test their mettle against international opposition and potentially win a place at the World Championships. In 2013, the Championship Race is in Costa Rica. We also work to attract international teams to the race so they can experience the incredible natural beauty that is California. We never lose sight of the fact that we live in such an incredible part of the world. Our event in 2013 attracted teams from Europe and South America. In 2014 we plan to increase the home and overseas entries and cement the status of the event in the 10 race circuit of Adventure Racing World Series qualifiers. With the help of our sponsors we hope to host the Adventure Racing World Series Final in the near future. The Gold Rush Mother Lode expedition race has been a 4 or 5 day event but we plan to expand it to an 8 day event in 2015 to become a true destination event for Adventure Racers the world around.

Posted in Headsweats Athletes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ÖTILLÖ 2013

Ironwoman and Headweats-sponsored Athlete completed Ö TILL Ö – otherwise known as “One of the toughest 1-Day races in the world.” That’s right, WORLD. Here’s her recap of the race:

Written by Penny Comins

Penny with her race partner Renata at start of the race.

Penny with her race partner Renata at start of the race.

Being the only kiwi that has ever raced I felt I had to knock this one off. As the waves rushed up the rock face, crashing me against them and then sucking me out as quickly as they had compressed me, I was more worried about my life than representing my country. Drawing on my rock climbing lessons at school I looked for finger holds and pulled up on the wave, scrambling with hand paddles failing around my wrists and my pool buoy trying to separate my legs, I made it out of the water. No time to soothe myself as we had to press on. Time to engage legs and run, and scramble. This was the Swim-Run World Championships in Sweden. My partner Renata and I were deep into the race, learning on the job. 22 islands, 65 kilometres of running, 10 kilometres of swimming.

A neutral start set us off on the first island of Sandhamn. The sun rose through the cloud in a star formation, symbolic for the adventure that lay ahead. We were a bundle of nerves. So many questions that had stirred around in us couldn’t be answered until we were actually doing the event. Hitting the water for the first time and swimming to a flashing beacon showed us just how raw and open this race was going to be.

On paper, the race sounded achievable; O till O is 75 kilometres of racing over the Stockholm Archipelago, the second largest in the Baltic Sea. Broken down, the longest swim was 1,650 meters while the longest run was 20 kilometres near the end of the race on the longest island Orno. Completed in pairs, my partner Renata was an accomplished Irish long-distance triathlete. We mused for weeks over kit and how the distances broken down would be achievable. We had tried to calculate our splits being very generous on the timings to allow for getting in and out of the water. With these times laminated and glued to my swim paddles we thought we would have a tough day but make all five cut offs and finish in time for beers before dinner.

O till O Race 2013

The first island was nature’s slap in the face, timings went out the window as our focus shifted to getting through each cut off with time to spare. Our mantra was always to ‘keep moving forwards.’ We were told repeatedly to not stop moving at any time. The rocky shoreline, boulders and slippery granite that greeted us was not conducive for a nice easy running flow. We got down to a fast scramble and picked our path along the shore, through scrub and over boulders following carnival tape hanging from trees.

O till O Race 2013

We were told at the briefing that we had to go around the side of several islands due to land ownership issues; we were cursing the owner after 4,400 meters of wobbly walk/running in ankle deep waters.

Prior to the race I had been in contact with the previous winning woman’s team; they had said to get your ‘in’s and outs’ practiced. If you waste five minutes with each entry and exit over 22 islands that equates to three and a half hours of dead time. Simply, we would never make the cut offs if we mucked around. We had a decided to verbalize our process as trying to put your goggles on when you already have your hand paddles on just wouldn’t work. “Pull buoy, goggles, paddles, push off.”

Once in the water it was nice to cool the legs. Each island had a yellow flag on the shore that we had to sight towards or in the swims over a kilometre a flashing strobe light. Without the comfort of buoys marking the course, we could take any line we liked. The rules state you must be 10 meters from your partner at any time; many using a tow rope. We trailed a rope but found that it was more hindrance than help and opted for looking out for each other. This added to the adventure when the current was ripping between the islands pushing us out to sea. Having been brought up near the beach in New Zealand I didn’t find this too stressful and just swam in a vector to the current. For my Irish teammate this was a new sensation and she nearly missed the exit points several times, showing how nature has the final say each time. This made for interesting swims watching out for her while still navigating to each exit. The birds flew above while jellyfish pulsed below, an overwhelming feeling of being in nature rushed me many times. We were really doing this!

Climbing out of the rough water onto equally rough terrain

Climbing out of the rough water onto equally rough terrain

We made it through the nine am cut off with 25 minutes to spare. This was going to be a tough fought race with nature; our minds and the time checkpoints. The course headed west for four islands before a crossing of 500 meters to head south. The weather forecast had given us favourable winds for the day pushing us to the final island Uto. Due to the nature of being 60 kilometres off the coast of Sweden in the Baltic Sea several storms rolled through bringing thunder and hail at times but these were brief and almost a relief when running in our wetsuit.

Either the favourable weather or the fact that this year’s race was the SwimRun World Championship where teams had to qualify through the Uto swim race or merit meant that of the 114 teams on the start line 99 made it to the finish, the highest completion rate in the eight year history of the race. Last year only two woman’s teams finished and this year nine of the 13 finished indicating the level of participant that the race now attracts. 120 teams were given slots from over 300 applicants and with the use of qualification or merit proved to be a winning formula meant the top teams pushed each other harder than in previous years. The record of nine hours and 15 minutes set in 2011 was smashed by 32 minutes this year.

O till O Race 2013

Sprint prizes throughout the race kept the teams pushing all the way. The Red Bull sprint prize was first on the island of Rumaro and won by Team NybrovikenRib passed the line in first, which was the same as last year. Followed by Paul and Björn of team Head swimming and Lelle and Magnus who were last year’s winners.

However at the Addnature sprint prize, 24 kilomteres in to the race the order had changed to Paul and Björn in the lead while Magnus and Lelle had used their prior course knowledge and over taken Nybroviken Rib, Simon and Rasmus.

The Milebreaker.com last 15 kilometres was a test of who had paced their race in a way to have enough gas for the last half of the 20 kilometre run and then five more islands to hop over. As Michael and Mats, race organizers, had said in the race briefing, this is where the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.

O TILL O - Island Hopping Race

Coming up the last hill dubbed ‘Devil’s Hill’ to the finish line at Utö Värdshus Björn and Paul of Team Head swimming held their lead and won Ö till Ö 2013 World Championship in a winning time of 8 hours and 35 minutes. Lelle and Magnus followed seven minutes after. Simon and Rasmus of Team NybrovikenRib rounded the podium off. A total of four teams finished under nine hours, a new record that tested the logistics team of the race.

In the woman’s it was a one horse race with mother-daughter team Puppy TS of Bibben and Lotta leading the whole way and setting a new course record of 10 hours and 55 minutes placing 21st overall. Last years winners Helena and Linda of Lisa’s Cafe finished second and Sanna and Victoria, Team Cougar completed the set. In the Mixed competition Team Freddan and Ankan smashed the last record in 10 hours 33 minutes, a compelling 15th overall. Björn and Marika of Team Adeptic came in second with Erica and Thomas of Team Bisnode pushed hard for third.

Meanwhile Team PenRen, the Irish and Kiwi girls were ticking off the islands one by one. Without Renata knowing, I had set my watch fast by 10 minutes so every checkpoint we went through we had a bit more to spare than she thought. Still, we were not on our times, down to the wire and starting to fade. Renata’s shoulders started to feel the strain of the paddles and the longer swims in waters of 10 to 16 degrees she was feeling the cold. Luckily running in our cut off wetsuits and swim caps meant she warmed up quickly. Momentarily we did wonder how we got in to this crazy race as we came to rock faces to climb over, ducked under branches, wove through reeds and swam in grey silt filled inlets all in our wetsuits, caps, paddles and a pull buoy tired to our leg.

O TILL O 2013

Getting through the 1,400 meter swim from MörtöKlobb – Kvinnoholmen was the demon we had in our minds as the current is tough in the exposed swim and has taken athletes up to an hour in the past. We got across the straight and out the other side relatively unscathed. It was the 20 kilometre run on Orno that showed us this was an ultra race in every proportion. We decided to take our wetsuits to our waist and run this section hard to make the six pm cut-off at the south end of the island. Once we passed here we could take as long as we wanted to get the finish.

We struck several hurdles when the terrain became rocky and slippery so we had to run the gravel road section hard. Renata’s body wanted to shut down but she fought hard to hold her legs together and support her shoulders that stabbed with every jarring step. After the milebreaker.com feed station we had an hour and 20 minutes to cover 7,900 meters. “Easy,” I hear you say. Not so when you have been in and out of the water all day covering 60 kilometres. We were reduced to a walk-run strategy and chatted with other teams who too were just ‘moving forward.’ We made the cut off by 30 minutes and gave garbled whopping interviews to the TV cameras at the timing zone. Mats said he would see us at the end for beers in the hotel, a great touch for the race directors to be out on the course.

O TILL O 2013

Only 7,100 meters and five islands lay between the finish and us. We totally underestimated the enormity of this simple thought; coupled with the sun going down and the current ripping around the smaller islands made for a rock n roll entry and exit at each island. Tired, slightly delirious, and starting to swell from the exposure we smashed over the islands in and out of the water. Each time we got out there were more people cheering us on yet the wind had picked up and Renata was shivering uncontrollably. Some blueberry soup at the last feed station helped as we pushed on not wanting to be swimming in the dark. The last exit was emotional as that was when the swimming was over. We ran-walked to the finish under the orange sun sliding to the horizon. As we got closer to Devil Hill, the hotel and finish line sat on top, Renata got a new lease of energy and bolted to the top and across the line. Her first words ‘Can I have a big beer for me and my mate?!’

O TILL O 2013

2014 entries open in February with qualification or merit the way in to the swimrun World Championship.

 For more info on the race, visit: www.otillo.se

Posted in Headsweats Athletes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penny Comins takes on another IM

Headsweats Athlete Penny Comins takes on yet another Ironman – Ironman Kalmar in Sweden this past August. Read her full race update – with emotions and all – below. Congrats Penny!

Ironman Kalmar

Written by Penny Comins

The blue carpet, the blur of the crowd, the music and one voice crystal clear – you are an Ironman. It never grows old. All 15 times it has been a spine tingling moment, only seconds before the immediate release of emotion. The past three months of training, sacrifices and the 140.6 miles you have traveled to get to this moment in time come exploding out. Sometimes it has been joy, sometimes bewilderment and often tears. This time it was tears.

  Ironman Kalmar

I finally got a time trail bike and trained harder than ever on the bike. The plan was to ride 5 hours 30 minutes and run 3 hours 30 minutes to get a new Personal Best. Entering Ironman Kalmar presented a relatively flat cycle course, playing to my strengths. The weather gods had other ideas, as on race morning the flags were at full attention around the small UNESCO town centre.

Penny Comins, IM

Winds gusting from the south at 50 kilometres per hour made the 120 kilometre loop on the open marshland on the island Oland a trudge down and low flying back. Unfortunately I didn’t make up the time lost heading down the island on the way back and was 16 minutes down on my time check heading back over the six kilometre bridge to the mainland. The final 60 kilometres were rolling countryside to Rockenby with a stonking headwind coming back in to town, just when energies were low. It was time to start on the Maxifuel Viper gels and get the caffeine rush in. I came in off the bike at 5.51.56. After a longer than planned swim, or more accurately described as a drownfest, 1.22.55, it was time to get the deficit back on the run.

 goofing around

I stared off at a pace that felt fast but able to hold. As the wind showed itself on the course and my body started to wear down my pace slowed and relaxed at just over five minute kilometres. As the world started to spin I took the precautionary step to slow down through a few aid stations, get some water on my body and in my Headsweats visor to keep my core temperature down. I took on salt; more Maxifuel gels and a few Sports Legs to buffer the lactic build up.

I started to feel better, or was it the finish line feeling looming? Regardless I pushed on. My devoted boyfriend kept popping up in the last few kilometres of the run in the historical city giving me splits and pushing me to go sub 11 hours. I just got my head down, engaged any energy left and pushed with all my might.

 Ironman Finish Line

Relieved to see 10.56 above my head I had done it. I wobbled to the catchers having pushed the hardest I have ever done in all 15 Ironman’s I have completed. Yet tears rolled down my face when I saw David, I felt I had let him down by not cycling a faster time. On reflection the whole field was slower this year with the crowded swim and hurricane winds. The elusive 5 hour 30 minute bike and 3 hour 30 minute run has evaded me again. Well, until Ironman South Africa next year.

My 3.34.27 did give me the 12th fastest ladies marathon on the day, including the pro’s. My Sigvaris calf guards kept my legs in tact to have the power to push when they would normally feel fatigued.

Posted in Headsweats Athletes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working Towards 2016 Olympics ~ Jared Bassett

Headsweats-sponsored athlete Jared Bassett prepares for the 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Written by Jared Bassett

Jared Bassett

As I began my post collegiate career with the U.S. track and field Championships and started to work towards the 2016 Olympic trials I had to make sure I made a list of smaller goals or tasks I needed to do a long the way. 2016 is a long ways out and I think it is important to come up with ways to keep yourself motivated each season. I feel it is easy to lose sight of why you are training everyday if you don’t.

Jared Bassett, HS athlete

The first mini-goal I have on the list above all else is to stay healthy! All of the hard work and training that you put in means nothing if you cannot stay healthy and be injury free. This involves doing all of the little things like foam rolling, stretching and icing after runs and hard workouts. It takes up time but it is what it takes when you are training at a high level. Nutrition plays a huge part in staying healthy. If you are not getting proper nutrition into your body, you are going to be more susceptible to injury as well. If your body can’t fully recover from the punishment you have administered, it will not heal and will most likely breakdown eventually. If you can stay healthy than you have a better chance of maintaining a higher level of training and fitness year round, which brings me to the next mini-goal on my list: maintaining a high level of fitness from year to year. As you train from year to year, your fitness carries over to the next and allows you build off of where you left off the previous year. So over time that level of fitness and performance builds on itself and allows you to improve. I have seen this take place during my college career. I went from being and 8:58 steeplechaser my sophomore year to an 8:36 steeplechaser my senior year. Those years all consisted of consistent training. So I plan to do that same thing leading up to 2016 just at a higher level and hopefully seeing another big improvement in my steeplechase time.

2013 Oregon Twilight

Between now and the trials I just plan on racing on the roads in the fall to build strength and race each spring on the track focusing on bringing my steeple time down and achieving an Olympic “A” or “B” standard a year before the trials. When I’m not racing, I will be logging a lot of miles, doing track workouts, along with doing strength training at least twice a week to work on balance, coordination, and overall core strength, which are very important when it comes to the steeplechase. They are little things, but they add up overtime and can really become beneficial down the road. So in conclusion I think the theme you can take from this is consistency over time. Athletes don’t become great overnight, they all have to put in the work for years before they begin to reach their full potential. That’s what I feel I am doing right now and I am very excited for this time in my running career and I can’t wait for 2016!

Jared Bassett

Posted in Headsweats Athletes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Athletes of the Month ~ Tecnu Adventure Racing

Ever wonder how an extreme adventure racing team gets started? Here’s a quick recap of how Team Tecnu got started and how far they’ve come today. We’re happy to have Team Tecnu as our Athletes of the Month here at Headsweats!

Team Tecnu

Team Tecnu

Written by Earring Doug Judson

Tecnu Adventure Racing started in 2007 when we stumbled across our amazing partner in Tec Labs and we started off on our amazing journey together testing the boundaries of human endurance. For those of you who don’t know what Tecnu is, it’s a scrub that removes the poisin sumac oils from your skin, clothes, dogs, and gear after coming into contact with it. A not so subtle sponsor plug, but we do love them, and their products rock.

Tecnu Adventure Racing

When I formed the team we set out to find like minded athletes who love to train, and race hard, and love to do it together in exotic locations of the world. In the first couple of years, like in any when you are trying to build the right team and find the right chemistry that works for you to race hard and fast, we had mixed results. 4 years ago we brought Kyle Peter on the team after watching him for a year as a youngster and seeing him racing hard and suffering with a smile on his face, so I decided that we would start forming the team around him, and try to develop some athletes, and see what happens.

Tecnu Adventure Racing

Since 2010 we have won many races, always at or near the top of the podium, but ALWAYS a contender. In 2011 we became the top team in North America winning the ARWS qualifying race, the Gold Rush Mother Lode 4 day expedition race, and represented the U.S at the World Championships in our first venture there, and finished in 12th place as the top team from North America out of 82 teams. Not bad for our first international race against the best teams in the world. We were excited to build on that experience and exposure.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

2012 saw us string together a great season with 12 podiums in 12 races finished all over the globe including a 2nd place finish in Ecuador at the Huairasinchi Expedition race, a 3rd place at the Gold Rush Mother Lode expedition race, and a dominating 1st place in Costa Rica that qualified us for the World Championships in France. We also finished in 2nd place at both of our National Championships, narrow misses that we hope to remedy in the coming weeks. We were also featured in 12 episodes of the Wild Racers television series that is supposed to be airing in North America sometime in 2013 which is very exciting for all of our partners.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

In 2013 we tweaked the team a little bit adding several new key team members that we felt would help us continue our progression up the food chain in adventure racing. We started the year ranked first in North America, and are currently ranked 5th in the world. We started strong by heading off to South Africa and qualifying for Worlds by finishing 2nd at the most competitive race of the year. We followed that up with a dominating win at the innagural Cowboy Tough 4 day stage race in Wyoming in July, and a close 2nd at the Wilderness Traverse in Canada. We still have some of our main goals still out in front of us with races remaining at the Checkpoint Tracker Nationals, the USARA National Championships, and ending our season in December at the World Championships in Costa Rica. We are training hard hoping for the top rung on the podium at each race. We feel we finally have the team that can compete at any level, and feel that we are peaking at just the right time.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

Current team members are founder and manager “Earring” Doug Judson, Team Captain and the “next phenom in the sport of AR” Kyle Peter, Bob Miller the resident Nav God and Canadian on the team, Garret Bean our resident sherpa and whip cracker, the two Queens of the Machine Karen “Super K” Lundgren, and Mindy Fernando. Together we make up Tecnu adventure racing, and hope you will tune in to watch us live the life of adventure. Thanks to Headsweats for this honor, and for continuing to make amazing performance hats that help us push the envelope. Come out and join us in an adventure race. It will change your life.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

Follow Tecnu Adventure Racing on Facebook, and for race recaps, updates, and news, check out their website: www.tecnuadventureracing.com

Posted in Headsweats Athletes | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Headsweats Does Alaska

Headsweats Team Member Alison Cochran, Graphic & Sales Magician, proves that Headsweats is tough enough for Alaska! Alison’s boyfriend, Geff Werning worked in Alaska over the summer as a Commercial Salmon Fisherman. Don, the owner of the operation, briefly details their season and includes some photos. Enjoy:

 About the Season:

Low numbers of fish plagued the bay except for the few fishermen that were working in mid June. Heat waves early and late and miserable rain and wind for the bulk of the early fishing days. The Alaska Fish and Game closed us down for almost 6 days in July out of fear of escapement levels. Hope springs eternal and we are looking forward to next year.

There is also a big movement against the proposed Pebble Mine. Find out more here: www.facebook.com/FishermenforBristolBay

 Alaska Fisherman

Geff and the hydraulic power roller oophing in some fish

Geff and the hydraulic power roller oophing in some fish

Here it comes out of the boat

Here it comes out of the boat

Resting when you can

Resting when you can

Just like a $5000 week on the Alagnak River sport lodge! That is graveyard in the background.

Just like a $5000 week on the Alagnak River sport lodge!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

College Colors Instagram Contest

CELEBRATE COLLEGE COLORS DAY!

Ready to celebrate your college team on College Colors Day, August 30th? Enter our Instagram College Colors Contest to win Headsweats gear just in time for football season!

You can enter anytime between August 28th and September 2nd. Contest ends at midnight ET, September 2nd. 3 Random winners will be selected on September 3rd. Winner wins a Headsweats visor or hat of their choice in their College Colors!

CollegeColorDays

Follow the steps below to enter.

Step 1: Use Instagram to take a photo of you, you & your friends, you & the fam, wearing your college colors!

Step 2: Tag @Headsweats & use the hashtag #CollegeColorsDay

Step 3: Must enter through Instagram. Multiple entries will be accepted.

3 random winners will be chosen & announced on Tuesday, September 3.

Not on Instagram? No worries! Use the discount code: SCHOOLCHEER for 25% off any online order at www.headsweats.com. This discount is good through 9/30/13.

HS Collegiate Collection

Posted in Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Water Safari Update

Headsweats Athlete Max Feaster just competed in the 51st annual Texas Water Safari. Here’s his recap of the 262-mile, non-stop race. That’s right, 262 miles. Non. Stop.

Canoe Racer, Max Feaster

Interviewed and written by B. Eriksson

There comes a time in every athlete’s career when the only option is to throw down everything you have on the course. It is the point when you realize that everything you have worked for during the past decade has built up to this moment. For Max Feaster, this moment came during the 51st annual Texas Water Safari.

The Safari is a 262-mile, non-stop, through the night, endurance canoe race running from San Marcos to Seadrift, TX. Regarded as the toughest canoe race in the world, the Safari has paddlers negotiate treacherous rapids, logjams, dangerous bugs and reptiles, triple-digit heat, and hallucinations, all at varying stages of sleep deprivation. In addition to the difficulty that is intrinsic to the course, Max was paddling what is regarded as the most challenging racing hull available: the USCA C-1.

The C-1 is a rudderless, 18′ 6″ solo canoe confined to using a single blade paddle. Built for short distance sprints in a straight line, this boat, as Max emphatically proclaims, dislikes wind, waves, aggressive turns, and many other things common in the Safari. When asked, “why on earth would you take a boat like that?” his reasoning takes a turn to the philosophic. For Max, the Safari is much more than a timed race. The Safari is not about getting to the finish line fastest. The Safari is about pushing yourself way past where you think your stamina, endurance, and strength end. The Safari is a precious adventure, and the C-1 is the best boat to fully grasp the intensity and intimacy of that adventure.

On top of these already strenuous factors, Max was pitted against one of the most respected Texas Water Safari racers around: Wade Binion. He was looking for his 18th finish, had excellent training, was in the same type of boat, and was a force to be reckoned with.

Headsweats athlete Max Feaster

Another factor that adds intrigue to the race is that designated team captains follow their paddlers down the course, being the only people who can administer supplies. This year, Max’s team captain was living legend Peter Derrick. Though English-born, Derrick has been racing the Texas Water Safari since 1975, and is one of the most respected and decorated racers in history. Until quite recently, the supply rule has been that team captains are only allowed to give water and ice to the paddler – everything else (food, repair kit, medical, lights, etc.) must be carried from the start by the paddler. Though the Texas Water Safari now allows full nutritional and medical support by the team captain, Max, holding true to his principles, abided by the old rules, and only received water and ice from his team captain.

When asked about race highlights, a cunning smile overtook his face and he began to describe a side of the race hidden from the bank. “The wonderful thing about this race is that there are too many factors to possibly control – so the race is constantly changing and staying fresh” Max said.

“For example, there is a 5 hour section down past Victoria which is notoriously known as ‘hallucination alley’. At about this point, you have been padding for 40ish hours, various body systems are starting to get dangerously close to failure, the hallucinations from sleep dep. are encroaching, and you know there are still 60 miles separating you from the finish. On top of this, the river starts getting eerily twisty and familiar: if you are not on top of your game, you could swear that you have the same right and left turn on infinite repeat. Luckily, I made it through the majority of this section with little-to-no issue, but coming to the final half hour, there was a tight, 180º turn that had simply dried up. I later came to find that the river had burrowed under a logjam/cliff/bank to rejoin itself after the turn, but in the moment, at around 3:00am, sitting on ~42 hours of exhaustive racing, I was lost, frustrated, and speechless. For the last eight years, including the training run I did the week prior on this section, this turn was a none-issue, but tonight, my entire race went ‘mission critical’.

My competition was making up all the time I had put between us, I was trudging around in the swampy, alligator-friendly part of the course, and I could not find any tracks or portage trails from other boats. Finally, after about 30 minutes of backtracking, exploring, and climbing, I reached the ‘FIP’ and decided to portage around the whole turn. Though slower, more strenuous, and far more dangerous, I knew that I could waste hours searching for the correct route if I was not careful. After ~10 minutes of slogging through deep mud and vegetation, I finally reached the rejoined river, and paddled on to the next checkpoint – way behind schedule. When I reached the stop, my team captain, Peter Derrick, told me that my competition had made a huge push, and had reduced my once solid lead of 84 minutes to 15. So with 7 hours left in the race, and a freight train of a competitor bearing down on me, it became clear that taking it to maximum for the remainder of the race was the only feasible solution. Long-story-short, Binion had the same idea, and upped his speed at the same point. Thus, we stayed at crisp 12-15 minutes of separation for the next 30 miles, sprinting our hearts out as our respective team captains egged us on. Now, though effective, sprint dueling at any point in the Safari is a dangerous game, with the only outcome being the complete collapse of one party.

Thus, for one reason or another, I was able to pull through to victory, while Binion lost 30 minutes in the last hour. All in all, it was an amazing finish against an overwhelming competitor – but without getting lost in the middle of the night, it would not have been quite as spectacular. And that is what makes this race wonderful. I planned everything out to the most minuscule detail, trained like there was no tomorrow, and I was still left guessing and stupefied. It is a course that you can never predict or perfect, and an adventure that you can never truly conquer – and that is what keeps me coming back.”

YouTube

Check out Max during the Texas Water Safari

Max won his USCA C-1 class in the Texas Water Safari with a total finishing time of 49:02. He placed 6th overall, out of 115 boats – one of the highest overall placements for this class.

Though Max plans on racing again, he is putting his boat away for the near future as he pursues a career in the Air Force as a fighter pilot. His thoughts on his new path? “Once you race and win the Texas Water Safari C-1, most things tend to seem a bit more manageable.”

Photos courtesy of: P. Rask

Posted in Headsweats Athletes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment