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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The ECOSLO Morro Bay Tri: What to Expect?

The time’s coming – the annual ECOSLO Morro Bay Tri. In addition to last year’s Olympic length, we’ve added a sprint course as well.
In case this is Greek to you:
Olympic Distance : 1.5K Swim | 40K Bike | 10K Run
Sprint Distance : 750M Swim | 20.5K Bike | 5.4K Run
These lengths make up the majority of tri competitions, and for good reason – they’re accessible, and any level of fitness can shine here.
The order is usually the same: swim, bike, and run. And for good reason, you don’t want to do a swim when you’re dirt tired – it’s ordered for safety!

I hate swimming! Well, cool. We’ve got a kayak option. And, believe you me, I am not a big swimmer myself. Enjoy the same water views as the swimmers, but without the wet and saltiness.
Our swim is in Morro Bay, a protected cove and home to fishermen and hobby boaters, along with adorable sea otters and sea lions.
But what about tides? We carefully select our dates and times to allow for a “slack tide.” This means the tide is moving neither in nor out. It should feel very much like a lake swim. But be careful: if you practice in these waters, be sure you also select a slack tide – we don’t want you getting sucked out to hostile, shark-infested waters! (Just kidding, though at last year’s adventure race, we did see some blue whales.)

As for bikes, both courses will head north on highway 1 on an out-and-back this year, the difference is when you’ll turn back around out. You’ll enjoy a mostly flat ride along the ocean. We’ve got a road closure and great coning, and we promise the course will be super well-marked! You’ll be safe, sound, and confident so you can give the course your all.

And then let’s finish it out with a race on the sand. Last year it was an out-and-back, but this year we’re pleased to give you a different view: you’ll start out on dirt and boardwalk, go through a cute neighborhood, turn left and come back on the sand. Watch out for snowy plovers – be kind to our beach birdies!
Yup, pretty straight forward. We keep you safe, make your life happy, and it’s all to benefit a great cause: ECOSLO.
But, you know, this is an All Out event, and we expect you to not just be hard core, but have fun!

This dude knows what I’m talking about – he’s rolling through the finish line! Huzzah!

Changing Perceptions

We had our first event for 2011 two weeks ago, and I think that it was a success. If, by success, we mean that no one got seriously injured, everyone finished under their own power, and the finish line was all smiles.

We do events for that feeling of bringing joy to other people. We genuinely enjoy trampling through brush and being itchy for three months straight because we love those smiles at the events. You know it, and we know it, there is something magic about being a part of an “Event.” You are part of a community. A shared experience. Really knowing what you’re capable of that day. The whole she-bang.

A lot of conversations lately have gone toward why Adventure Racing isn’t so big. We’re working with a Cal Poly class who is developing a Public Relations campaign for our races. I told them the same thing I’m about to say here, that their efforts aren’t just a school project. If we can implement an effective strategy, we’ll share them with the larger community. What they do in this class has the potential to have a lifetime of impact if they put the effort in.

Just like the events can and do for many.

Every time I tell people what I do, people look up to the sky and whistle. Especially if I say, “Adventure Race.”

And I have to wonder – is it partly the name?

I was on the phone last night with Glenn Millar of Desert Dash who was saying he was in Brazil at the EcoMotion race and the same thing came up – that we need to do something to change how the outside world see us.

Yeah, there’s an element of surprise, but it’s not out of control. It’s not even a “race” like a triathlon or a trail run is “a race.” While some people are machines, most are very, very much chill and having fun. That’s the difference. You don’t always “go go go,” you stop, you check your map, you have a snack. It’s cool.

Even “sprint race” is a misnomer. If the top finishers come in at 2 hours, and the last come in at 4, that’s hardly sprinting. Do we need to change it to “short form” or something even more awesome?

Instead of people describing it as a run, paddle, and bike . . . we’ve got to figure out a way to show people for what it really is – a morning, a day, or more, of going out with your buddies or with your best friend (you) in the back country and seeing some beautiful stuff along the way.

Besides, most of us don’t actually run the whole time, anyway. And nearly everyone sucks at paddling.

So, what do we all do as a community to change the perception? To get AR where trail races, gran fondos, tris, etc are? Accessible yet challenging and always worth it? I mean, look at mud runs – some of them shock you and make you crawl through barbed wire – that’s torture! This is fun!

Adventure racing,  you’ll never feel the same about yourself.

Red Star Sunglasses

All event participants in this year will be getting a gift card to try Red Star Sunglasses for $49 (with shipping) in their goody bags and we’ll be giving a few pairs away as prizes.

So, you know, when you’re done killing it out there, you can bask in the glory of the shades.

Hammer Nutrition On Board!

If you’re looking for race nutrition on course and off, look no further than Hammer. At this year’s All Out Adventure Series and Morro Bay Tri, you’ll find HEED and Hammer Gels on course and in your goody bags along with new products.

All Out is thrilled to partner with this innovative product!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

SLO Mountain Run Video!

Thanks so much to Stephanie Somma for volunteering to produce an awesome video of our event this last weekend. She did a great job of capturing the feeling of the event!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

“Unless you're not pushing yourself, you're not living to the fullest.” - SLO Mountain Run is a wrap!

Well, we had a record attendance year, and we want to thank everyone who came out to participate.

As the first event of the season, we are always really glad to have a relatively low logistical race (compared to adventure races and triathlons) and all the staff went into it feeling relaxed and happy. We unveiled our new registration signs and it worked great!

Aaronne, our intrepid registration person sets up our racers. This year we had blue shirts with the logo and a quote from Dean Karnazes: “Unless you're not pushing yourself, you're not living to the fullest.” The SLO Mountain Run does nothing if not push people to live life to the fullest when they’re running – those hills are STEEP!

People were really happy to be there – we had a vacationing couple from South Africa and a local woman who had no idea the lake was even there. It was great to share the most beautiful run in SLO with the world this perfect, sunny, April morning. And it was great to see people puking their guts out at the finish as evidence for having given it their all.

I had to give props to the woman below in this photo who did this single-track, totally ungroomed trail with a stroller and kidlet. She said they both had fun despite the rugged terrain! She earns my respect for being hard core!

Thanks for coming out and supporting us, and for supporting Special Olympics!

Our top overall winners got great prize packages from SOLE and a free entry into any of our other events.

You can find more photos here:

We’ve got some snazzy things brewing at All Out Events!

The proofs for our award jerseys are in our hands: thanks to local cycling gear producer Voler’s sponsorship, first place overall finishers in the All Out Adventure races, Ancient Peaks Classic Mountain Bike Race, and ECOSLO Morro Bay Tri. Here’s a sneak peak:


We’re excited to have SLO Search and Rescue on board this year to provide assistance (should we need it) at the adventure races.

We also have a really unusual, cool sponsor for the mountain bike comp: CalStar! While we hope you don’t need their air assistance, having helicopters at the event is still pretty cool!

We had a meeting with the Morro Bay TBID committee today and they are stoked on our event, and will be helping us promote it this year and hopefully into the future. We understand that Ironman is thinking about coming into the area to put on a race in lower SLO County and we think this is a great opportunity to grow our destination race with the additional area exposure.