Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Winner's Circle

Sarah Haskin's winning St. Anthony's

Raynard Tissink winning Ironman South Africa.

Multiple champ Rebeccah Wassner's winning equipment.
Jo Lawn winning Ironman New Zealand.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

St. Anthony's or BUST

6ft gator we saw on a training ride!

ISM pros Eric Limkemann and Zach Winchester.

Stud Phil and his newly fit custom painted Trek (thanks for the BodyGlide).

Bossman Steve and Nina Kraft.

Sarah Haskins' winning ride!
Last week I traveled to corporate and got a chance to check out the new ISM World Headquarters. Nice warehouse space and offices. And we got a huge shipment in from our factory and I was put to work helping our shipping department. It was also the weekend of the long running (and usually triathlon season opener), St. Anthony's triathlon. I can't remember how many times I've done this event, but it holds a special place in my heart as it was my first Olympic Distance back in the 90's.
I fit tons of folks while there and had a chance to hang with some of our professionals and other industry friends. I always enjoy seeing new and old faces and I have never seen so many ISM saddles at an event. It was cool to see and proof that our staff's hard work is paying off. Thanks for all your support.
The event was windy and they shortened the swim several waves after mine. Great day for racing though and although I didn't come close to a PR, I did race with several Team ISM members and managed to escape the Gulf swim with all of my body parts.
Congrats to all who finished. We managed to win the women's event with our own Sarah Haskins dominating. Congrats to Cameron for winning the men's event.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Heather Jackson interview on Slowtwitch

Monday, April 26, 2010
Wattie Ink.'s Heather Jackson Featured on Slowtwitch Today

Wattie Ink professional, Heather Jackson featured on Slowtwitch today! Check it out here at:

Heather proudly competes with her ISM Adamo Breakaway saddle.

Sarah Haskins' WINNING St A's Race Report

Race Report: St. Anthony’s Triathlon
This past Sunday, I competed in the prestigious St. Anthony’s Triathlon. The race is beginning to have a hometown feel to me, as it was my fourth time competing at the race. I missed last year after undergoing surgery in Feb. or 09’ at DISC Medical facility in CA for a nerve entrapment release in my leg. This was the first time we stayed in downtown St. Pete’s and experienced the atmosphere and flavor of city.
The race is EARLY, especially traveling from Colorado with a 6:55AM start (which is more like a 4:55AM start; however, once race morning arrives any feeling of tiredness is replaced with a rush of adrenaline!) I woke up at 4:40AM; had my normal breakfast and walked the .8 mile to the transition area to get setup. It is still very dark at 5:30AM, so fortunately Nate had his flashlight to help me get all my gear set up in transition. Around 6 AM, I started my warm up and ran down to the swim start, followed by some activation, drills and strides. I wanted to make sure to get in the water and test out a couple of runs into the water since it was a beach start. The water felt very refreshing at 74 degrees vs. the muggy, humid 76 degree morning.
The men started promptly at 6:52 and we began just three minutes behind. I had a decent start, next to Laura Bennett who is one of the best in the world at beach starts. She had a body length on me after the run into the water, but I remained calm and got right on her feet for the first 400meters of the swim. After the first couple of buoys, I took over the swim lead and swam at a comfortable, but strong pace. The swim started off fairly calm, but the waves definitely picked up the second half of the swim. As I approached the steps to climb out of the water, I was grateful a couple of volunteers were there to help me onto that first step, as I was feeling a little dizzy from the waves at that point.
Once out on land, I focused on getting my TYR Sayonara off as quickly as possible and strapping on my Rudy Project Wingspan TT Helmet. I felt comfortable on my Fuji D-6 with my 921 Oval Aerobars, ISM Adamo saddle, Zed Tech 404 and Sub9 disc. I also loved my new pedals from Sampson Sports; Stratics S6, which are lightweight, yet have a great platform for power. The bike was a bit windy (wind from the south), so the first 15 miles of the bike were challenging. I focused on making sure all my corners were smooth and keeping up a high and steady tempo. At two points on the course (around mile 3 and mile 17), I could see where the other girls were located. I noticed I had about at least a minute lead over the next girl, so I continued to ride at my pace and made sure to hydrate in preparation for the run. Several times on the bike; I caught myself grinding my teeth; so I was very glad to have on my UnderArmour Bite Tech Mouth Piece! The mouth piece really helps me to stay relaxed while pushing the bike, focused during transitions and staying smooth during technical corners on the bike. I drank 36oz of EFS fluid while on the bike course, much more than most races beginning at 6:55AM due to the high humidity in Florida!
Heading into T2, I focused on starting the run off at a high tempo pace, especially thinking about my form. The run is an out and back, so I only could see the other competitors at the half-way mark. I noticed I had a lead by a couple minutes, so I knew if I could keep everything together at that point, I should break the tape in first. I was very glad to get to that last stretch of the run, knowing that I accomplished my goal for the day! My time was the second fastest for me on that course (although it is tough to compare overall times because conditions change so much from year to year!).
After the awards ceremony, we headed home back to Colorado. This made for almost two days in one, but it was nice be able to spend my recovery day on Monday at home. The travel home was much easier than the travel to Florida….we had to drive in a snowstorm up to Denver last Friday! Yes, Colorado can still get pounded with snow at the end of April!!! Hopefully, that snow was the last!!! I am now gearing up for my second WCS race in Seoul, Korea on May 8th. Recently I have been doing lots of traveling and racing, but this is my last race for quite some time (five weeks). I will spend most of May and part of June training for the races upcoming in this summer.
Best Wishes

Monday, April 19, 2010

Alaskan Iditarod won on ISM Typhoon

The annual Alaskan Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI) human powered race began on Feb 28th this year, a week before the more well known Iditarod sled dog race. The ITI invites 50 racers in three categories of foot, ski or bike to race in the popular 350 miler to McGrath or continue on for the longest winter human powered race- 1,100 miles to Nome. This was my third time to McGrath and second attempt to Nome. In 2008 I became a statistic as one of the 90% average dropout rate for the Nome race with a multitude of injuries that prevented me from finishing. When I biked into Ruby (mile 600) that year I was a mess of edema, ulnar nerve damage and considerable saddle soreness and perineum nerve damage. Pushing your body in the “no pain no gain” mantra is not a good idea in ultra-endurance racing. I’ve learned a lot since then and one of my improvements was an ISM adamo typhoon seat that I inaugurated last year for the 350 race. Even though I am now, likely, susceptible to repeat nerve damage there was surprisingly none. This year I took the race a step further to compete, again, in the 1,100 mile race. The event was of particular importance to me because not only was it “unfinished business” but I live in Nome. What would it feel like to compete in the longest human powered winter race and finish essentially at my doorstep with my wife and daughter right at the finish line? And to ride the last mile with my friend, Nora, who is a leukemia survivor? I compete in these races, also, to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in support of Nora. She wanted to ride the last mile of the race with me, a vision that was not possible in 2008.

The race can be brutal- some sections are 70 to 170 miles between checkpoints or even a man-made structure. Snow conditions vary from riding, grinding or pushing. It’s a trail only passable and created in the winter completely determined by weather. Technically, it’s a one stage race but mentally, I broke the race up into four different sections: 1) Start to McGrath- 350 miles 2) McGrath to Ruby- 210 miles, 3)Yukon river, Ruby to Kaltag to Unalakleet- 270 miles and 4) arctic coast from Unalakleet to Nome – 270 miles. There is no support after the McGrath race other than a food drop. Temperatures this year varied from +40 down to around -40 or colder. Temperature gauges, especially portable ones, are not very accurate after -20 so there were some variations in reports. I was moving on the trail an average of 17 hrs/ day and (actual) sleeping/snoring an average of 3-4 hours. However, it was quite diverse as some days were 26 hrs long while the shortest was 12 hrs. The mileage was also diverse; shortest distance was ~30 miles and longest ~130 in a day.

In those 16 nights and 17 days I slept everywhere from on-trail bivies, heated tents, an unheated rundown cabin, three shelter cabins, two lodges, three Iditarod checkpoints, generous people’s homes, a clinic and once leaning on my bike (20 minutes draped over my handlebars at night on a really cold frozen Bering Sea). Throughout the race I became attached to my gear that worked well and helped me survive in extreme conditions. Items such as a pair of Patagonia socks and my ISM adamo seat were invaluable. In the mornings getting on the seat “cold” did not even bother me. In 2008 sitting was so painful I was actually glad when I had to push the bike in deep snow.

About 20 miles from Unalakleet I started recognizing landmarks and places I have been before, having lived there previously. It was so uplifting that even the sudden violent windstorm that blew in couldn’t stop me from barreling into Unalakleet. The familiarity of this region and trail up to Nome and recognizing people I knew in town was all I needed to step up my effort and kick in serious adrenaline.

It took me only a little over two days to ride the roughly 270 miles from Unalakleet to Nome. When I was 20 miles from Nome I started running into friends who were snow machining out to see me and by the time I hit an actual paved plowed road 5 miles out of Nome vehicles were driving out with cheers and honking horns. Nora met me 1 mile out of Nome and rode into the burled arch (Iditarod) finish line. It was spectacular! My wife, daughter and a large gathering of folks were applauding me into the arch for the grand win of the ITI. The feeling of riding home over a 1,000 miles into my wife and daughter’s arms was phenomenal.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pro Eric Limkemann 2nd Place SuperSeal RR

SuperSeal Triathlon Race Report
April 11, 2010

This weekend, I was in San Diego competing in the SuperSeal Triathlon. It was my first race of the year and a great opportunity to get a feel for how training is going and what I need to do to be ready for the rest of the season. It was a successful weekend with a second place finish and a solid first race.
I flew out to San Diego and met up with Mr. Charlie Clark and our host for the weekend, Tony Yeager. Tony is in training to become a Navy Seal and was gracious enough to show me around the base and the Seal Training grounds. It was amazing to see the level of training and dedication involved with the Seals! The rest of the weekend was spent adjusting to the time change, getting ready to race and enjoying the beautiful city of Coronado.
Race morning started out with the ½ Ironman Superfrog race before the Olympic Distance Superseal 2 hours later. I watched the Superfrog racers take off, drank my EFS Drink and pre-race, and warmed up. It’d been almost 5 months since the last time I put on the BlueSeventy wetsuit, but when I did, I knew it was time to go! The race started with a smooth bay swim. I felt strong throughout and came out with about a thirty second lead and feeling fresh. It’s nice to have my swim fitness where it needs to be thanks to my training with the Dayton Raiders!
After a ¼ mile run to transition, I hopped on the bike and took off looking to increase my lead. The course was fast and flat and I saw my lead move to over a minute after the first of two loops. I felt strong and comfortable on the Veritas bike and ISM saddle despite the relatively windy conditions… Until I was passed like I was standing still by the eventual winner, Michi Weiss. A former Olympian in Mountain biking with the 3rd fastest bike split at Kona last year, Weiss came out of nowhere and was quickly out of sight! I must have had a decent lead out of the swim to stay in front of him for the first half of the bike! I put my head down and pushed hard into T2 trying to give chase.
I felt pretty good heading out on the run despite heavy legs. The run was with the wind for the first half, but on dirt trails. I fought to establish a rhythm and hoped to get a glimpse of the leader. By the half-way point, I was bummed to see that I was down by 4 minutes, but happy to see that I also had a 2 minute lead on the 3rd place racer. Turning into the wind, I kept up my turnover and finished the race solidly with a time of 1:54.
The race was a great tune-up for the season and I will be working over the next few weeks to sharpen up and develop a bit more top end speed. Next up is St. Anthony’s down in Florida. Thank you to everyone for a great race and to my great sponsors for helping the season get off on the right foot: Newton Running, Kiwami Triathlon, First Endurance Nutrition, ISM Saddles, Veritas Bicycles, ESS Eye Pro, and Great Clips Salons. Pictures from the trip will be posted on the website shortly. While on the site, please be sure to click on the Blazeman logo on the main page to find out more about ALS and to donate to the Blazeman cause!

Eric Limkemann

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wind Tunnel

March 25, 2010 UCI World Champs. ISM riders take 2nd and 3rd in Team Pursuit and win a World Record!

March 27, 2010 California 70.3 Ironman riders using ISM took 4th and 9th in the men’s event and ISM Pros Sam Mcglone 3rd, rider using ISM 4th, Michellie Jones 7th, and Angela Naeth 8th.

March 28, 2010 Mat Davis wins Ronde van Manda on his Adamo Podium saddle.

March 28, 2010 Patrick Vernay wins Ironman Australia AGAIN on his Adamo Racing saddle.