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August 23, 2016 Comments (0) Adventure, Health, In the News, Injury, Off-Road Triathlon, Race Report, Trail Running

Sierra Endurance Sports Summer Update

Wow, the summer has been flying by, and we can hardly believe it’s already almost the end of August, with fall racing (and cooler temps!) right around the corner. Our team has been BUSY with lots of training, racing, travel and more, making its mark on the outdoor endurance scene from Reno/Tahoe to Europe to Central America and beyond… Here’s a quick little update about what some of our team members have been up to these past few months!

Suzie Snyder:

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.22.11 PM“This summer has been full of adventure and surprising race results, considering the slow start to training I had due to a recovering injury. I took a chance on racing the Xterra Pan Am Tour and it turned out to be a worthy gamble; I’ve won 4 out of the 5 races I’ve done (Xterra Oak Mountain in Pelham, AL – 1st; Xterra Mine Over Matter in Ontario, Canada – 1st; Xterra Beaver Creek in Avon, CO – 2nd; Xterra Dominican Republic in Barahona, DR – 1st; and Xterra Mexico in Tapalpa, Mex – 1st), and am currently leading the Pan Am Points Series. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity this series has provided to travel and experience many of these international races such as Canada, DR and Mexico. I’m now 4 weeks from the Pan Am Championship and training hard for a solid performance in Ogden, UT to wrap up the series and qualify for the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship, which takes place in November in Australia.”

Matt Balzer:

“I started the year off better than expected with a 3rd place in the TBF MTB against National Class riders where I also had a crash, so I was very pleased with 3rd.  A few weeks later I took the overall win at Xterra REAL with my best margin of victory ever. I then had a string of bad luck, with 2 mechanicals and 1 set of back spasms that took me out of my next 3 MTB races. I actually wasn’t too unhappy with this string of bad luck, however, because I figure it will give me a better chance to have good luck at the bigger late-season races still to come, including  Xterra Pan-Am Champs (on Sept. 17th) and Worlds (on Oct. 23rd)!  Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.30.20 PM

So far this summer I have placed 5th in my division (12th overall) at the EPIC Rides Carson City Offroad race, and 3rd overall at the Pyramid Lake Triathlon, with 3 SES team members placing 1st, 3rd and 4th! Unfortunately my Ankle blew up in July while pre-running for Xterra Mountain Champs race, so Aimee and I rocked the relay together (and took 1st place!).  The injury isn’t getting any better so far, so my PT and Ortho gave me the dreaded ‘no workouts’ command for a few weeks. But I am confident that with their help I’ll be right as rain by September, and ready to go for Xterra Pan-Am Champs!”

Ben Tedore:

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.26.38 PM“At the end of June I raced the Inaugural Broken Arrow Skyrace at Squaw Valley.  I decided to enter the 26k since the 50k course seemed a bit repetitious and I still wanted to experience the great event.  It was full throttle right from the beginning. The dynamics of the race were strange because we were a tight pack of five. When someone made a move they would lose the course and we would all regroup. I finished 3rd overall.  On Aug. 27th I will be stepping up the distance and will race the Castle Peak 100k.  This is quite a bit further than what I have run before so I am pretty nervous.  To prepare I’ve been getting some long days in and have been trying to test different nutrition/hydration methods as well as workout some IT band issues. I ran six of the highest summits in Desolation Wilderness and recently ran a 27 mile loop that included a Mt Rose summit. One week after that I travel to Big Sky Montana to run the RUT 26k Skyrace.”

Kara LaPoint:

“This whole racing season has been one fast, wild and fun adventure so far! This year I’ve done more traveling than ever before for my races, and it has been such a great experience! After kicking off my triathlon season in Costa Rica back in March, I went on to compete in my first-ever UCI elite mountain bike races in California in April. Suzie and I raced together for this block, completing 3 weekends of racing over the month of April. These races were all about experience, and I got a TON of it, learning some great lessons about riding at the highest levels, and gaining a lot of takeaways that have been really helpful for my Xterra racing. I finished off the spring racing ‘season’ with a couple of 70.3 events on the road (Wildflower 70.3, where I finished 14th and Raleigh 70.3 where I placed 13th, both among some pretty stacked elite women’s fields!); and my second race of the Xterra Pan-Am Tour in Pelham, Alabama, where I had a very strong race to finish 3rd place.

Photo by August Teague

Photo by August Teague

From there I went on to Europe, where I competed in Xterra Switzerland and Xterra France. Once again these races proved to be an extremely valuable learning experience that I feel gave me a lot to draw on in the future. The competition was exceptionally tough, and the courses and conditions at both of these races were among the most challenging I’ve ever faced, but I knew this was the kind of racing that would make me that much stronger in the end. I gave it my all and felt that I rose to the challenge, and ended up finishing 15th in Switzerland and 12th in France, in some of the deepest elite women’s fields I’ve ever competed in.

Since returning from Europe in early July, the summer racing has continued to be fast and furious! I had a great start to the Xterra Mountain Championship in Beaver Creek, but ended up with a flat tire near the end of the bike that cost me a lot of time and a couple places. I held on to finish 6th on the day. After that I got to race at home for the Donner Lake Triathlon, where I took my first overall victory of the season! It sure felt good to turn in a strong performance in front of the hometown crowd, on a course that I love! From there it was on to Xterra Dominican Republic, which was another fun travel adventure and very positive experience. I had a great race here and finished 3rd, putting me in 4th place in the overall Pan-Am points series heading into the Championship next month, where I’ll look to move up into the top 3 overall! Finally, this past weekend I competed in another local event at Xterra Lake Tahoe, where I had another strong race to finish 1st overall female.

I have really enjoyed the travel this season, but am definitely excited about having some time at home for the remainder of the summer to get in some really solid training and enjoy the Tahoe trails! I’m currently preparing for the Xterra Pan-Am Champs and the Xterra World Championship events in September and October, and I am feeling great and very excited to do some more racing!”

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.17.04 PMBrandon Nied:

Brandon has had an exceptionally busy last couple months of racing. Since the beginning of June, he has competed in Ironman 70.3 Coeur d-Alene, where he finished 12th pro male; Ironman 70.3 Vineman, finishing 11th pro male; and now has turned in a big streak of 1st place finishes on the local racing scene these past several weeks, with overall wins at the Donner Lake Triathlon, Pyramid Lake Triathlon, San Francisco 5k and the Reno 10-miler.

Cody Forman:

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.13.07 PMFollowing a successful string of breakout races this spring, Cody has continued his progression through the summer, with some more solid results on the big stage. At the USAT Duathlon Nationals event in June, he made the podium, finishing 3rd in his age group and 13th overall. At the Pyramid Lake Triathlon, he finished 4th, following teammates Brandon and Matt (1st and 3rd). At his biggest race of the season, USA Triathlon National Championships, he had a great performance to finish 14th in his age group and improve tremendously on both his placing and his times across the board from the year before. Most recently, he competed with two other athletes as part of a relay team at the Xterra Lake Tahoe race in Incline Village. His team won the relay!

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.11.50 PMCurtis Duncan:

After finishing a strong 3rd place in the Peavine Challenge MTB race in June, Curtis went on to race at the USA Cycling MTB National Championship race in Mammoth in July, and then turned in a big win in his division at the Downieville Classic all-mountain race in August. Way to go Curtis!

JP Donovan:Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.10.22 PM

JP just turned in a 7th place finish at the Pikes Peak Ascent running race this past weekend. This race is 13.3 miles straight uphill, covering 7,815′ of ascent and topping out at over 14,000′! Impressive!

It’s been quite a year for our team so far. While not everyone has been able to race consistently through the summer, we have all kept plenty busy through some combination of training, racing, working, recovering from injuries, sharing our love for endurance sport with our local community, and encouraging others to get out there and get after it! Thanks so much for tuning in and supporting us, and please stay tuned for lots more racing and updates yet to come!

— The Sierra Endurance Sports Crew

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