Houston Fit Adventure Racing Newsletter Put some ADVENTURE in your life!
May 2011

  • Save the Dates
  • Summer Season Began Monday, May 9!
  • Run, Comrade, Run!
  • The Nutrition Mission
  • Adventures in Adventure Racing
  • Clip It Good
  • Beyond Adventure Racing
  • Sponsor Spotlight
  • Cheering Section
  • Baby Your Bike
  • Look Sharp!
  • The Bike Barn Beat
  • Get published in the HFAR newsletter!

  • Summer Season Began Monday, May 9!

    It's here, it's here! Summer season is here! If you're not yet signed up for the season, there's still plenty of time. Signing up online is a breeze, and if you register and fill out your waiver online, you can save a few trees!

    And remember, signing up for remainder of the year (for both summer and fall seasons) saves you money, honey. Since you know you're an adventure racer for life, there's no reason to pretend otherwise.

    But don't stop there. Shoot big! After six paid seasons, you hit Elite status - that means your entire year's membership is only $150! And all returning members receive discounts until you hit that coveted designation.

    When you become a member, our title sponsor Bike Barn will hook you up with 10% off at all retail locations - just tell 'em your name when you pay. And if you refer a member, you get a $25 gift certificate to Bike Barn.

    This season, we're training for Terra Firma's King of the Hill adventure race at the scenic Reveille Peak Ranch, just northwest of Austin. It's a relatively new location for racing, and we're excited to be training you for a successful first race!

    Mark your calendars NOW for the weekend of July 16, 2011, and bring your tents, your kids, and your bathing suits. Not only is this going to be an amazing race, but it's going to be a fun weekend for everyone. Stay tuned!

    Run, Comrade, Run!

    HFAR Goes to South Africa
    By Helena Finley, HFAR Organizer

    Novice Running Assistant Coach, Daniel Murphy, will be making HFAR proud by competing in the grueling 56-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa later this month.

    On May 8, 2011, Daniel and his friend Grady hosted a benefit for the Ethembeni School (which HFAR helped sponsor). This school for physically disabled and visually impaired children is located on the race course, and the children will be out cheering for Daniel and Grady as they run by. The fundraiser was held at the Saint Arnold Brewery, where HFAR members enjoyed meeting Daniel’s running buddies and even recruited a new member, Eric C., who won a summer membership as a door prize.

    The 86th Comrades Marathon - Sunday, May 29, from Durban to Pietermaritzburg - is set to exceed all expectations. With runners of all calibers, the race will be an exciting day of endurance and drama. Arguably the greatest ultramarathon in the world, athletes come from all corners to combine muscle, sinew, and mental strength to conquer the approximately 90 kilometres between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

    The Nutrition Mission

    Sports Nutrition Myths
    By Steve Mertz

    You've probably heard many nutrition tips from different sources over the course of your training, whether it's been less than a year or decades worth of training. Between what you've heard, some tips have probably proven very valid, while some were valid 30 years ago but have since been proven unnecessary or completely false.

    Let's dispel several common myths that you may have heard regarding carbo-loading, endurance racers and protein intake, supplements and extra energy, athletes and fats, sports drinks and consumption time, energy drinks, and body mass index (BMI) and weight.

    Adventures in Adventure Racing

    The Madagui Trophy Race in Vietnam
    By Patricia Bourassa, Novice Biking Assistant Coach

    Recently, I was fortunate enough to do some extended traveling in Southeast Asia. Of course, I couldn't miss the opportunity to race while I was there!

    I first heard about the Madagui Trophy Race from HFAR alum, previous coach, and racing legend, Chad Giardina, who currently lives in Singapore. In training for the XPD adventure race in Australia later this year, Chad's team decided to race the Madagui Trophy Race for some training. Fortunately, he was able to set me up with a race partner, Jonie, so I could join in on the fun.

    The race took place in Madagui, Vietnam (a few hours north of Ho Chi Minh), and was set in the jungle with accommodations including bungalows, restaurants, shops, and bars.

    The Madagui Trophy Race had three course options: Adventure, Ultra, and Extreme. Of course, we opted for the Ultra course, which boasted large hills, a 3 a.m. start, and looked to be about a 9-12 hour race.

    Clip It Good

    Go Clipless On Your Mountain Bike!
    By Gabe Haarsma, HFAR Organizer & Veteran Biking Assistant Coach

    It takes time getting used to them, but clipless pedals are a great way to enhance your biking skills.

    With your feet attached to the pedals and your body attached to your feet, you become one with your bike, which means more of your energy makes its way to each pedal stroke. This gives you more power to climb and accelerate.

    When clipping in and out becomes second nature, you’ll begin to notice that your handling skills will improve, and you will be more confident on your bike.

    Beyond Adventure Racing

    All You Need to Know About This Weekend's Ironman Texas
    By Melissa White

    Ironman Texas is (finally!) this Saturday - or IMTX, for short. This is the first annual Ironman race anywhere in Texas.

    But what is IMTX? Well, it's a triathlon that starts at 7:00am with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Woodlands. This is a mass start, meaning the over 2,700 athletes will claw and kick their way for position as the lake narrows. Athletes then ride a 112-mile bike loop that heads north of The Woodlands through Sam Houston National Forest and back. Athletes finish up by running a marathon - 26.2 miles.  And all three events must be performed within 17 hrs - by 12:00 midnight.

    OK, so the natural next question is: Why would you do this?

    Sponsor Spotlight

    Did you know that Austin Canoe & Kayak is about so much more than, well, canoeing and kayaking (and isn't just in Austin)? They've even started carrying gear specific to adventure racing - just for us!

    Hoping to own the AR-specific Brunton compass with the UTM scale? No need to wait for it to ship - they've got it in stock. And they're taking suggestions on what you, the adventure racer, want to see in their store.

    Pay them a visit on Bissonnet, why don't you?

    Cheering Section

    TEXAS QUEST AR (March 26)
    Ashley M. - 1st 3-person coed, 12-hour
    Helena F., Gabe H. - 2nd 3-person coed, 12-hour
    Vanessa R., Rob S., Josh T. - 3rd 3-person coed, 12-hour
    Jeff H., Brandon J. - 1st 2-person male, 12-hour
    Bing K., Ken N. - 1st 2-person male, 7-hour
    Michele W., Jim W. - 1st 2-person coed, 7-hour
    Kelly K., Jennifer R., Wendy R. - 1st 3-person coed, 7-hour
    Mark M. - 1st male solo, 7-hour
    Raymund C., Melissa W. - 7-hour

    Tracy J. - 3rd Cat 1 women 19-39
    Gabe H.
    Brandon J.
    John M.

    Keith H. - 1st overall

    Judy J., Bing K. - 2nd overall

    Justin A.
    Scott S.

    Frank A. - 6th out of 551
    Raymund C. - 138th out of 793
    Helena F. - 8th out of 611
    Wilmer G. - 58th out of 401
    Gabe H. - 160th out of 894
    Vanessa R. - 36th out of 817
    Karly S. - 50th out of 1058
    Kelley S. - 82nd out of 540
    Melissa W. - 16th out of 883

    Ashley M., Josh T. - 2nd overall 12-hour
    Raymund C., Helena F., Gabe H. - 3rd overall 12-hour
    Jeff H., Pam R. - 1st 2-person coed masters, 6th overall
    Bing K., Francisco G. - 12-hour
    Patrick B., Jack P. - 12-hour
    Mark M. - 1st solo male sprint
    Fred E., Glenn P. - 4th 2-person male sprint
    Kelly K., Mark S. - 10th 2-person male sprint
    Kelly B., Ryan T. - 16th 2-person male sprint

    Kevin B. - 10th out of 74

    TMBRA MTB - PACE BEND (April 17)
    Tracy J. - 5th Cat 1 women 30-39
    John M. - 9th Cat 1 men 30-34

    TMBRA MTB - MELLOW JOHNNY'S (April 30-May 1)
    Fayza E. - 5th Cat 3 women 30-39
    Gabe H.
    Brandon J.
    Tracy J.
    John M.
    Jeremy R.

    Baby Your Bike

    Take Care of Your Four Wheels
    By Steve Mertz

    You're just starting out in adventure racing. You've got your fancy new bike. You want it to last as long as possible so that you can keep on riding your shiny steed.

    But to do so, you need to look after it and keep it clean and well lubed. Let's talk about what you need to do before rides, after rides, and in the future to keep your wheels rolling smoothly for years to come.

    Look Sharp!

    We're ordering HFAR racing jerseys and tri shorts (bike shorts with a thinner chamois pad, making them more comfortable for multi-sport purposes) for arrival to coincide with the target race. The cost is $50 per item.

    For a panel-by-panel diagram of the jersey and tri tight design, click here. Note: The middle section of the tights will be black, as shown (not red, as the drawing says).

    For sizing guidelines, click here. Men's jerseys are club cut (not race cut). Women's jerseys only have one cut style. If this is all just confusing to you, ask a veteran member for help!

    Please place your order by Tuesday, May 31. Payment will be collected later. The order takes about 8 weeks, so if you're interested in wearing an HFAR kit for the target race, act fast!

    The Bike Barn Beat

    Bike Barn's Custom Fit Studio
    By Helena Finley, HFAR Organizer

    OK, I gotta admit, I never really thought I should have to pay to have someone fit me on a bike. I can raise and lower my seat myself, right?

    Well, after experiencing what Cynthia Wisener Stewart does in Bike Barn's Custom Fit Studio, I realized why experts are just that … experts.

    Get published in the HFAR newsletter!

    Race reports, gear reviews, pictures, favorite core exercises, gear maintenance, how-to-buy tips - we want to hear from you! Email Social Director Fayza with your newsletter contributions or story ideas, and we'll include them in the next issue.

    Save the Dates


    • May 9: Summer Season BEGINS!
    • June 2: HFAR Summer Social #1 - TBD
    • July 9: HFAR Club Race - TBD
    • July 16: Terra Firma Reveille Peak Ranch (TARGET RACE!)



    • May 18: Christy K.
    • May 29: Kelly B.
    • May 29: Christine K.
    • June 8: Vicki E.
    • June 12: Eddie G.
    • June 17: Brian G.
    • June 20: Steve M.
    • July 10: Gabe H.
    • July 17: Corrina J.
    • July 22: Paul G.
    • July 22: Patrick B.


    • May 30: Memorial Day
    • July 4: Independence Day

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