A Great Teammate is Hard to Lose

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

Ecclesiastes 4:12  [New International Version]

One of the reasons I love adventure racing so much is the team aspect.  There are plenty of individual sports that can push you just as hard mentally and physically, but very few touch on the team dynamics as much as adventure racing.  You truly come to rely on your teammates during a race, like in no other sport.  We’ve all heard the term synergy, the potential ability of individual organizations or groups to be more successful or productive as a result of a merger, but rarely have I seen it in action.  But in Adventure Racing, when you have a good team where the group dynamics work well, that potential synergy becomes realized and your team accomplishes things that, as an individual, would not have happened.  While our team may not be first place in terms of race results, I truly believe that our team dynamics are first rate and so it saddens me deeply that we’re losing our teammate, Stuart.


It’s hard to imagine what racing is going to be like without Stu.  We have already started getting back into training without him and there is definitely a difference.  Stu brought that, “we’ll just show up and dominate” attitude and it has been great having a teammate with such confidence–and the physical strength to back it up.  Adventure Racing is one hell of an experience and having great teammates is  a must.  I have looked to Stu so many times to bolster my strength, confidence and motivation.  Having him around helped us to reach deep into ourselves to accomplish things that we wouldn’t have done on our own.  At the same time, his humor brightened those dark times that come when racing.  I remember many times when either racing or training when we would all have to stop paddling or running because we were laughing so hard.  I remember group hugs and high fives when we finished a particularly rough race.  Sharing that feeling of accomplishment with a good friend is what makes these races so much damn fun.  The post race rides back home with Ana sleeping in the back and Stu and I recalling the race were always a highlight of the event.


So, thanks buddy!  It has been an amazing ride.  From the half marathon, to Tough Mudder, to 5 Adventure Races it has been a wild and fun.  I can’t imagine having anyone else by my side.  You have become the brother I never had and the teammate I never wanted to lose.  I hope that you always retain that self-confidence and cheerfulness that you brought to our team and into our lives.  Congratulations on the birth of your first child.  Best wishes for you and your family on your move to Ohio.  Don’t forget about your family here in Niceville.  Love ya, man!



FunkyPotato Comes Through Again

A big thanks to FunkyPotato for uploading the Eco-Challenge, Argentina on YouTube.  These videos are so old that you can’t find them anywhere except on his YouTube site or perhaps in VHS format on Ebay.  You still have a VCR to play a VHS tape on, right?  Ya, thought so.

Take some time and curl up in front of the iPad and watch one of the greatest adventure races ever held.







Lacking Motivation

Two weeks ago I sprained my ankle playing Ultimate and since then I have lacked motivation to train.  To try and get out of my funk, I did what any other red-blooded American would do, I went shopping.  Bring it on, Amazon.  Check out the new kicks I got…

Speedcross 3

All I can say is that these shoes are AWESOME.  After doing every race in my Brooks Glycerin 10s–which are great running shoes–I knew that I wanted the added traction of trail runners.  Strap a pair of these on and you’ll feel like you could run up the cliffs of Dover.  The Salomon Speedcross 3 is an adventure racer’s shoe for sure, light-weight, superior traction, speed lacing system and, well, just look at them!

The best thing about new gear is that it makes you want to go  and try it out.  So, if you’re lacking motivation, bust out that credit card and buy something.  You’ll be supporting our consumer driven economy and whipping your sorry butt into shape at the same time.  And that’s what I call a double win.

I plan on using these during the Dixie Conquest on Saturday.  Saturday!  Man, I am dreading this race.  It is 10 hours long and, like I said, my training has been lacking.  After the race, I’ll write up a longer review of the shoes and let you know how they did.  Thursday I might even give a brief write up of the pack we just purchased in preparation for the 30-hr Atomic.  It’s SWEET!

For those of you that may not have heard of Ultimate–the greatest game ever–here are some highlights from the 2013 MLU Season.


The Agony of My Feet – Book Review

Lately, I have been traveling a lot due to work and to pass the time I often download books on my Kindle Fire.  I just finished reading, The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of My Feet.  For a long time I hesitated on purchasing this book because, well honestly, I thought the title was stupid.  But, since Amazon doesn’t have a large selection of books on adventure racing, and my flight was rapidly approaching, I went ahead and ordered it.

The book turned out to be really good.  What is most interesting to me about the book is that it isn’t written by one person.  Rather, the book is a compilation of short stories from many different adventure racers.  Inside are articles from Ian Adamson, Mike Kloser, Robyn Benincasa, Robert Nagle–the heavy hitters in the sport of adventure racing.  But, there are also stories from unknown racers.  For some, their story focuses on their very first expedition length adventure race.  Other racers, who have been doing events for many years, talk about why they love the sport.

I recently finished watching all of the Eco-Challenge videos I could find on YouTube and many of the racers write about these races, offering insights that weren’t captured on the shows.  While many of the stories focus on the Eco-Challenge races, there were enough variations in point of view to keep the book from getting stale.  I would say though that this book is better read in segments rather than straight through.  I think if one was to read it straight through, the stories might get a little tiresome.  But, for an in-flight book or as a bathroom reader, it works perfectly.

While traveling I don’t have much motivation for working out so the book really helped getting my butt in the gym or out on a run.  When I found myself not wanting to train, I would read a short story from the book and it would get my pumped to go.  So, for $8 bucks on the Kindle, I would definitely recommend it.  Pick it up, thumb through it, get motivated and go race.

See you out there!

Sad Little Counter Hits 1000!

The Team Disoriented blog has over 1000 hits!

What does this mean?  Nothing really.  The really cool blogs probably get 1000 hits per day.  But, we hope we’re providing some interesting Adventure Racing content to the 5 people that regularly checkout the blog.

As a thank you, here’s a link to a short vid that chronicles Tecnu Adventure Racing’s 3rd place finish at the 2013 Adventure Racing World Championships, held over 10 days in December of 2013 in Costa Rica.  These guys are amazing.  Grab a cold brew, sit back for 20 minutes and enjoy…

I want to do one of these!


Atomic AR – 30 Hour Adventure Race

The Pangea Atomic AR, thirty F@$*%! Fun-filled hours of adventure racing!  I’m at a loss, I don’t really know what to say.  I can’t even imagine what a 30hr race is going to be like.  I have an idea what my bottom is going to look like after being on a bike for that long…

Atomic Booty

Like all things that we do that are difficult, painful, and outside of my comfort zone, I blame Stu.  You see, instead of getting out of the Air Force so that he could continue to work with the coolest guy ever–me–he decided to stay in.  As a thank you, the AF has decided to move him to the great metropolis of Dayton, Ohio.  What this means is that Stu will soon be leaving Team Disoriented and the Atomic AR may be the last time we get to do an epic adventure race.

The Atomic AR is May 31st, so we have 17 weeks to prepare.  How does one prepare for a 30-Hr race?  I have no clue.  Ana keeps asking me how we’re going to train for it and I keep answering, “Well, we should probably do a lot of running, biking and canoeing…definitely a lot of canoeing based on our past results.”

Probably not the training plan she is looking for.  So, if you know of a good plan, please drop us a note in the comments section.  For now, we are putting together a plan based on David Kuehls book, “4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon.”

We’ve used this book to train for a marathon and 1/2 marathon and we really like it.  It’s very easy to follow and has an easy step-by-step plan for achieving a 4 hour marathon pace.  I’ve tailored the plan for a 2-hour, 1/2 marathon while adding biking and canoeing into the schedule.

While not the training plan of an elite team, I hope that this plan is enough to get us prepared for tackling the Atomic AR.  One thing that I’m really looking forward to is the night training.  The final 2 weeks prior to the Atomic, we plan on doing our long training at night so we can get an idea of what it’s like to run, bike and paddle in the dark.  This will also give us a good opportunity to check out our gear before the race.

If you want to see how a real team trains, check out this video from Team Tecnu.  These guys are amazing.

  • 2Hr paddle
  • 1Hr Crossfit
  • 3Hr bike
  • 2Hr run

Want to know more about the Atomic AR?  Check out this video from Pangea.  It’s a little dated but you’ll get the idea.  And don’t forget, leave us your training suggestions in the comments section.  Oh, and if you’re in the area and would like to come train with us on our long days, send us an email: teamdisoriented at gmail .com

Toughest Race on Earth

Here it is January 28th in the sunshine state, the weather is crap  and my motivation level is about as high as the temperature.  So, instead of hitting the treadmill I’m hitting YouTube and watching the Discovery Channel’s, “Toughest Race on Earth with James Cracknell.”

If you’ve never heard of James Cracknell, don’t worry neither had I before watching this show.  Seems the guy is a British rowing champion and a double Olympic gold medalist, and rather famous on the other side of the pond.  I discovered him when I was looking for adventure racing videos on YouTube and when I saw the title, “Toughest Race on Earth” you know I had to check it out.  This documentary focuses on the running of the Marathon Des Sables.  Don’t know what that is either?  Well, neither did I.  It seems that the Des Sables is a 6-day ultra which is equivalent to running 6 regular marathons in a row.  Six!  Not tough enough for you?  Well, did I fail to mention that the Des Sables is ran in southern Morocco in a place you may have heard of, the Sahara desert!  Check out some nice photos here or click the image below:


Basically, the documentary is about a 6 foot 4, 216lb gold medal rower who decides to tackle probably the toughest running event on the planet.  I won’t spoil the ending for you, you just have to check it out!  But believe me, watching the video should provide you with plenty of motivation to keep pushing during your next adventure race

Once you’re done with the video, you might want to check out his latest book, “Touching Distance” an autobiography that describes his athletic achievements as well as his struggles to recover from a biking accident where he was struck in the head by the side mirror of a passing semi while attempting to cycle, row, run and swim from Los Angeles to New York within 18 days

Wouldn’t you know it, now I feel guilty about my laziness.  Off to the treadmill!

Eco-Challenge Motivation

If you’re like me, you just spent the last few days stuffing yourself with sugar plums, eggnog and figgy pudding and you might be in need of a little motivation to get off the couch.  Well, step right up folks, I have just the thing you need.  You see, back in the day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a historic high of 4000, Windows 95 debuted, and girls thought overall shorts were sexy (they’re not), Mark Burnett created one of the best reality shows ever, Eco-Challenge.  Back before Jersey Shore, or whatever the cool kids are watching today, there was a reality show worth watching where coed teams of 4 insane people raced across some of the most remote and intense terrains.  Competitors ran, biked, and canoed for hundreds of miles all the while land navigating with only a compass and altimeter.  Sleep was a premium with most teams resting no more than a handful of hours.  Feet exploded, team dynamics imploded and most competitors never saw the finish line.  The races were epic.  Unfortunately, it seems that these races are all but gone, and none of them are televised anymore.

But, there is a glimmer of hope.  With the magic of the internet, a few of those long-lost VHS recordings (look it up kids) can be brought into your living room.  Ana and I have just spent the last 5 nights watching all of Eco-Challenge British Columbia, Morocco, Sabah (Borneo), New Zealand, and Fiji.  I have posted links to the first video for each series.  There are multiple videos in each series but if you follow the links, you will be able to find the complete episode.

P.S. If you know where I can find the other episodes, please send me the link.  Or, if you have a copy on tape, please help out this band of poser adventure racers by posting the videos on YouTube.  I promise not to report you to the FCC.

1996 British Columbia

1998 Morocco

2000 Sabah (Borneo)

2001 New Zealand

2002 Fiji

The Bestest Present Evah!

scalefromhellThe other day I gave my wife the bestest present evah!  I was so excited about it that I couldn’t wait until Christmas to give it to her so I gifted it a few days early.  I mean, who wouldn’t want a digital scale for Christmas?  Look at this thing, it’s stainless steel with blue backlighting…BLUE BACKLIGHTING!  I could see the tears of joy in her eyes as I told her how it measures not only one’s weight but also one’s body fat percentage.  Now, every morning we can instantly see how much fat our bodies are composed of…freakin’ awesome!  I couldn’t tell exactly what she was saying as she got in the car and drove away, but I’m sure she was so grateful that she was rushing off to WalMart to find my special Christmas present.  She didn’t have to knock over my new bicycle on her way out, but I guess that’s what love and excitement will do to someone.  I’m sure she’ll be back any minute now.

The main reason that I wanted to get a new scale was because I just finished reading, “Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance” by Matt Fitzgerald and one of his recommendations is to track one’s body fat percentage.  His main premise is that performance, i.e. speed, strength and endurance are optimized when athletes obtain their ideal racing weight.  Yes, I know, not quite the earth shattering discovery.  The book also gives diet and exercise recommendations for obtaining one’s ideal racing weight and also gives examples of the body fat percentage of elite athletes.  Now, I am in no way an elite athlete, nor will I ever be–beer, pizza, and chocolate being three reasons that quickly come to mind.  But, I am interested in increasing my endurance and speed, so I got really interested in finding out and tracking my body fat percentage with the hope of reducing it to a level that is optimal for performance without becoming a drag to maintain given my lifestyle.  The easiest way to monitor one’s body fat percentage is by using a digital scale that uses bioelectrical impedance to estimate it.

But, here’s one thing that you should know, it seems that all of these scales are incorrect and measurements made by the same person can fluctuate greatly depending on the time of day, amount of water one has consumed, wetness of your feet, planetary alignment, and a host of other things.  So why buy one of these scales?  Because, if the measurements are taken under nearly identical conditions; first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking and after using the bathroom, it is possible to get a good trend analysis.  So, even though the scale may say my body fat percentage is 17%, which it does–stupid, lying machine!  If I consistently take measurements over time, I should be able to see whether I am losing body fat or not.  Plus, it is a good motivator for me.  So, if you get a chance, read Matt’s book, get yourself a new scale, and start working on obtaining your racing weight for peak performance.

Oh, one more thing.  It seems that people tend to really underestimate their body fat percentage.  Here are two really cool website that talk about that:

Their suggestion is that the easiest way to estimate body fat percentage is to compare your own physique with photos of people with known body fat compositions.  So, here are a few pictures blatantly stolen from their website.


Hey, thanks for noticing my picture in the middle of the top row.  Next time I won’t use so much bronzer.

Good Reads

Even though you have already found the best adventure racing blog ever, yeah I mean this one.  You may be craving a little more information on Adventure Racing.  Below are three books that I highly recommend you check out:

Ian Adamson is an Adventure Racing legend who has competed in just about every major adventure race held.  His book, “Runners’ World Guide to Adventure Racing” is a good introduction to the sport.  While it is not a “How-to” book and may be short on specifics that leave the reader wishing for more, Ian’s passion and excitement for the sport comes across.  I recommend reading this book first if your looking for inspiration or something to make you want to get off the couch and go train.  Amazon has this for the Kindle and I think it’s worth the 10 bucks.

Ok, let’s say you’re already pumped about doing an Adventure Race but you want specifics like what to wear, how to train, what to eat, gear to pack, etc.  Then Liz Caldwell and Barry Siff have the book for you.  “Adventure Racing, The Ultimate Guide” is more of a how-to style book giving good advice from two of the best racers out there.  Well, probably not out there anymore since the book was published in 2001.  Regardless, the information is still pertinent today.  The book is out of print but I picked up an autographed copy for $0.32 + shipping.  Yep, that baby is going to be a collectible one day…probably even double my money.

Now, you’re psyched for your first race, you got the how-to manual and know what to eat, what to wear, and how to train but then you realize, oh crap I can’t use a GPS or my super smart phone to get from point A to point B.  I must learn the ancient art of orienteering.  Well take a look at book #3 my friend, “Wilderness Navigation“.  This book tells you everything you need to know about wilderness navigation (it’s even in the title).  How to read a map, how to use a compass, and other useful tidbits are in here.  But let me tell you what I really liked, in the back there are maps with questions where you can test your newly acquired skill. It’s a great way to find out if you really understood what the book was telling you, or faking it like you did in high school.  I recommend getting it in paperback rather than Kindle format so you can make notes and write on the maps.

There you go, three good books to lead you on your way to dominating your first adventure race.  And if that isn’t enough, you can download and check out free editions of Adventure World Magazine, the official magazine of the United States Adventure Racing Association (USARA).  If you have any recommendations for Adventure Racing books, magazines, or blogs please post them in the comment section.