Mel’s Adventure on Skinny Tires – Lake Stevens 70.3

Well my second ever half Ironman came and went yesterday.  Similar to last season, I had three weeks to prepare for my only half Ironman of the season.  Again I chose a race with one of the toughest women’s fields of the season (18 pros – more than the men!) but it was conveniently within driving distance of Victoria and at a point in the season where I had no XTERRA obligations to worry about.  This time around I had MUCH more fun than my first race.  Lots of things went right and some went wrong but overall, I ended up fourth while actually being in the race.  Had my swim not been such an utter disaster I would have actually REALLY been in a race which is disappointing, but still motivating.  Certainly, I need more time to be really strong on my Specialized Transition but with my limited preparation I was actually in the mix and the prize money so I am motivated to prepare a bit more when I do more of these events next year.  I thought I would do a report that was all highlights/lowlights and impressions from Lake Stevens rather than a blow by blow account of my weekend.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!


– A killer homestay with Penny and Michael Dorsey.  I had two amazing evenings with wine, delicious food and fun conversations.  They are wonderful people I was privileged to have met. Thanks guys!
– My Specialized Transition was SO FUN to ride.  Riding with a Lazer Tardiz time trial helmet and some fast DuraAce wheels were icing on the cake but really, riding this kind of bike is super fun.  I can’t say it is as fun as railing singletrack on my Era mountain bike but it really is super cool to go fast.
– Running someone down in a triathlon.  Granted, Sam Warriner did not have her best run ever but still, I ran someone down.  I like that feeling.  I want more of it whenever necessary.
– Linsey Corbin and Stacey Richardson for being the friendliest other pro woman at the event.  Thanks for the warm welcome ladies and Linsey, it was a pleasure to tow you in the swim although I really wished I had someone towing me as well!
– Finishing in a sandwich between super star pros and actually feeling that I was kind of sort of competitive and taking home prize money from an Ironman race which had you asked me two years ago if I even thought I could have finished I would have laughed… who time trials for 90km? was my opinion before…

And the lowlights….

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Ross The Winner

Lots of success in the family lately.

Ross recently took his other girlfriend to the Oceanside Overdrive Show N’ Shine car show and she brought home first place in the 1960s modified category.  There were probably more than 400 cars in that show.  Not bad for a guy who built the car from a hulking ugly pile of scrap metal to a super hotrod with his bare hands.  Pretty proud of him.  Although…. I still don’t REALLY get it.  I just try to be supportive… with limitsWink.

It is a 1965 Ford Falcon with a Ford Racing million horsepower or somesuch kind of motor in it.  I don’t know.  It is black.  It makes lots of noise and goes fast.  It looks really cool.

Ross the big winner next to his baby.

Brother-in-law Bruce was the co-pilot because honestly, there is only so much standing around talking about gaskets and sparkplugs and yip and whatever that I can handle.  Bruce is a better fit for the job.

You think making a living as a triathlete would be hard… this car business is certainly all about passion and love!

MelRad Racer Keri Grosse in the News

Keri has been having a great consistent year in 2009 representing the Northwest Region and MelRad Racing in style.  Recently she was featured on the XTERRA website after having a great race in Vermont punctuated with a win of a new Vasa swim trainer.  You can read about Keri and more of the amazing MelRad Racing team at  Loads of great stories are there….but on to the story of Keri…


Keri Grosse has been nothing short of perfect since winning the overall amateur female XTERRA World title last year in Maui.  The mother of four boys and physical therapist by trade, Grosse won her division at the first Cup race of the year in Nevada, at the Northwest Cup in Idaho, at XTERRA Solstice, the Northeast Cup in Vermont, and the overall just this past weekend at XTERRA Black Diamond.  To make things even sweeter, Grosse won the Vasa Ergometer they gave away in the raffle at Sugarbush Resort – a prize valued at $1,900. Here’s what she had to say about her new toy…

“A slow swim can be disastrous in an off-road race as starting in the rear of the pack then requires passing on a single track course which can be risky, frustratingly impossible at times, and energy consuming because of the necessary surges. Using the Vasa Ergometer allows me to work on swim power, strength, speed and endurance without ever touching the water, and when I do get to train in the pool I can concentrate on body positioning, breathing and gliding without ever feeling rushed or under trained for the other aspects of swimming. With a late career start and only 2 years of experience in triathlon I have been looking for the perfect training edge to get up to speed in a hurry with the competition and the Vasa has been the best ‘short cut’ that I have found.”