Specialized 2010 Pro Triathlon Team

Note:  Pretty cool to be part of such an amazingly talented and diverse group of athletes. -MM


Poised to dominate the triathlon world in 2010, Specialized has launched its first-ever comprehensive triathlon team, with multiple athletes in each of the three major specialties: Long Course, Short Course, and XTERRA. Hand selected by Bobby Behan, Specialized Global Marketing Manager for MTB and Triathlon, the team athletes represent the best in the business – from decorated vets to young, upstart pros.

“It’s super exciting to be instrumental in the construction of this star-studded global team, many of which have inspired my own triathlon career,” said Behan. “Collectively, the team has won every major title in triathlon from the Olympic Games to World titles in ITU, Ironman, and Xterra.”

XTERRA Triathlon Team

Conrad Stoltz “The Caveman”
Dan Hugo
Melanie McQuaid

Of course the team wouldn’t be complete without Specialized veteran athlete Conrad “The Caveman” Stoltz or Melanie McQuaid – both three-time World Xterra Champions and both hungry for another podium. They are joined by Conrad’s fellow South African and upcoming Xterra athlete Dan Hugo. All will be outfitted with S-Works Epic and S-Works Epic 29er bikes.

“I’m really excited to be part of such a diverse group of triathletes,” said Stoltz. “Being part of a team feels really good; it’s only logical to have such a phenomenal group riding the best bicycles out there.”

Long Course Triathlon Team

Chris McCormack “Macca”
Rasmus Henning
Philip Graves
Jordan Rapp
Desiree Ficker
Peter Reid

Long Course standouts Chris “Macca” McCormack, the 2007 World Ironman and 1997 ITU World Champion; Peter Reid, three-time Ironman World Champion; and Desiree Ficker, 2008 Ironman South Africa 70.3 champ, have all returned. “It is a great honor to represent the big S around the globe,” said Peter Reid, longtime Specialized ambassador and athlete. “For more than 10 years I’ve been like the kid in the candy shop – my candy shop being Specialized, of course.”

And this year they are joined by three more ringers. Jordan Rapp won the 2009 Ironman Arizona, smashing the bike course record. Philip Graves, also a cycling ace, is the youngest ever Ironman Champion (at just 20 years old) after winning in the UK last August. And Rasmus Henning – who just crossed over to Long Course racing after an accomplished ITU career– placed fifth in his first attempt at Kona last year, despite breaking his wrist two weeks prior and being told not to race.

The Long Course team will ride the new S-Works Shiv and S-Works Transition – bikes that Henning thinks will help him accomplish a huge goal. “I am really happy to be a part of Specialized for the 2010 season. My big goal this year is winning Ironman Hawaii, and I am certain that the professional team surrounding me with my bike set-up will be the best I have ever had.”


Short Course Triathlon Team

Javier Gomez
Simon Whitfield
Lisa Norden
Gavin Noble

Read more

Island Cup, Victoria, BC

Last Sunday I decided to jump into a local mountain bike race put on by my favorite store, Procity.  I have mentioned before how amazing Victoria is to train in.  I ride on the road weekly with Olympian Erinne Willock.  If I show up at a local run race, likely one of many national or Olympic team runners or triathletes will be there.  If you do a local swim meet to test yourself over the 1500m, you might line up beside Olympic medalist Ryan Cochrane.  We live in Endurance, Canada.  So it is only suitable that when I showed up to race our teensy Island Cup that Catherine Pendrel and Mical Dyck would be on the start line (two from among our best mountain bikers racing professionally in Canada).  Added to that are aspiring talented locals like Joele Guynup and we had a solid race for a Sunday.  Thanks very much to Arran and Scotty for doing such an amazing job pulling together the event.  It was much bigger than I had expected!

I rode to the start as part of my warmup/training day and immediately was troubled.  First, my chain decided to give up on life on the climb into Hartland and broke.  Luckily, Christina Briante was coming to watch and gave me a tow up the entire hill so that I could go find a chain tool.   Thank you TINA!!  Luckily there were many helpful people there to not only lend me the tool, but help me through the process (including Troy who I refused to allow help me since I needed to practice!).  When my chain was fixed I went to warm up a little more and noticed that it wasn’t 100% happy but I did a couple of efforts and it held so no worries.  Having just come back from being quite sick I had NO expectations so I was not even close to nervous.  If those two crushed me I was totally okay with it 🙂 although I would try my hardest.

Read more

MelRad Racing Announces the 2010 Pro-Am Raditude Roster




MelRad Racing Announces the 2010 Pro-Am Raditude Roster

MelRad Racing, also known as Mel’s Rad Racing Team, has announced the roster of athletes chosen to race as part of the professional and amateur squad in 2010.


The team is led by reigning 3x USA Overall XTERRA Series Champion and 3x XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid.  Melanie returns in 2010 planning to race events on the XTERRA and Ironman 70.3 calendar while dabbling in mountain bike events.  While focused on making an effort to win a fourth world title, Melanie will be personal coach or mentor for all members of the MelRad Racing team and will help all to have the raddest season ever.  For information on Melanie please visit http://www.melrad.com.


The team concept was embraced by team sponsors.  “Melanie has been the face of off-road triathlon for years and AVIA is fully supportive of her effort to give back to the sport through the development of the MelRad Racing Team. The MelRad athletes are not only fast, but are terrific ambassadors for the sport and their communities.” – Shawn Frack, Sports Marketing Manager, AVIA. 


An invitation was extended to professional athletes Sara Tarkington and Emma Garrard to MelRad Racing for the 2010 season after they displayed raditude in 2009.  With a goal of finding and developing the next generation of top professional athletes, Melanie chose two rad female competitors with potential for top podium positions at the Maui World Championships. Sara Tarkington, aka “Tark”, is based in Boulder, Colorado where she came to triathlon from a running background.  After much success improving her mountain bike racing, she was 9th at the 2009 XTERRA World Championships.  Sara is a social worker when not an athlete superstar and is known for consistent performances and a love of cupcakes.  Emma Garrard was the 2007 amateur USA Champion, switching to the pro ranks in 2008.  Originally from Anchorage and now in Park City, Utah, Emma divides her time between XTERRA and Winter Triathlon where she was second at the US Championships earning her a spot on the US World Championships team.  This former NCAA Div1 cross country skier and distance runner is best known as a freelance photographer, cross country ski coach and plans to match her winter tri success with top spots across the US and at the World Championships this summer in XTERRA racing.  For more information on pro and amateur athletes on the MelRad Racing squad please visit http://www.melrad.com.

The MelRad Racing team will benefit from every advantage offered to Melanie by a rad list of sponsors.  The team is going to run in shoes from Avia, ride Specialized ERA women’s and Epic men’s mountain bikes, utilize hydration packs and multisport essentials like velocity laces and transition belts from Nathan Human Propulsion, wear custom race gear by Pactimo, wear Nirvana helmets from Lazer, drink GU Brew and eat GU energy products, wear eyewear by Sundog Eyewear, use Powertap power measuring devices and Powerbeam load generating trainers, wear goggles and swim gear from TYR, wear wetsuits and training clothing by Profile Design, wear gloves from Bellwether, use Genuine Innovations Big Air canisters, use ESI Grips on the handlebars and Powercordz for shifting, Squirt their lube, fuel up on Justin’s Nut Butte, Saltstick tablets and USANA supplements and use SciCon bags.  This lineup of sponsors would be the dream team for any professional athlete and was offered to an exceptional group of professional and amateur competitors in 2010.


2010 Rad Roster

Pro Athletes:

Melanie McQuaid – Victoria, BC

Sara Tarkington – Boulder, CO

Emma Garrard – Park City, UT


Amateur Squad:

Alexia Droz (Team Captain; 35-39 AG) – Northwest Region

Becky Batizy (30-34 AG) – Mountain Region

Greg Seaman (50-54 AG) – Midwest Region

Heather McNamara (45-49 AG) – Midwest Region

Brian Corff (30-34) – Mountain Region

Tim Holland (25-29) – Northwest Region

Rob Jackson (35-39) – Northwest Region

Meiling Yee (45-49) – Southwest Region

Marcus Barton (40-45) – Southeast Region

Fred Smith (30-34 AG) – Southeast Region

Kristin Jo Markham (20-24 AG) – Southeast Region


The MelRad Racing Team will be attending all events on the XTERRA US Series, select Ironman 70.3 events and US Cup mountain bike events.  The first team event will be the XTERRA West Championships in Lake Las Vegas, NV.  MelRad Racing is supported by Avia, Specialized, Nathan, GU, Pactimo, Lazer helmets, Sundog Eyewear, TYR, Powercordz, ESI Grips, Genuine Innovations, Profile Design, Bellwether, Titec, Saris Cycling, Squirt lube and Saltstick.


* raditude  [rad-i-tood, -tyood] 
1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to complete awesomeness, a tendency or orientation towards being totally rad, esp. of the mind: a positive raditude
2. the extreme desire to race hard and have fun



Melanie McQuaid

melanie AT racergirl DOT com





Lookin Forward To a Sweetwicked Weekend

I think the whooping cough is getting ready to leave the building.  I still hacked a little at swimming today but not so much that I couldn’t finish before my sendoff to make the pace times.  I think Ron couldn’t decide whether to pile on the mileage or make me do less.  In the end the last days have been heavenly and short… only 5.4 and 5.6km each.  I remember back to when that wasn’t so short.  In fact, I was so devastated about not really being able to train last week and only got in 17km of swimming.  Then I looked at my averages from last year at approximately 15km and it all seemed so silly to be worried.  Of course, I still feel a bit crappy and I forgot how to run and swim and bike but it should all come back to me soon.

And it better because there is some SWEETWICKED racing this weekend here in Victoria.  My favorite store, ProCity***, is hosting the first Island Cup mountain bike race this Sunday at 10am.  Who needs to leave town to train??  Bring it on people, I am racing the “expert” division and we get to ride the funnest trails ever including your favorites like Shock Treatment, Little Face, Fire Drill and that one near that rock with the tree and the root.. you know, with the dirt?  Registration is from 9-12 and the clocks change I think so be prepared for that.  Beginner racing at 10:30, intermediate at noon and experts go at 2pm.  Leisurely!   More info on trails etc HERE.

See ya there people!  Maybe we should all do a fourth lap on foot just for fun….  oh and Victoria triathletes out there on the interweb, XTERRA Canada is Sept 5th.. time to start practicing!

***  ya, I know, it’s not a Specialized store but what can I say.  The boys are cuter there 🙂


cross country

Alan Described It Best

So I have been going mental with a cycling camp the last four days… once I do the swim tonite I will have 24 hours of training in four days.  After very little bike volume for a number of months I was HURTING and GRUMPY and SORE today doing repeats on the back side of Willis Point.  The boys did nine.  I should bake them cookies for that.  I have no idea how that would be possible.  I was scribbled and did five.  Very obviously, this will pay off for all of us so thank you Houshang Amiri (http://www.pacificcyclingcenter.ca) for putting this all together for us.  I haven’t ridden that long/hard for a long time.  Ouchie.  I would like to give a high five to Erinne and Nic, the two other girls who did the whole camp. Erinne did six repeats today.  She is more manly than I am.  I have a sore throat so I figured doing a tiny bit less might lessen the chance that I get the whooping cough in the next two days.  My throat has been sore since Friday when I rocked up the fastest Willis Point time trial in my LIFE!  Screw you, old cycling Melanie, I kick your butt!  Then again my throat is raw from breathing so hard that day so I have been suffering for that asswhooping of myself for four days…who’s laughing now?

Okay so the point of this entry is I was google alerted to Alan’s recap of our day at the Olympics.  So, so fun!  I was stoked to be a part of Canada’s historic haul of medals and I had a super day with Alan cruising around town and cheering at the Olympic oval.  Even if I was the sole Canadian in USA Speedskating seats.. haha!  Sorry guys!  Gotta cheer for my girls 🙂  It reminded me of part of my experience there that I will share with you after his recap.

So instead of me re-recapping.. here is Alan’s version of events.  If you have never been to the Elbow Room, you must go.  The food is good too!  READ MORE

Read more