Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run

Ran the in the Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run yesterday. The race is a rather vertical 7.5 mile trail run at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, IL.

Also known as "No Wimps, No Whiners", the race follows a a series of craggy, eroded, muddy, leaf-covered, root-laden and icy trails - which can demand some artful footwork to traverse. I saw more than a few scraped and bloodied body parts, as well as a few ambulance rides this year, which is apparently not an uncommon sight.

I managed to finish unscathed in 1h 7m 41s. 10th in my age group (30-34). My good friend Al Beers took 1st in his division. Nice work Al!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Castlewood 8-Hour Adventure Race


Participated in the Castlewood 8-Hour Adventure Race again this year. A rather chilly start on Saturday, somewhere in the 20s. I forgot to blow the water out of my CamelBak tube early in the race and it froze solid, which was a small problem. Things thawed out by mid-morning though.

Ran in the 2-Person Male division, with my teammate Clayton Cummings, against 42 other teams. Finished in 5h:56m, which was just enough to grab 3rd place in the division.

Aaron Fanetti racing in the 2010 Castlewood 8-Hour Adventure Race

Aaron Fanetti shaking hands with Jason Elsenraat at the awards ceremony.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Iceman Cometh



Participated in the 20th annual Iceman mountain bike race up in Traverse City, MI this weekend. My first MTB race. I had been warned that it can be freezing, but we had really nice weather this year - upper 50s. I finished in 6th place out of 65 riders in my group. Finished in 2h 23m 31s.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Winter Training with Peoria Bicycle Club

Started winter training with the Peoria Bicycle Club today. They have a great indoor multi-rider CompuTrainer training facility setup at Proctor Hospital in Peoria, IL.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra - Opening Weekend



Attended the SLSO performance of Mahler's 5th Symphony on Friday night to kick-off the new season.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ironman Wisconsin 2009



Completed Ironman Wisconsin this Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin. A full iron-distance triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run. Couldn't have asked for better weather. Finished in 12h 13m.





Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mt. Rainer National Park

While in Washington spent a day playing at Mt. Rainier National Park after the Mt. Baker climb. The hike up to Tolmie Peak is gorgeous. I felt like I was walking around in a postcard.

Aaron Fanetti climbing.

More pictures on my Flickr account.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Climbing Mt. Baker

Finished my first mountaineering trip last weekend up in Seattle. Did a 3-day climb up Mt. Baker with Alpine Ascents International. Physically demanding, but mostly a lot of fun - and really beautiful. My neck and back were little sore since it had been a while since I last shouldered a backpack for 6+ hours a day - and the double plastic boots and crampons took some getting used to. I'm looking forward to doing another trip soon.

Hiking up Mt. Baker
During our summit attempt.

Aaron Fanetti standing on the summit of Mount Baker.
At the summit with our guide. The wind was intense.

More picture on my Flickr account.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Whirlpool Ironman 70.3 Steelhead


Ran in Ironman 70.3 Steelhead up in Benton Harbor, Michigan on Saturday. The swim in Lake Michigan was fun. Finished in 5h 11m.

Aaron Fanetti exiting the swim in the 2009 Ironman 70.3 SteelheadAaron Fanetti biking in the 2009 Ironman 70.3 Steelhead

Aaron Fanetti finishing the 2009 Ironman 70.3 Steelhead

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The 250 MFer (mostly flat)

On Saturday I completed The MFer, a one-day, self-supported, 250 mile bike ride through southwest IL. Starting at 5:30am, we rode from Columbia, IL down the levee road and Route 3 to East Cape Girardeau, IL - and back.

We had great weather for most of the day, until about 9pm when we encountered severe lightening and thunderstorms. We all agreed it was probably not a good idea to be the sitting atop the tallest metal object in a cornfield, so we ducked into the bar in Prarie du Rocher and waited for the storm to pass. We finished the final 40 miles arriving back in Columbia around midnight. It was tough, but fun. Looking forward to doing it again next year... or maybe the "Son of MFer" this winter. :-)

More pictures from the MFer on my flickr account.

Colin Peeler, Aaron Fanetti and Dennis Regelsperger during the 2009 MFer.
The three finishers, Colin, me and Dennis, at the half way point (125 miles).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

LT Testing

Did my first LT (Lactate Threshold) test Saturday with Stan Watkins of Vision Quest Coaching. LT is one of the key determinants of endurance performance, so tracking your LT helps in designing a training program. Following a program that works you at or slightly above your LT should help increase your LT - and thus improve your endurance performance.

The testing involved riding my bike in a computrainer for 40 minutes and trying to generate the highest average wattage over that time period.

Result for the 40-minute LT: 284 watts.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ironman 70.3 Kansas, 2009


Ran in Ironman 70.3 Kansas on Sunday with nearly 2,000 athletes. Nice weather for the most part - although it did heat up in the afternoon. My swim was a little sloppy since I hadn't done an open water since last summer and it took me a while to get used to the wetsuit again. Finished in 5:03 (the clock in the picture below doesn't account for the swim offset).


Aaron Fanetti biking in Ironman 70.3 Kansas

Aaron Fanetti finishing Ironman 70.3 Kansas

Monday, June 8, 2009

St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival 2009


Volunteered to work the St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival on Saturday night. I started the evening working the check-in/entry, handing out the beer guides and glasses that the guests used to sample the beer. Once the big wave of entrants had come through, we moved over to work the honey lager tap.

With around 3,000 people attending Saturday night and 70 beer stands, I was pouring non-stop again this year. No rain this time though, which was a pleasant change. Last year I was standing in an inch of mud.

A portion of the proceeds go to support the Lift for Life Gym, an after-school center near downtown St. Louis.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tour de Cure 2009

Rode in the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure on Saturday over in Grafton, IL. Biked the 100 mile loop with Team Gallop (Gallop, Johnson, and Neumann, LC), who raised over $9,000. Most impressive was that over $5,000 of that total was brought in single-handedly by Don Kelly, an attorney at GJN.

Also there was my friend Phil Bruno who rallied strong helping recruit a huge team of over 90 riders for Gold's Gym. Phil hammered out 100 miles as well.

Thanks to the folks at GJN for inviting me to ride with them and helping put together a great day!


Team Gallop. Photo courtesy Ellen Montgomery

More photos on my Flickr stream.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ozark Greenways Adventure Race 2009

Ran in the Ozark Greenways Adventure Race on Saturday near Lebanon, MO. We had some fairly severe downpours the night before which lead to the race coordinators pulling the paddle portion of the race. They didn't think the river was safe. Instead, they extended the bike and orienteering legs.

I flatted within the first 5 miles, then managed to break the stem off of the replacement tube - which really set us back a bit. Other than that we had a fairly good run. The previous nights rain turned the trails to soup which made for tough going at times. We were completely covered in mud.

19th Overall. Finished in 8:48.


Matt, Me, Clayton, and Kate at the finish.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Steamboat Classic Triathlon (plus 216 miles)



Biked down to Cape Girardeau, MO again this year to run in the Steamboat Classic Triathlon. Departed from Columbia, IL on Saturday morning about 9am, crossing the Mississippi at Chester and then on to Cape. We had a brutal headwind the entire ~108 miles down there - averaging only about 14mph for the day.

Raced in the triathlon at 9am on Sunday. I ran a fairly conservatively considering that the 108 mile ride back to Columbia was going to start soon after I crossed the finish line. The unofficial results put me at 24th overall, which was better than last year when I took 35th.

Since we suffered such a terrible headwind on the way down, I was hoping we would get the benefits of a tailwind on the way back - although I wasn't counting on it. However, we lucked out and managed to keep a 19.5mph pace all the way back.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

VO2 Max Testing at HIT Center

Did my first VO2 Max test last night with Betsy Godar the program director at the HIT Center in St. Peters, MO.

Results: 64.6 ml/kg/min.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eco Expo and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.



Went to see Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. talk at the St. Louis Science Center's Eco Expo kick off on Tuesday night. In his talk, titled "Our Environmental Destiny", he described his personal history with environmental defense and his take on the roles government and corporations should play in the future.

While there were a few questionable "statements of fact", I think the core proposition was reasonable. In short, that the corporation is designed to generate profit by whatever means necessary. This is a fine objective which has proven itself to be a great engine of innovation. However, the corporation must not be allowed to drive government, for by its very nature it will exploit the resources of the people without regard for a common good - and it is the preservation of the common good that is the responsibility of government.

The Eco Expo will run April 18 & 19 at the St. Louis Science Center and is presented by the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is free to the public. Thanks to Ivona Blazevic, volunteer for the Botanical Gardens Earthways Center, for the invitation!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Land Between the Lakes 12-Hour Adventure Race 2009


Raced in Land Between the Lakes Adventure Race this weekend. Put on by Bonk Hard Racing, it was held at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area near Golden Pond, KY.

The weather was perfect, clear with temperatures in the 70s. The area was hit hard by ice storms over the winter which left a significant amount of debris on the forest floor. The USDA Forest Service did a great job clearing most of the roads and trails, but bushwacking through the mangled branch systems was slow and challenging.

I ran in the 4-person coed division for the 12-hour race with the team Epic Machinery. We hit a snag early in the race when I made a navigation error on the way to checkpoint 2, costing us at least 20 minutes and quickly dropping us to the back of the pack. The rest of the day however we hit each of the remaining controls with little issue and picked up position.

We finished strong, getting all 23 checkpoints in under 12 hours. The unofficial results put is in 8th out of 37 teams overall, 6th in our division.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tour de Cure 2009 Kickoff Party

Attended the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure kickoff party last night over at Autohaus BMW. Food, drink, a live music and prize raffle. Phil Bruno, spinning instructor and member of the Gold's Gym team was there getting everyone pumped up for the ride. I've known Phil for a couple years now and he's got a great story about how exercise in general, and cycling in particular, impacted his life. Great guy. Also there rallying were the members of Team Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, LC.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

St. Petersburg, Florida

Took a little break and went down to St. Petersburg, Florida for a couple of days this week. Stayed at the Ponce de Leon, a little boutique hotel on Central Avenue. It could use a little updating, but it was a decent place nonetheless. A nice feature was the tapas restaurant, Ceviche, on the first floor. So wednesday night involved a few bottles of La Zaragozana and a dinner of boquerones, caracoles and ancas de rana. After dinner we walked a couple blocks down to The Independent on 3rd street. Fun place with a very laid back atmosphere.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Bonk Hard Chill 2009

Ran with a 4-person team in The Bonk Hard Chill 12-hour adventure race down in Lake of the Ozarks State Park this weekend. Years past it was cold enough to freeze the water in your CamelBak, but this year it was warm enough to run in shorts.

One section of the race we had to paddle across the lake with our bikes in the canoe. Through some bizarre circumstance of physics my bike melded with Al's during the paddle and we had to spend at least 20 minutes trying to unhook them (photo below).


Me, Al and Rick. Photo courtesy of Bryan N., Mudskunks team captain

We ran fairly well, but missed a checkpoint deadline near the end of the day and suffered a severe penalty which knocked us to near the bottom of the pack. I did win a tube of Zanfel at the pre-race raffle though!

With the exception of a few beautiful bruises, Adam and Lisa, the pillars of Sisu Adventure Racing, were there running strong as usual! At least they weren't called upon to save anyone during the race this time.

Thanks to Bonk Hard Racing for putting on another great event.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Class on Basic Mountaineering Theory

Attended a class on basic mountaineering theory at the Alpine Shop in Kirkwood last night. A high-level overview and a basic gear show-n-tell for mountaineering rookies. Some early preparation for a possible "starter" mountain we may climb this summer.

They're planning on giving the course again on Feb 25 and Apr 22. The class is free. Call to register 314-962-7715.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Frostbite Swim Series Race #1

Completed the first of Frostbite Swim Series Races this morning at the Wildwood YMCA. It was supposed to be a relay, so Beth, Erin and I signed up as a team, but we decided to each swim the entire length individually and just use the best time. So 1.5 miles later, I finished in 42:57 and Beth whooped me hitting just over 42:00. I think I held the lead for about a mile, then the master took over. She is really efficient in the water and just kept creeping a little further away with every flipturn.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter Backcountry in the Smoky Mountains

Started off the new year with a 6 day, 5 night backcountry camping trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We completed a circuit of roughly 70 miles, hitting some of the highest peaks in the park and traveling along part of the Appalachian Trail. It was definitely grueling at times, usually hiking from sunrise till dusk on wet, rocky trails.

We experienced a wild variety of weather. Some parts of the day it was warm enough to wear nothing but t-shirt and other times temperatures dropped to the low teens. It might be snowing with brutal winds on one side of a mountain and clear and calm on the other.

Along with the indefatigable Lisa from Team Sisu we leaped over Mount LeConte, the third highest mountain in the park at 6,593 feet, forged our way through heavy winds on icy, narrow ridge tops, and evaded a growling black bear hiding in a thicket of Rhododendron (no kidding). A great way to kick off the year!


Me on The Boulevard Trail


Map of the route


Some more photos from the trip are up on my new Flickr stream.