Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 Team Blog
presented by Inov-8

That's one smart cookie
posted Monday, May 22, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:30 PM - 0 comments

This past weekend, my 6-year-old son and I dined at our favorite local Chinese restaurant. Henry loves to eat there, mostly because he loves to order the flaming Pu Pu Platter. I don't know if he likes the food as much as he just likes to say the words "Pu Pu" to the waitress taking our order. Regardless, Golden Buddha was his choice.

After we'd gotten our fill -- actually way more than our fill -- we eagerly cracked open our fortune cookies as we always do. Whoever crafts the messages for those little slips of paper is a true clairvoyant. The advice just always seems to apply. But, with the Michigan Coast to Coast adventure race just a week away for Team Checkpoint Zero, this cookie's counsel was particularly on target. The message read: "You will recieve unexpected support over the next week. Accept it graciously."

Well, I didn't need to be reminded by the cookie that Team Checkpoint Zero's support crew does a truly remarkable job. But I could always say "thank you" more than I do. I'm sure every racer could.

Support crews get little to no sleep, tote team gear all around the race course, drive forever down unfamiliar roads with the team's precious supplies and, more than a few times, care for blistered body parts and so much more, all in an effort to keep the team moving forward. So, Scott, Jon, Michele and Paul want to say an advanced "thank you" to our Checkpoint Zero support crew for the Michigan Coast to Coast: Jon's wife, Diane; my wife, Lisa; and Henry.

You guys are the best! And the team promises to do as told -- and with a gracious spirit -- at every transition area.

The team is busily preparing for the Coast to Coast to be held May 29 - June 3. We'll post more updates here and a race report after we finish.

Paul Cox -- disher of the team Pu Pu

Getting our game faces on and the laundry done
posted Thursday, May 18, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:38 PM - 0 comments

I must be getting my game face on. It's the first time in weeks I've been able to say no to the red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting in the company cafeteria. I'm tapering, afterall.

It's just more than a week until the team's first expedition race of the year -- the Michigan Coast to Coast. Lots of planning goes into getting ready for a four day adventure race. Bikes have to be tuned up, climbing gear has to be inspected, race menus are prepared, plane tickets bought, worn out gear will be replaced, and it's time to wash the stinky race/training clothes that usually are left to ferment in a ripe pile way too long after being worn. Well, maybe that's just in my case. But, I bet I'm not alone. And my teammates and I are starting to spam each other with emailed gear lists, questions, etc. to make sure no detail has been forgotten. I once heard someone say the hardest part of an adventure race is getting to the start line. I'd have to agree in some cases.

I'm really looking forward to finishing all the prep work and getting to Frankfort, MI. There I'll join my mates for the race: Jon Barker, Michele Hobson and Scott Pleban. Scott and Michele are fresh off a win for Team Checkpoint Zero at the Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, N.C., the weekend of May 7. It'll be my first race with Scott and I'm just hoping he likes (and hopefully has memorized) John Denver's folk classics. I hate singing alone during a race. I wonder what other strategies/crutches teams use to keep focused and beat away the sleep monsters? I'm sure my teammates wish I could come up with something besides stretching my vocal cords.

And this will be our first race with our brand new Axis Gear Checkpoint Zero jerseys. They're so pretty, it's almost a shame we'll have to get them dirty. Thanks Yak!

- Paul Cox, team motivator & crooner

AR: It can be a family affair
posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:16 PM - 0 comments

For me, the hardest part of racing has always been leaving the family behind as I trip off somewhere to run through the woods with my crazy AR buddies. There's a little guilt, but mostly I just want to share one of favorite things with my biggest fans and supporters -- my wife and young son. I figure there couldn't be a better spirit lifter than running into a transition area then seeing your family there cheering you on.

Honestly, a few years ago at the Adventure Racing World Championship in Newfoundland, Canada, I was so homesick for my family before the race began I was ready to jump back on a plane for Atlanta before the start gun even went off.

So, my wife, Lisa, and I decided to make my next expedition race a family affair. She and my 6-year-old son, Henry, will be joining Team Checkpoint Zero on the support crew at this month's Michigan Coast to Coast. I'm already looking forward to seeing them around the race course.

Lisa's a support crew veteran, having lifted and hauled my gear and tired, beat-up fanny during a race before. Henry's not exactly a rookie at seeing his old man race. He's somewhat of a regular at local events in the Southeast ... but he always gets to jump back in the minivan and drive back home with mama just about the time he gets bored. I just hopes he enjoys seeing me in Michigan as much as I will seeing him. I'll let you know how it goes.

Paul Cox -- team motivator, crooner and aspiring World Class Dad