Monday, March 10, 2008

Rough Riding in the LA Times

(Above pix: Either on, or en route to, Canyonback Trail, adjacent to Mountaingate above Brentwood.)

From the Health section of the LA Times on January 7, 2008:

I am deeply honored to have been featured in a special Health section of the LA Times right after the New Year. I made a point of riding my Ritchey Break-Away Bicycle (converted to 650B wheel size) road bike on one of my favorite fire roads above Brentwood for the photo shoot, which was on December 13, 2007. BTW, I love my Breakaway: it's seen duty from Ironman Triathlons to dirt road epics and everything in between! (Click here for a full slideshow about my Break-Away, showing how it disassembles and packs in a relatively small suitcase to fly easily and for free.)

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Chris Kostman: Ultra Race Coordinator
By Jeannine Stein, LA Times, January 7, 2008

Special report: Shaping L.A.
Want 24-hour access? Got it. Training with a smile? Check. Cardio striptease? Pick one. A guide to the city's fitness jungle.

WHILE most people can't fathom running a marathon, others can't fathom stopping at 26.2 miles. As the niche of ultra and endurance events grows, increasing numbers of otherwise ordinary men and women are pushing their physical and mental limits to extremes.

Enabling them is Chris Kostman, an ultra athlete himself and founder of AdventureCORPS Inc., which stages the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon (a 135-mile footrace from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney), the Furnace Creek 508 (a 508-mile bicycle race from Santa Clarita to Twentynine Palms) and the Death Valley century and double century rides, high-profile events that have helped bring ultra races into the mainstream world of competitive running and cycling.

As race director of these events, Kostman has worked to dispel the myth that people who compete in them are crazy. More participants are getting involved in ultras, with some races increasing ranks by 10% to 20% every year, and new events are cropping up.

"It's all about the triumph of the human spirit," says Kostman, who caught the ultra bug at age 14, when he biked from his home in Glendora to Mt. Baldy and back, a 50-mile trip.

"I provide forums where people can have life-changing experiences," he says. "They can appreciate their connection to the environment and one another. One of the things I appreciated from my very first 50-mile bike ride was that in a few hours or more you could have a really meaningful experience that's exciting, interesting, engaging and enlightening. I wanted to keep having experiences like that, and I wanted as many people as possible to experience them too."

Although he's been a participant and organizer of racing events since he was a teen, Kostman says, "I feel like I'm barely getting started." He's working on launching his own magazine that will "celebrate the athlete adventurer lifestyle, including a profound connection and respect for the environment."

Above are some of the shots from the photo shoot, courtesy of the photographer, Al Seib. Thanks, Al, and thanks, LA Times!

(Click here for a full slideshow about my Break-Away, showing how it disassembles and packs in a relatively small suitcase to fly easily and for free.)

No comments: