The MOMAR’s TOP 20 PHOTO MOMENTS from 2012

January 14, 2013 by Bryan Tasaka | No Comments on The MOMAR’s TOP 20 PHOTO MOMENTS from 2012

Wow! Wow! Wow!  What a year. 13 years in the bag and so many great moments to add to memory bank.  A big BIG thanks goes out to our talented team of photographers who came out and captured the MOMAR experience.


#1 – CLASS PHOTOphoto by Mark Teasdale (top) and Dave Silver (bottom)

The racers and volunteers pose for the group shot minutes before the start of MOMAR Burnaby (top) and MOMAR Cumberland (bottom).  For many, this will be the last time them smile until they cross the finish line… :0)


#2 – MERRELL TECH TOPSphoto by Mark Teasdale

Our sponsors are simply the BEST and Merrell led the way by stepping up and providing each of our racers and volunteers with a high quality tech top.  Team S&M2 from Courtenay model the new shirts during Friday Night check in at the Riding Fool Hostel.  This good looking team went on to finish 2nd in the 4C category.


#3 – I WOULD CLIMB 500 STEPSphoto by Simon Whitefield

The City of Burnaby’s Parks Crew was busy over the past year building the new 500+ stair Velodome Trail up the backside of Burnaby Mountain.  The Space Cadets hammer up the steps like it’s another day on the Stairmaster 3000.


#4 – X-FILES “O”photo by John Crosby

Once again, one of the coolest parts of the Burnaby MOMAR was the Orienteering stage through the campus of Simon Fraser University.  Here, Geoff Langford leads his Raid the North team through the GVOC designed course.


#5 – SHRINKAGE!photo by David Murphy

Colin Rennie and Sandra Hardy punch the last CP in the waters of Burrard Inlet.  Everyone can thank Tom Jarecki for hanging the CP in this location.


#6 – WITH THE MAVERICKSphoto by Mark Teasdale

For the first time, we added “Social Media Mavericks” to the team of volunteers.  Sarah and Casey-Jo stepped up and provided us with awsome live coverage on Twitter and Facebook and we also had some great tweets from competing teams too.


#7 – LIKE ANTS ON THE WATERphoto by Dave Silver

This photo RULES!!!  The sight of seeing all of the kayaks lined up on Comox Lake for the start of the race is pretty amazing.


#8 – MYSTERY PEAKphoto by Dave Silver

Cumberland’s terrain is truly phenomenal and filled with many hidden gems. While on a weekend of course scouting, we found a huge open bluff with an incredible view of the valley and we knew we had to make it a checkpoint.  Bushwhacking got you there the fasted, but you had to feel good about your compasss skills.  In this photo, Hailey Van Dyck and Jesse Crane clear the CP and venture off to the next.


#9 – REFRESHING SWIMphoto by Mark Teasdale

The Mystery Checkpoint was a popular stage at this year’s MOMAR Cumberland.  It was a short swim with the aid of an air matress or pool noodle.


#10 – CUMBY TRAILSphoto by Dave Silver

A big reason why people keep signing up for the MOMAR Cumberland is the amazing network of mountain biking trails.  The community of trail builders are a dedicated and phenomenal bunch of guys and continue to impress the hundreds of out-of-town participants.


#11 – SEADS AT SEEDS!photo by Mark Teasdale

Seeds Natural Food Market in Cumberland has been a sponsor of the MOMAR for many years now and it has become one of the racer’s favorite checkpoint.  Christina and her staff put out the treats as a mini-reward for the racers.  Sarah Seads (photo) would agree that this extra bit of sugar is the perfect kick needed to make the final push to the finish line.


#12 – INTO THE WILDphoto by Dave Silver

Going off trail can be a very unnerving experience–you can save heaps of time or you can find yourself “off the map”.  This year at the Cumberland MOMAR, teams had many chances to use their compasses and venture in the woods and many felt it was the highlight of their race.


#13 – SYCRO ADVENTURE RACERS!photo by Dave Silver

We have to give another shout out to our sponsor over at Frontrunners who have been with us for the past 12 years.  Norm, Stefan, Nick and Mark are all first class dudes!!!


#14 – WATCH OUT FOR BEESphoto by Dave Silver

The final stage of the MOMAR Cumberland course is a small technical romp through the giant bolder and cliff-laden forest behind the Cumberland Campground.  This stage puts the final stamp on an adventure filled day of racing and an we owe a big thanks to Carl Coger of the Victoria Orienteering Club for making it happen.


#15 – THE CHAMPphoto by Mark Teasdale

It was another series sweep for Todd Nowack bringing his total overall win total to 12. Yes, 12.  Todd has moved to Australia though and unless he makes a special trip back for the MOMAR (and we hope he does), we’ll be crowning a new champ in 2013.


#16 – ABSOLUTE KAOSphoto by Brett Wilson

We thought they were great last year, but this year Kootenay Kaos stepped it up in a big way with thier Red Men/Women outfits and wonky helmets.  Their speed walk across the finish line was a riot and their finish line shot is the bomb.


#17 – THEY ARE THE BEST!photo by Kimberly Kufaas

This card says it all.  Our volunteers are the absolute best.  Thanks Team Chels for making up these cards and handing them out to all of the volunteers along the course!


#18 – THE CHAMPSphoto by Dave Silver

They train hard, they race hard, they make smart decisions, and they come out on top. These are just some of the podium finishers from this year’s MOMAR. Winners took home sunglassess from Ryders, Frontrunners gift cards, and a box of Clif bars!


#19 – PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999!photo by Mark Teasdale (top) & Dave Silver

Another year, another killer party at the MOMAR Cumberland.  The cover band was kick ass and the party was a blast.  Can’t wait for 2013!


#20 – THE ULTIMATE BOTTLE OPENERphoto by David Murphy

This year’s finishers medal not only acknowledged the completion of your MOMAR experience, but was also functional as a bottle opener for the celebratory beer.  Thanks to Rod Tasaka at for the great design!

Posted in: Race Recap


July 16, 2012 by Bryan Tasaka | No Comments on LEAN DOWN TO SPEED UP! By Sarah Seads

Uber-athletes. Weekend warriors. Age class performers. Regardless of ability or sport, gender or age, we are all really after the same elusive goal know as a PB or ‘Personal Best’. Whether you are looking to shave 30 seconds off your next 5k or qualify for Ironman Canada the chances are pretty good that you would like to improve on your current results by getting faster, fitter or being able to go further than you can right now. This is main reason why we keep going back for more year after year.

And this is also the reason why we tend to be gear junkies and techno-geeks looking for the latest, greatest and lightest weight gear to get us closer to our personal goals. Busy searching flash sport specific websites for their next promising purchase many recreational athletes overlook the impact that a lighter ‘race-weight’ can have on their results. Losing a few extra pounds of body fat can improve your performance, decrease your race times and save thousands of dollars trying to shave 3 pounds off your current ride.

Here are some important keys to consider when planning to ‘Lean Down’:
1. Less body mass means less energy is required to propel your body.
2. Balance between body weight and adequate muscle mass is required for optimum performance.
3. Focus on decreasing body fat to athletic levels while maintaining muscle mass.
4. Nutritional fueling requirements must never be compromised for weight loss or performance and health will be impaired.

If you are carrying excess pounds of body fat then you are requiring your body to use more energy to propel forward, up and over the demands of your sport. However, weight loss must always be balanced with your training goals and it is a fine line that must be given careful attention to ensure that you never compromise performance or overall health for weight loss goals.

The good news is that drastic measures are not necessary nor are they effective for long term weight loss. Creating a small caloric deficit every day and every week will add up to successful weight loss over the long term. Not unlike the current government, you too must take steps to create your personal calorie deficit in order to reach your body composition goals. You too must spend calories and cut back on savings to make positive changes. You must burn your way into a caloric deficit in order to shed excess body fat! Simple but oh-so true, the only way to get rid of excess body fat is to consume fewer calories than you expend. That way, your body dips into it’s reserves (aka the Fat Surplus) to provide the energy it needs. Let it dip into it’s savings!

THE BEST WAY to do this is to create a 250-500 calorie deficit every day through a combination of intake and output (diet and exercise). Eat 250 fewer calories (2 beers) and burn 250 extra calories (30-45min run) in addition to your current routine and you WILL lose body fat. Sorry…there aren’t any magic potions, lotions or gadgets in this equation just simple grade school math.

Following are my top 10 tips for creating a small caloric deficit that will result in safe and effective weight loss to help you reach your healthy race weight. Time to get focused, be disciplined and set yourself up for success!

1. Food log: start observing and recording your intake to become aware. Free on line logging tools such as are available for instant calculations.
2. Learn to read labels and educate yourself about healthy food choices.
3. Design a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Success or failure is made at the grocery store.
4. Emphasize nutrient rich food choices and plan your meals around vibrant, colourful vegetables and fruits-5-10/day.
5. Cut Out Empty Calories: processed foods, fast foods, junk food and alcohol. This is one of the the easiest ways to create a deficit (or surplus).
6. Focus on Portion Control: Avoid overeating by eating slowly, using smaller plates, and starting with a smaller serving size. Don’t eat if you are not feeling any degree of hunger.
7. Never skip breakfast or other main meals as under eating can be just as detrimental as overeating as it may cause your body to become ‘fat-friendly’ holding on to every calorie you consume.
8. Consume low-density caloric snacks more often. These are usually high in air, water, fibre and will fill you up without filling up your fat cells.
9. Set yourself up for Success: Plan in healthy snacks to avoid overeating later (busy days, on the road etc).
10. Drink 8-10 cups of fluid per day.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: never ever compromise your pre, during and post training fueling guidelines to cut back on calories or you will never reach your true racing potential. Good luck, be patient and the new lean mean you will be ready for a PB come competition day!


Sarah Seads is a Kinesiologist and Fitness Trainer based in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Her company Equilibrium Lifestyle Management, or ELM, offers group ‘Fitness Adventures’ and Personalized Training programs to assist clients in reaching for their fitness dreams and goals. FMI go to

Posted in: Pushing the Limits, Training


May 15, 2012 by Bryan Tasaka | No Comments on RACE DAY TIPS FOR THE MOMAR by Sarah Seads

It is often said that getting to the start line of an adventure race is the hardest part. Planning, training and co-ordinating teammates, gear and resources are often as challenging as the race itself. Now is the time to taper down your physical training and start preparing for the logistics of race day so that you don’t miss anything important. Get out your racer information package and review the details, deadlines, directions and, most importantly, the gear list to make sure you have everything you need come race day.

When it comes to preparing for the big day itself, there are things you can control but there are many more that you cannot. Anything can happen over the course of a full day of racing- and nearly everything will :). Control the variables you can, but expect the unexpected and be prepared to think on your feet to create a ‘plan B’, or even ‘plan C’ if your race day plans go off the tracks. It is rare to have a perfectly ‘clean’ adventure race but there are many things you can do to increase your chances of success. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for the big day!

1. Get your gear organized early. If you think you will pack your gear the morning of the race you are just kidding yourself. Save yourself wasted energy and unnecessary stress by getting all of your gear checked, organized and packed as early as possible. There always seems to be at least one ‘fire’ that comes up during packing and prep so you might as well put it out early, rather than trying to handle it the morning of your race. Pack your food for the race, fill your water bottles, check your bike, and pack all your mandatory gear, etc., as early as possible.

2. Get to race central early. Set your alarm clock at least 30 minutes earlier than whatever time you think you actually need to get up on race morning. Better late than never does not apply to race day. Things will always take longer than you think on race morning. Giving yourself some extra time will help you keep your cool if unforeseen issues arise on race morning. Better to have too much time on your hands than to be that crazy, stressed guy racing to the start line with one shoe on and gear flying everywhere.

3. Take a deep breath. Racing is intense! Intensity is a very good thing if you can learn to channel it into positive forward moving energy. Learning to channel that energy takes practice and conscious effort. Taking a moment to refocus and take a few deep breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed can save you time and frustration later. This is very important when you are navigating. Sprinting off without taking the time to double or triple check your location and route of choice can cost you valuable time later. Take a moment to make sure you are confident with your plan and then sprint off!

4. Stick to your fuel/hydration plan. By now you should have determined a fuel/hydration schedule that works well for you during your training sessions. If not, figure that out this weekend! Stick with the foods that you know work for you and never eat something new on race day! It can ‘backfire’ on you big time. Not every energy gel or bar will sit well in your stomach and race day is not the time to experiment… trust me :). Remember the general rules: 30-60 grams of carbohydrates and 1-3 cups of fluids including electrolytes per hour and stick to a schedule. Set your timer on your watch or assign a team member the role of fuel/drink reminders. It is very easy to forget to eat and drink in the first couple of hours of your race when intensity is high. You cannot make up for this later and your performance and energy will suffer greatly when you need them the most. Eating and drinking early can make or break your entire race experience.

5. Have fun! Adventure Racing is a wonderful way to spend the day with friends, working hard in the beautiful outdoors. Be sure to enjoy the views, be in the moment and share the experience with your teammates and fellow racers. And don’t forget to show your support for the volunteers out there! There is always time for a thumbs up, a smile or a hi-5 to thank the selfless volunteers that line the course and make sure you have a great day. You couldn’t enjoy these experiences without them so be sure to say thanks!

Good luck, have fun and getterdone!

Sarah Seads B.A. Kinesiology, is the owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management, based in the Comox Valley. ELM provides fitness and recreational services including injury rehabilitation, personal fitness training, fitness and lifestyle assessments, Fitness Bootcamp and other Fitness Adventures. For more information please contact ELM at 338-8998 or check out

Posted in: Stuff You Should Do, Training

What NOT To Do in the MOMAR by Sarah Seads

March 24, 2012 by Bryan Tasaka | No Comments on What NOT To Do in the MOMAR by Sarah Seads

I think the best part about Adventure Racing has to be the ‘adventure’. This challenging sport takes you to amazing locations with ‘breath-taking’ scenery, pushes your body & mind to their outer limits and introduces you to excellent people along the way. Until you get your map, sometimes only minutes before the race start, you have no idea where you are going or what sort of adventures you will get up to.

Adventure Racing has a very steep learning curve. Since my first race in 2002 I am sure I have made every mistake in the book. Now I get to teach new racers how to train and complete Adventure Races so that they may benefit from all of my mistakes! Learning what to do to prepare and race well is important to race enjoyment and success. But learning what NOT to do seems to be more popular!

Here is my TOP 10 LIST of What NOT To Do in the MOMAR. And yes, I have done them all…more than once.

#10 Never Try Something New on Race Day
Practice the skills you need before the race to avoid going ass over tea-kettle! And, of course, never try new equipment or new food on race day! Your guts will thank you:)

#9 Don’t forget to Drink and Drive!
You have to learn to eat and drink on the move as an Adventure Racer. A steady flow of fluids will keep you hydrated, happy and cramp free throughout the day. 1-3 cups per hour of water minimum! Cramps can kill your buzz- I see wounded soldiers on the side of the trail during every race and I have been there too! Avoid this by following a strict hydration schedule and train to eat and drink on the bike, on foot and in the boat.

#8 Don’t Keep a Loose Kit
Not only do you have to make sure you get all of your mandatory gear to the race start (which could be 2 pages long). But you also have to ensure that you hold onto all your gear during the race itself. Lost passports, maps, water bottles, or any mandatory gear for that matter can cost you a race (and your pride:).

#7 Never Stop Moving
Adventure Racers learn to do things on the move. You eat on the move. You drink on the move. You navigate on the move. If one person on the team stops- you all stop. Group pee breaks are the norm to avoid multiple pit stops. By continuing to put one foot in front of the other you will get closer and closer to the finish line (hopefully:)

#6 Don’t Forget to Bring Your ‘Happy’ Food
After suffering for hours in the bush you are bound to experience periods of low motivation. Dig out your ‘happy food’ for an instant pick me up when you need a little boost. Everyone has their own feel good food and you will have to figure out what yours is. Salty boiled potatoes, licorice allsorts, homemade chocolate chip cookies…mine is an Eatmore bar!

#5 Never Follow Other Racers
Seriously! You need to have navigation and orienteering skills to complete an AR. Following other racers is not a good strategy. If you are lost – chances are they are WAY more lost than you! Do your homework, plan your route and stick to your course.

#4 Don’t Invite Your Friends ‘Bonk & Wall’
Fueling for endurance sports is a science. Getting the right mix worked out in training and sticking to your plan during the race are key. Check out my upcoming ‘Fueling’ articles for more info.

Bonk – not a good guy to have on the team. Low blood sugar leads to dizzyness, unco-ordination and poor decision making.

Wall – you don’t want him around. Lead legs means you are OUT of muscle glycogen and you must stop. Do not pass ‘go’. You are out of the game. Don’t skimp out on your fuel plan!

#3 Don’t Forget the First Word in ‘Teamwork’
The best teams work together seamlessly to reach their common goal. They are good communicators, supportive of each other and they share the same goals. This is KEY to a happy team and a great experience regardless of outcome!

#2 Please Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
AR is supposed to be FUN! Take in the scenery, including the unreal costumes that turn up in a race…Wonderwoman? I will never forget her… There I was trying to survive in my hi-tech streamline wicking gear…and Wonderwoman (AKA man wearing wig, knee high boots and a cape) is hauling through the bush beside me. These are the real athletes! Enjoy the experience, you will never have another one like it.

#1 Never, Ever, Ever, Give Up!
Anything can happen in an AR…and usually does. Chances are if you have had some bad luck (flat tire, mechanical, wrong turn, lost map, injury, cramping…you name it!) other teams have as well. Just keep on moving towards the finish line and you may be suprised at how things turn out in the end!

Sarah Seads B.A. Kinesiology, is the owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management, based in the Comox Valley. ELM provides fitness and recreational services including injury

Posted in: Training



Yannick Letailleur & Danielle Holt from Kelowna to take on the MOMAR Cumberland 2011 -- Photo by Erik Peterson

Hear the soft sound of padded earth under your feet…listen as the birds wake up in song above you…a crisp morning brings the first rays of sunlight through the canopy to warm your face…the fresh smell of the forest fills your lungs and you are renewed!

No wonder most runners eventually make the transition into the trails! Trail running takes us on a new journey each and every time-both physically and mentally. In the trails you will find new obstacles, push yourself to new levels, and find yourself renewed, refreshed, and begging for more!

Whether you are a first time Trail Runner or an experienced Adventure Racer, trail running safety should be a top priority in preparation for your runs. Here are some safety keys to remember before hitting the trails this season:

Buddy Up. Run with a buddy in new or remote trails and make sure to leave word of your route. This way, a search party will waste no time heading out to find you if you don’t return on schedule.

Take the right gear with you. This includes a whistle for communication, map of the area, compass (only if you know how to use it!), water, a quick energy snack, basic first aid kit including any medication that you may need, and a cell phone (some remote trails do not have cellular service so check first!).

Be aware of your surroundings! Learning some basic map reading and navigation skills is an important part of trail running. It is easy to get turned around in an unfamiliar area. Having the ability to identify landmarks and follow the terrain can help you avoid wrong turns and decrease anxiety if you do go astray. Use a trail map to plan your route before you head out. Map reading skills will allow you to explore a new area with confidence that you will return to your car!

Training in the trails requires more balance, agility and co-ordination than road running. This means you need to be alert and ready to react to the ever-changing path in front of you. As you train, think about staying light on your feet. Run as if you are landing on hot coals/sand and try not to keep your feet on the ground too long with each step. Here are some tips and tricks to remember:

Form: Don’t forget about your running posture in the trails. Run tall, chest high, shoulders down and back, hips forward. Good postural alignment will help you run more efficiently. Relax those arms, keep the hands loose and enjoy the scenery!

Trail Technique: Shorten your stride and increase turnover (how frequently your feet touch the ground) to improve your reaction time. On technical sections such as sand, loose dirt/gravel, water and rooty areas, shorten your stride even more to react quickly and avoid slipping.

Up Hills: Think in thirds. 1st third shorten your stride length and increase turnover slightly, 2nd third maintain your pace, final third give a little push OVER the top and down the other side. Stand tall, drive back arms, keep your head up and look over top.

Down hills: On an easy grade lean forward slightly, lengthen your stride, and let gravity do the work. If it is too steep/technical or if you feel out of control shorten your stride and increase the turnover to regain control.

Sarah Seads B.A. Kinesiology, is the owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management, based in the Comox Valley, BC, Canada. ELM provides fun Fitness Adventures and Personal Training Services in person and online. For more information visit

Posted in: Training

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