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The Traverse - Orange County, CA

Posted by: Jens Raz |June 4, 2011 3:21 AM
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The Traverse - Orange County, CA

Tinker Juarez Bests Defending Champion Manny Prado in California

written by: Jens Raz

2011 came with a lot of challenges for the folks at the Warrior Society. The trails and terrain in the local mountains were destroyed by months of rain and nasty weather. Volunteers spend over 350 hours maintaining, rebuilding, cleaning and prepping the course for both the "Vision Quest" held earlier in the year and for "The Traverse" held this past weekend. 

175 excited weekend warriors and pros spent the day in Orange County traversing the challenging mountains south east of Los Angeles. The weather forecast for the endurance race was mixed with some expected cold and windy conditions. A horrific flu season and fear of harsh conditions kept 52 people at home. The event covered 40 miles with 8000' and more of climbing. Conditions could not have been more perfect though; racers were kept cool with the sun staying away for most of the day.

A competitive bunch showed up dominated by the Sho-Air team of Manny Prado (Course record holder of the Traverse at 5.43.42 in 2007), Daniel Munoz (Course record holder of the Counting Coup at 3.53.47 in 2010), Mario Correa and Heidi Volpe (Female Course record holder of the Counting Coupe 4.57.57 in 2010.)  Rounding out the Sho-Air pack was Doug Andrews, fresh off his Masters win at the Tennessee Cohuta 100 with a smoking time of 7:33:17 a few weeks back. The dark horse to beat was the ever-charging Tinker Juarez of Cannondale. 

A cross country style start created the lead enjoyed by this select group of racers. Tinker Juarez, getting ready for Leadville took no chances and created enough of a gap 3 switchbacks up Blackstar about 2 miles into the race to never be seen again until the finish. Manny Prado tried chasing but was not able to stay on the dark horse's wheel. Doug Andrews took over second place, hitting Four Corners at a maddening pace exactly 2 hours into the race. He was within 6 minutes of TJ.

Getting to the Trabucco Trail with 10 miles to go, Tinker had increased his lead by 11 minutes. Doug in 2nd was being chased down by Manny followed by Danny Munoz and Mario. Unfortunately, the flat tire goblin hit Andrews and while fixing the culprit, Manny Prado flew by.

From that point the final standings did not change and Tinker at 3.44.01 bested Manny Prado, Doug Andrews, Danny Munoz and Mario Correa for the overall!

Let me say thank you to Mr. Andrews for sharing his insider viewpoint!

The woman's race was dominated by Heidi Volpe (Sho-Air) who also finished 7th in the male pro division.

The Warriors Society likes to point out special acts of perseverance, determination or mental toughness. The "crazy award",  they handed out to the last place finisher Andrew Walker from Utah....he was talked into signing up for the event by his brother. His brother mentioned he better train. But going into the event he had never rode anything further then a 15 miles....which obviously left him in a situation on The Traverse that lead to some serious suffering, cramping and determination to finish...especially with all the bail out spots along the way he kept going and making his cut offs. But he was determined to finish and not quit....he finished to his family cheering him on at the finish line.

Click Here for our coverage of the 2010 Traverse


Pro Women

1. Heidi Volpe

Pro Men

1, Tinker Juarez (Cannondale) 3.44
2, Manny Prado (Sho-Air/Specialized) 3.54
3, Doug Andrews (Specialized/Rock n' Road) 3.58
4, Daniel Munoz (Hammer Nutrition)
5, Mario Correa (Sho-Air)
6, Allen LaFrambroise

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