He keeps going, and going ...
Adventure racer Kloser has little use for inactivity, procrastination
By Brian Metzler, Rocky Mountain News / updates by Harald Fricker, Webmaster
Mike Kloser can make the Energizer Bunny look tired and lazy. The Vail adventure racer is known for squeezing every ounce of life out of every single day, even before he became a world champion at a sport that requires versatility, endurance and nonstop energy.
A day in the life of this mountain sports fiend might include an early-morning bike run, ride or skate ski session before having breakfast with his family and heading off to his job as director of activities at Beaver Creek Resort. Depending on the season, he might take a midday break to make a few turns on the ski hill or go for a quick trail run.
After work, he'll spend time with his family, take care of household matters and possibly do a late-night race-specific workout.
Weekends almost always include longer workouts, a local race or two and copious amounts of outdoor-oriented family time with his wife, Emily, and active children, Heidi, 19, and Christian, 18.
Kloser's nonstop training regimen and multifaceted athleticism - he's highly skilled at just about every human- powered endurance sport except swimming - helped him excel in adventure racing, a sport he picked up in 1997 at the end of a career as a world champion mountain biker.
His drive and determination have kept him at the top of his game in his late 40s, shown by his frequent top-five efforts in local trail running, mountain biking, snowshoe, cycling and multisport races.
"My philosophy is 'Never let the day slip away' or 'Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today?' " said Kloser, who has helped his coed teams win multiday adventure races in Argentina, Canada, Borneo, Mexico, Scotland and New Zealand, as well as Utah, Colorado, Washington and California. "I like to maximize the time that is available and capitalize on the beauty of each and every day."
In a nutshell
• Name: Mike Kloser
• Age: 56
• Primary sport: Adventure racing
• Home: Vail, Colorado USA
• Originally from: Dubuque, Iowa
Wife, Emily; Children, Heidi and Christian
• Amazing feats:
4 time Adventure Racing World Champion, World Mountain Bike Champion, World Long Distance Orienteering Champion, 3 time Eco Challenge Champion, 5 time Primal Quest Champion, 10 time Steamboat Pentathlon Champion, 3 time Teva Games Champion, 2 time Iditabike Champion, 2 time America's Uphill Champion, 2 Time Winter Triathlon National Champion, 5 Time Elk Mountains Grand Traverse Champion, 7 time Breckenridge Imperial Challenge Champion, 3 Time Aspen Highlands Inferno Champion and many more
Was the first American to achieve regular success on the European mountain biking circuit, winning gold and two silvers at the World Mountain Bike Championship, and twice finishing second in the overall World Cup standings.
wins, five Primal Quest titles, two national championship titles and three world championship crowns.
Was the first athlete representative on the board of the International Cycling Union and played key roles in attracting World Cup and World Championship mountain bike races to Vail.
After taking up adventure racing at the end of his mountain biking career, helped Team Vail become the first U.S. team to win the Eco-Challenge with Colorado teammates Billy Mattison, Andreas Boesel and Sara Ballantyne.
Has helped his Adventure Racing teams to three Eco-Challenge
Has two U.S. National Winter Triathlon championship titles, a five-time winner of the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse ski race from Crested Butte to Aspen, winner of the 2004 24-Hour Orienteering World Championships, two time Iditabike champion, a past winner of the Ultra 100 mountain bike race and the 24 Hours of Moab team mountain bike race.
A 2002 inductee into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame who has a Vail mountain bike trail (Kloser's Klimb) named in his honor.
Tips from a pro
The beauty about living in Colorado is there are dozens of mountain sports for one to test mettle. A few tips from world champion adventure racer Mike Kloser, who trains and competes in numerous activities throughout the year.
1 Attitude is everything.
"One of the most important things is having a good attitude and having a good time. Use the first event or two as a total learning experience because there is a lot to learn in this sport. And if you are going to set some goals, make sure they're realistic. I've had my share of humbling experiences over the years."
2 Learn to balance.
"My plan is to try to train five or six days a week, throw a race or two in each week for intensity and to keep me motivated. Family comes first, even though, realistically, you have to schedule a lot of your family time around your work schedule and your training. I function best by getting in most of my workouts first thing in the morning, usually 6 or 7 in the morning but sometimes 4:30 or 5. That kind of sets my
mind at ease for the rest of the day."
3 Train with a friend.
"I do a lot of my training alone, but when I do the longer stuff and am planning to go into the mountains for a big day or an overnighter, I plan those with friends. I think it's very important to train and travel with friends whenever possible. That way there is someone there to look after one another and be of help."
4 Be prepared for anything.
"Start early and finish early. In the summertime, if you're out there in the afternoon, the chances are much greater that you're going to have a thunderstorm roll through. It's so easy for something to go awry if you get off track or get disoriented or if a storm rolls in. It's very important to take along the necessary safety gear or the gear to help you in unexpected circumstances, whether it's a little extra food or water or a light jacket or something as simple as a space blanket or a lighter or matches. Even a small whistle can be a very useful tool if you get lost. And having a cell phone is almost as important of an item to remember as a jacket."
In his own words
• On getting started: "I didn't play a lot of organized school sports growing up. I played a lot of pick-up games in baseball, football, basketball and some hockey on neighborhood ponds, but nothing serious. I moved to Colorado and wanted to get serious about mogul skiing, and when I got here everyone in the Vail area was so wrapped up in exercise and outdoor athletics that it naturally kind of grew on me. I started riding a dirt bike, began running some and then got a road bike, followed by a mountain bike, and it took off from there."
• On his second career: "Adventure racing was an unexpected re-emergence into the world of endurance sports for me. I had entirely planned on pulling out of mountain biking in the mid-1990s once I realized that I wasn't going to be as competitive as I was in the earlier years. I was ready to take on a different lifestyle. I got a real job and was kind of settling into the reality of life after professional cycling when I discovered adventure racing."
• On epic races: "They all kind of blend together for misery, but I'd have to say the 2006 Primal Quest in Moab (Utah) and the overall extreme heat factor would rank right up there. And then Eco-Challenge Borneo in 2000 for the heat and humidity and the leeches and everything else was pretty brutal. And probably the Adventure Racing World Championship in New Zealand in 2005 was a tough one because of the wind and rain. You expect the usual stuff - sleepless fatigue day after day, the competition level and how fast and hard you have to go on little sleep - but when you throw in the elements, that's what makes a race challenging."
• The one that got away: "There are a few. One that was a real disappointment that took a long time to get over was Eco-Challenge in Argentina in 1999 a year after we won in Morocco. We were down there for more than three weeks and put in a lot of time and preparation for that race, trying to familiarize ourselves with the area and maximizing our potential. It was disappointing to come away with a sixth-place finish because we were highly capable of a much better result. Maybe now I've learned to cope with the disappointment in a better way, but there are always those races that are hard to swallow."
• On his primary indulgence: "My favorite is chocolate cookie dough ice cream and chocolate cookies, preferably with nuts. I try to keep that stuff in moderation. Sometimes I'll go in binges and eat something like that every day, but other days I know I'll need to cut it off because I have a big race coming up and need to make sure I'm not tipping the scale too heavy."
eMail Mike Kloser Here