Where in the World is Jari Kirkland?

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Jari Kirkland on the podium — again — at one of her numerous victories at the USA Cycling 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships.


Pro mountain bike racer, ski mountaineer, XTerra triathlete – with distinctive braids flying – Jari Kirkland of Crested Butte, Colorado gets around on bikes and skis and races it all.  We checked in with her recently to see what she’s been up to and where.  Here’s what she told us:

Most recently I had two big SkiMo race weekends.  That’s ski mountaineering, which is like back-country skiing but can include technical equipment, too, such as harnesses, crampons, ropes and carabineers.  The first event was at Brighton, Utah, for the Wasatch Powder Keg/North American Championships March 7-9.  It was three days long, and the first race was a four-minute sprint.  Since I’m not a sprinter, I warmed up for 30 minutes and then raced twice for four minutes each time.  The next two days were super important so I put on my RecoFit compression sleeves and got as much sleep as can happen when the race starts at 7 a.m. the next day.  (I really do love my compression sleeves and use them all the time.)

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Jari boot-packs up the course at the 2014 SkiMo North American Championships in Brighton, Utah.

The second day was the 10-mile individual race, which involved about 6,500 vertical feet and was super fun.  And by that I mean painful and hard but very enjoyable.  And I felt great despite the tough effort the night before.   We were done early and had plenty of time to get hydrated, eat good food and get more recovery with my compression sleeves.

Day three was one more early morning with the teams’ race of 8,000 vertical feet across 14 miles.  I felt great and we had a fantastic race.  I ended up third overall for the weekend, so I was really happy!

A few weeks later, on March 14-16,  we had the U.S. National Championships at Crested Butte.  It was a similar format to the Brighton race but instead of starting with a sprint, we had a vertical race, “all on piste climbing.”  And it was an all-out effort for 25 minutes uphill.  I was feeling really good but didn’t blow it out for fear of having nothing left for the race the next day.  So after a little recovery with my RecoFit sleeves again and another early early morning start, I was ready for a good 10-mile race with 5,000 vertical feet of super steep challenging terrain.  We got to rope up and do a very technical ridge rock section that I loved.

I indulged in another recovery session that night to prepare for the last day, the teams/pairs racing.  My partner and I had a good day together and ended up first, which puts us on the U.S. SkiMo team.  Yeah!!!  And it gave me another third overall for the weekend.

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Chilling in RecoFit calf compression sleeves, Kari takes a break at Lost Lake, Colorado

Now I’m on to the summer season with long runs, bike rides, car rides,  races and even longer flights and hopefully more wins.  Thanks, RecoFit, for everything and for helping me race to my fullest.

Bio: Often the lone woman on elite, four-person race squads, Jari Kirkland is tireless.  She holds a female course record  for the high altitude 24-hour Montezuma’s Revenge race, has won the women’s division in the 24 Hours of Moab several times and the 24 Hour Solo National Mountain Bike Championship.