Action County: Kevin Minard
Part of being an endurance athlete is getting used to eating when you’re not hungry.When Dillon’s Kevin Minard set out on this year’s Mt. Taylor (New Mexico) Quadrathlon in February, one of his biggest concerns was staying well fed.”The hardest thing about a race of that length is keeping yourself from bonking,” Minard said in a recent interview. “I wear a stopwatch, not to watch my time, but to keep track of how often I need to eat. Every 20 minutes, I make sure I’m putting down food and electrolytes.”Minard’s focus on fuel served him well at Mt. Taylor, where he finished second in his age group (35-39) with a time of 4 hours, 29 minutes.
The prestigious 42-mile quadrathlon began in Grants, N.M., took racers to the top of Mt. Taylor (11,300 feet), then back to the starting point. The contest got under way with a 13-mile road bike, which was followed by a five-mile run, a two-mile skate ski with skins and a one-mile snowshoe to the summit.”Then you turn around at the top and do everything backwards,” Minard said. “The course takes you down a little bit different way, but it’s just a gnarly little jeep road descent on your skate skis and you’re hauling. It’s a little scary.”Minard wasn’t the only Summit County local with a podium performance in New Mexico. He was joined by Eric Black (first place, 40-44), Bob Cottrell (third place, 45-49), Laura Johnson (second, 45-49) and his wife, Pam Minard (third place 40-44).Kevin Minard also competed in two winter triathlons at Devil’s Thumb, a pentathlon in Steamboat and various snowshoe and Nordic skiing races this winter.
“I consider myself a hardcore citizen racer,” he said. “I’m just an average Summit County resident – a lot of people get after it.”Once the software developer and father of two sons starts a race, it’s tough to keep him from finishing it. “Every race I’ve done, I’ve always finished,” Minard said. “I’ve never had to pull out because of a mechanical, even if I was in last place or had a flat, I would fix it and finish – that’s something I’d like to keep going.”During the summer months, Minard spends a lot of time on his road and mountain bikes. He has competed in the A Racer’s Edge Summit Mountain Challenge as well as the Mountain States Cup. In 2005, he finished third in his age group in the sport category at the NORBA national championships in Mammoth Mountain, Calif.After spending 10 years in Texas, the Washington native moved to Colorado as a pre-teen and quickly picked up road biking.
“I raced USCF as a junior and it was my first exposure to competitive sports,” he said. “I loved that. The Red Zinger Mini Classic was a 10-or-12-day stage race all around Colorado including Copper to Leadville and Vail Pass as a time trial. It was pretty intense and I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.”When Minard was competing as a youngster, he wasn’t eating every 20 minutes.”Back then I had no clue about the idea of nutrition, eating well and recovering,” he said. “A lot of that was still be being formulated back in the ’80s, so some days you’d feel good, some days you’d feel horrible and you didn’t know why.”Now, Minard works out six days a week.”You’ve got to have good structured training and you’ve got to have a reason to go out and train,” he said. “Racing’s good motivation to ride your bike.”
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