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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Kristie Cranford Reviews Coolibar Fitness Shirt

Coolibar Athlete Kristie Cranford is a certified personal trainer, coach, marathoner, health blogger, mother and melanoma survivor. Her active, seven days a week lifestyle has prompted Kristie to try just about every active apparel brand on the market. Because of her battle with skin cancer, Kristie also understands the importance of protecting her skin. She put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now shares her thoughts on its technical performance. Read Kristie’s review of the Coolibar Fitness Shirt.

The Coolibar Fitness Shirt is fashionable, functional, and durable. The shirt is classic, has a flattering fit and is easy to care for.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

I have worn it to the gym, running, and casually out to dinner. 

What are your favorite features?

The textured fabric was unexpected giving it visual appeal. I wore it in direct sun, 106 degree heat and could not feel the sun’s searing heat. I felt protected. 

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

Soft, easy to care for, holds the shape. Again, love the texture, unexpected. 

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

Exceeded. Very high quality. I have tried almost every “fitness” brand. This fabric is durable, easy to care for, and soft. 

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

YES! I was in 106 degree sun, running in the desert. I was amazed! 

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

No, I was sweating and it wicked away moisture. It was comfortable to wear and not heavy when it was sweat soaked. 

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

In the running world there are “known” fitness brands. I’ve tried almost all of them. This shirt will be my go-to long sleeve fitness shirt.  It is comfortable, functional and attractive. 

Please provide any additional comments you would like to share with us!

I have worn the shirt with jeans, and layered under a suit. Versatile shirt.

Wish it came in a short sleeve option too. (Coming soon)

 

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

There is no room for debate when it comes to sun protection, tough love here. I am a Melanoma survivor and sun protection should be automatic, like breathing. Sunscreen should be put on every day just like you put on clothes.  I use Raw Elements’ Eco Stick. It fits in my purse, my running shorts and in the built in pocket in all the Coolibar swim bottoms

I recently ran a half marathon where the starting temperature was 95 degrees. We were under the baking sun for the duration of the race. I carried my Eco Stick and reapplied during the race. It goes on underwater, so of course it goes on over sweat. No excuse not to protect yourself from the sun.

Do your best to avoid the sun during the peak part of the day, and if you cannot, look for shade, wear UV protective sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen (don’t forget to reapply) and UV protective clothing. 

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Tania Prymak reviews Coolibar Water Jacket and Bike Gloves

Coolibar Athlete Tania Prymak competes in ski cross by winter, but in the summer, she builds her endurance by biking 20 miles every day. Despite having kidney disease, Tania pushes herself hard in hopes of qualifying for an Olympic spot on the U.S. ski cross team. She also knows that whether she’s biking on the pavement, or rushing down the snowy slopes, she needs to keep UV rays at bay. Now, after wearing Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear during her training, she shares her thoughts on the Coolibar Water Jacket and Bike Gloves.

What are you overall thoughts on the shirt?

Very practical and comfortable activity shirt! Its fabric makes the shirt extremely light and is soft on the skin. The gloves fit very well and the padding on the palms prevent my hands from hurting when I bike.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

I use the jacket and bike gloves when I bike 20 miles every day.

What are your favorite features?

The light feeling of the jacket is my favorite feature and the padding on the bike gloves.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

The fabric on the jacket is great; it’s light and breathable. The bike gloves are much thicker and do not allow the skin on the hands to breathe as much.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

The fabric exceeded my expectations. I would like if the bike gloves were made of the same fabric as the jacket, lighter fabric.

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

Yes, it did a great job allowing me to stay cool even though I was sweating.

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

The fabric did not stick to my skin at all.

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

It is an amazing and practical shirt for active women who want to protect their skin from sunburn and look great at the same time!

Any additional comments you would like to share with us?

The shirt is really great, it fits well and I love wearing it. I constantly use the bike gloves so I have a few comments on them. The fabric is okay, but it would be nice if it were made of the same fabric as the jacket. Also instead of bike gloves that cover the entire hand, maybe have bike gloves that cut off at the knuckles and leave the finger tips exposed. It would also be nice if the bike gloves cut off at the wrist instead of coming down the forearm.

On the same subject, has Coolibar ever considered creating bike jerseys? I think it would be a great idea and I can think of many friends of mine who would love to use it!  It would also allow sponsored athletes like me to get Coolibar’s name out there! What if you did some promotional bike jerseys with the Coolibar logo/advertisement? I know I would wear it numerous times a week.

For hotter days, short sleeve or no sleeves would be great, and for cooler bike days long sleeves with light fabric.

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

If you’re blonde and fair skinned like me, you cannot risk being severely sunburned while playing your favorite sport. Coolibar products allow you to stay cool and be safe at the same time no matter what you’re doing!

 

Tania Prymak Biking in Coolibar Water Jacket

 

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete John Barker Reviews Coolibar Fitness Shirt

Triathlete and Coolibar Athlete John Barker spent the last year training for the Life Time Triathlon in Minneapolis held on July 14th, which is the first race he’s successfully completed since donating his kidney to a stranger in 2010. While training, John knew he not only had to watch his diet and stick with a strict training schedule, but also had to use sun protection as part of his healthier living routine. He put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now shares his thoughts. Read John’s review of the Coolibar Fitness Shirt.

What are your overall thoughts on the shirt? 

I am very impressed with the performance of the athletic shirt. I have been wearing these shirts for two months for indoor and outdoor training sessions and can say these are the best shirts I’ve worn. Not only do they protect me from the sun, but they actually keep me cooler, which is very important to having a good training session.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt? 

I use the athletic shirts for running and biking.

What are your favorite features? 

I like the fit and the feel of the fabric. Other shirts I own have difficulty keeping me dry. The athletic shirts wick the moisture away from my body, allowing me to stay cooler and not feel like I’m swimming in my own perspiration. 

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric? 

I like the feel of the fabric, and after two months of wearing and washing these shirts they have maintained their shape. They have been very durable shirts.

Did the fabric meet your expectations? 

Yes, it actually exceeded my expectations. I’ve worn Coolibar shirts in the past so I knew they would keep me cooler. I was pleasantly surprised to discover they actually keep me drier as well.   

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool? 

Yes. Compared to other shirts that I’ve worn in the past, the athletic shirt is more comfortable.

Did the fabric stick to your skin? 

No. Even during high intensity training sessions where I am perspiring excessively, the shirt never feels like it is sticking to me. One of the issues my other shirts have is that they cause chafing when they start to get wet. The athletic shirts have not had this problem, which is why I continue to wear these shirts daily.

What do you want others to know about this shirt? 

If folks are looking for a comfortable work-out shirt, outdoors or indoors, this is a great fitting shirt. The fabric keeps you cooler and dryer and won’t chafe your skin.

Do you have any additional comments? 

Since I wear the athletic shirt biking, it would be nice to have a couple of pockets on the backside of the shirt (like a cycling shirt) for storing energy bars and such for long endurance rides. I know Coolibar had “biking” clothes in the past, however these shirts are actually a better cycling shirt if they had some pockets!  Cyclists like to be aero dynamic, so loose fitting clothes aren’t going to attract attention. These shirts are a great option for cyclists.

 

John and his family wearing Coolibar Fitness Shirts for a 5K

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Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

Also, watch John’s interview from the day of the Life Time Triathlon in Minneapolis.

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Jeremy Van Ek Reviews Coolibar Sport Shirt

Jeremy Van Ek, adventure racer and Coolibar Athlete, recently completed the Chicago Area Adventure Racing Association 2012 All-Nighter, an all-night workout on bike and foot.  So what would you wear for 11 hours of mid-June bushwhacking in the dark (or daylight)? His answer: the Coolibar Sport Shirt. Read Jeremy’s review of the Coolibar Sport Shirt.

What are you overall thoughts on the shirt?

Great shirt! It looks good and is lightweight yet tough.  

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

I competed in the Chicago Area Adventure Racing Association 2012 All-Nighter, and since it is adventure racing, there is no marked course. Participants navigate to checkpoints using map and compass, and it’s mostly off-trail, often through heavy brush, swamps, streams, etc. I also did the course scouting and setting wearing the shirt. 

What are your favorite features?

The mesh panels for breathability is my favorite feature.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

Excellent – lightweight, breathable, wicks sweat well and holds up to all manner of abuse: thorns, branches, mud, sweat, heavy pack straps, etc. 

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

Yes.

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

Yes – no small feat considering the temps, humidity and my propensity to overheat. 😉

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

Not really.

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

Don’t underestimate the toughness of this shirt based on its looks. I thought it looked like “too nice” of a shirt to take out into the woods and swamps, but it held up in spades. 

Anything else you want to share about the shirt?

Considering the potential for thorns, stinging nettles, poison ivy, and other manner of brutal foliage on the course, I wanted to go with full coverage. But, it wasn’t supposed to go below mid-70s. The Coolibar Sport Shirt was the perfect choice. It is very lightweight and breathable, so I did not feel like I was suffocating all night in long sleeves. Even better, while it is lightweight it is still a rugged shirt. It stood up to the worst I could throw at it all night (branches, thorns, sweat, dust, mud, spilled sports drinks, heavy pack shoulder straps, you name it), and it still looks good enough to wear to a summer cocktail party (after a thorough washing, of course). 

I highly recommend the Sport Shirt as a versatile piece of clothing. It looks good and is tough enough to hold its own against weekend warriors. 

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

Full coverage is my strategy. It seems counterintuitive when it is hot out, but full coverage protects you better and thereby is better in the long run.

Get the Coolibar Sport Shirt.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Coolibar Athletes Routinely Check Skin Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Kristie Talks Melanoma Prevention

This is a special blog post from Coolibar Athlete Kristie Cranford and her words-to-the-wise regarding Melanoma and how you can protect yourself. She speaks from personal experience.

Melanoma-n. 1.  –mas also –mata: a usu. malignant tumor containing dark pigment. 2. Deadly Skin Cancer. The one that won’t leave me alone.

When you get up in the morning, you get dressed, right? Shirt, pants, shoes?  You wouldn’t leave the house naked, would you? But sadly many do. Many leave the house without sunscreen. Sunscreen should be an essential part of your wardrobe.

I am a multiple melanoma (skin cancer) survivor. You never think you will ever hear the words “You have cancer” once in your life, let alone time, after time, after time, like I have. My first and most advanced was discovered during a routine annual exam. It was in the center of my back. I had no way to knowing it was there. Undetected, it would have killed me, I was only 27. I had an area the size of a small nerf football removed from my back because of a mole the size of a pencil eraser. Melanoma  is the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Here are some statistics:

  • In 2012 more than 116,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease
  • By 2012, it is estimated that one in 50 people will be diagnosed with melanoma
  • One person dies nearly EVERY HOUR from melanoma
  • Melanoma affects people of every age and every race
  • The incidence rate for children 18 and under INCREASED by 84% from 1975 to 2005

Many cases of skin cancer can be prevented and detected early.  Here are the ABCDEs of melanoma:

Asymmetry:  One half of the mole does not match the other half

Border:  The borders of the mole are irregular, ragged, blurred, or a notch

Color:  The color of the mole is not the same throughout. There may be brown, black, red, blue, or white.

Diameter:  The mole is larger than 6 millimeters (roughly ¼”, roughly the size of a pencil eraser)

Evolution:  The mole has been growing or changed its shape and color.

Protect yourself anytime when outdoors, rain or shine. Don’t just avoid peak sun exposure hours between 10am and 4pm. Water, Sand and Snow reflect the sun’s rays. Wear sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 or higher, remember to reapply. My favorite is Raw Elements USA. The Eco Stick can be easily applied under water and over sweat. Smaller than an energy gel, it’s easy to carry.  Look for sun protective clothing like Coolibar. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from ocular melanoma. AVOID TANNING BEDS.  Apply sunscreen before placing your hands under the UV rays at the nail salon (bet you NEVER thought about that). Visit a trained dermatologist annually for a complete, head-to-toe exam.

I used to be bitter and angry with Melanoma. I was angry that it was determined to kill me. Then I realized. It saved me. I took back my health. Over time I started eating right, running, and having routine exams and screenings. I credit Melanoma for saving my life. Without it, I would not have detected my breast and cervical cancers in the early stages. I am living breathing proof that early detection is the key to survival.

As athletes we train and compete outdoors. We take precautions to train smart and eat right to prevent illness and injury. Please, don’t forget your skin.

Information, statistics, and ABCDE’s obtained via www.OutruntheSun.org

Visit Kristie’s Blog Here: http://coachkristie.com/2012/07/03/melanoma/

Read Kristie’s full cancer stroy here: http://www.prsfit.com/blog/cancerversary-n-1-_____-2-the-anniversary-of-my-first-cancer-diagnosis/

Visit Coolibar for sunscreen and sun protective clothing: www.coolibar.com

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Chad Grigsby Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Chad Grigsby Reviews Coolibar Swim Shirt

Coolibar Athlete Chad Grigsby is a pro angler, currently in his 10th full season on the FLW Tour. He spends hours on the water waiting for the perfect catch. Due to the lack of shade on the water, Chad sought out Coolibar for long lasting sun protection. He put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now shares his thoughts on its versatile performance. Read Chad’s review of the Coolibar Long Sleeve Swim Shirt.

Overall, I think it is a great shirt, hands down my favorite. I like the way it fits and it really keeps me cool out on the water when I am standing in the sun from daylight to dark. It keeps me cooler than wearing a T-shirt.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

Fishing

What are your favorite features?

I like how it keeps me cool all day in the sun. I also like the color surf blue.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

Great, soft feel and it does what it is meant to do – protect my skin.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

Yes, no snags and I have worn it a ton on the water.

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

No

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

I would want people to know that it keeps you cool and is UPF 50.

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

Sun protection is not an option but a requirement for anyone who spends a significant amount of time outdoors. If you don’t like to use sunscreen, UPF clothing is an excellent alternative. Also wear a hat!

Get the Coolibar Long Sleeve Swim Shirt.

Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Coolibar Athletes

Athlete Elena King Reviews Coolibar Water Jacket

Elena King is a Class A Member of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Division, instructor of gifted golfers and Coolibar Athlete. Elena spends most days out on the green and under the sun teaching golf or playing a round of 18 holes. She put Coolibar’s UPF 50+ sunwear to the test and now provides her two-cents on its on-course performance. Read Elena’s review of the Coolibar Water Jacket.

What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?

Golfing, teaching and hanging out.

What are your favorite features?

The petite fit is great. The material is lightweight – perfect on cool mornings and not too hot mid-day.

What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?

It’s super comfortable for swinging a golf club.

Did the fabric meet your expectations?

Exceeded, great for other activities other than the swim environment.

Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?

Yes! 

Did the fabric stick to your skin?

NO!

What do you want others to know about this shirt?

It is a great piece to have with you all the time put on early morning or wear indoors after activities. I wear it anytime anywhere.  I love the lighter blue color as I get lots of compliments on it.

Any tips to stay comfortable/safe out in the sun?

When playing golf, carry an umbrella with you to use for protection on the extremely sunny days as well.

 

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Read other Coolibar Athlete product reviews.

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Chad Grigsby Coolibar Athletes

Fishing Season Update from Coolibar Athlete Chad Grigsby

For those of you that don’t know me, and am I sure there are a few, I am Chad Grigsby and I am a professional angler on the FLW Tour – the PGA circuit of bass fishing. I have had the fortune of competing professionally full time for 10 years. That’s right, I fish for a living. I live in Maple Grove, MN, am married to Bridget and have two daughters – Isabelle, who is 4 and Avrey who is 2.

This year the season kicked off in January on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, FL. Okeechobee is one of my favorite lakes, as I tend to do well competitively there; however, this year wasn’t my best performance- I finished 58 out of 164- but I am excited to go back and won’t complain about being in the Florida sun in January. (Photo: Me in a Coolibar long sleeve protecting me from the Florida sun during practice).

Next I was off to Lake Hartwell in Columbia, SC where I struggled again and finished 120…on to Table Rock in Branson, MO where I finally cracked the top 50! (Photo: Me with my largest bass from Table Rock before weigh in with Isabelle, Coolibar shirt underneath the jersey – amazing that the long sleeves keep you cool and dry when fishing all day in 85 degree weather).

 

After Table Rock, I was able to head to Scottsdale, AZ with my family, where we celebrated Easter and had fun in the sun! (Photo: My daughter Isabelle after her Easter Egg Hunt wearing a kids Coolibar zip up to protect her Irish skin from the sun rays!)

Next up Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR, which is also a favorite of mine for a couple of reasons. I tend to do well there and that is where I met my wife (I am originally from Michigan- Go Big Blue!).

Well, I will check in again after Beaver, hopefully with a great story of my fantastic performance.

Stay cool. Chad

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Coolibar Athletes

DesPlaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon + Hat Review

Glenview, IL – The Coolibar Discovery Wide Brim Hat successfully completed the DesPlaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon this past Sunday, May 20, 2012.  The hat accomplished this feat while riding on the head of Jeremy Van Ek, amateur but fanatical paddler, and was accompanied on the journey by a Coolibar Short Sleeve Fitness Shirt and a generous slathering of All Terrain Aqua Sport sunscreen.  The DesPlaines marathon is a 18.5 mile paddle down the DesPlaines river in the suburbs of Chicago for canoeists and kayakers.  It’s the second longest running paddling race in the US, and typically sees 500-600 boats in the race.

“The conditions of the race this year demanded tough protection,” say’s participant Jeremy Van Ek. ” 90 degree heat with not a cloud in the sky, which is very unusual this time of year for the Chicago area.  Add to that a stiff wind out of the south, which was the predominant direction we were paddling during the race.  I can attest that the double chin strap on the Discovery Hat works very well…the hat was blown off my head twice during the race, but fortunately the chin strap saved it from being lost entirely and kept it hanging around my neck.”

Van Ek also had to say, “The Coolibar gear did well in the race.  This early in the year in Chicago us northerners are still all very white from the winter, so risk of sunburn on an unusually sunny and hot day is high. I didn’t have a trace of pink anywhere, even on my face, after a solid 4 hours in the direct sun, in wet and windy conditions.”

The Coolibar/Van Ek pairing turned in a decent finish for their debut event: 10th out of 28 in the men’s long kayak division, and 51st overall of about 600 boats of all classes.

More race updates and product review from Van Ek to come!

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Athlete Profiles Coolibar Athletes Inside Coolibar

Meet Our 2012 Sponsored Athletes

We heard from more than 100 athletes in our search for the 2012 Coolibar Athlete Team. We then had the difficult task of narrowing down our list to an exceptional group that we hope will inspire others through their actions. Now, we’re proud to introduce our 2012 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes.

John Barker

John began competing in triathlons in 2007 and immediately took a liking to the sport. However, in 2010, he had to put his long term goal of completing an ironman on hold after donating a kidney to save a stranger’s life. Now, two years later, John shares how he’s getting back into training after his life changing experience. Read John’s story >

Molly Baross

Molly is a Master’s synchronized swimmer. Initially, Molly joined her current team, the Unsyncables of La Mirada, to help arthritic conditions and keep in shape. Now, she competes nationally at least once a year. Preparing for the competitions takes lots of practice, endurance and conditioning to be strong enough to hold your breath and do the complicated movements. Currently, Molly is preparing to compete in Riccione, Italy at the Fina World’s Aquatic Championships in June. Read Molly’s story >

Kristie Cranford

As a certified personal trainer, Kristie coaches others on how to be healthy on the inside, as well as the outside. As a melanoma survivor she’s passionate about sun safety, especially since becoming a Mom. Running is her passion, whether it is on a trail or the city streets. Now she’s taking her passion for running, and sun protection, to reach her goals of finishing an ultra marathon, become a USA Track and Field Masters All American, and reach as many people as possible with the message of sun protection. Read Kristie’s story >

Chad Grigsby

Chad is a professional angler on his 10th year as a full-time pro on the FLW Tour, the top level of tournament bass fishing. He holds seven top ten finishes on the Tour and one win. He spends more than 100 days a year on the water during practice and tournament days, sometimes up to 15 hours! Read Chad’s story >

Elena King

Elena is a Class A Member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division and a graduate of the University of Iowa where she was captain of the golf team for three years. She is an accomplished player with many individual titles both as an amateur and a professional. Now, blending her experience playing and coaching golf, she’s Director of Instruction through her company, Experience Golf, offering a comprehensive approach to the game including overall performance and player development. Read Elena’s story >

Marion Lepert

Marion is passionate about windsurfing and racing, traveling across the world to compete. What’s more is that she is doing this at age 16! After training hard, learning from top sailors, and finishing in the top five in three world championships in 2011, her new goal is to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games. Read Marion’s story >

Tania Prymak

Skiing is a large part of Tania’s life. After traveling to a ski resort in Oregon where elite US ski cross athletes were training, she knew it was something she had to do. Even though she has only two seasons of ski cross racing under her belt, she’s titled 2011 USASA Woman’s National Ski cross champion and the USSA Revolution Tour Champion. Tania’s serious about training, despite her setback of having kidney disease, and hopes to qualify for an Olympic spot in the future. Read Tania’s story >

Sara Snyder

Sara is an avid nature photographer, outdoor explorer and long distance hiker. At this very moment, she is on a 2,663 mile trek from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail. She’ll be living outdoors from April to October 2012, in face of all of mother nature’s elements. Read Sara’s story >

Peter Urban

Peter is a tennis guru, having played competitively for almost 30 years. He’s a USTA and CMITA league playing with a 4.5 ranking. He also enjoys staying active outdoors with surfing, skiing and running. In 2011, Peter discovered skin cancer on his back, but he hasn’t let that stop his passions, including finding the time to write a book on tennis! Read Peter’s story >

Jeremy Van Ek

Jeremy—finance professional by day, proud father by night and weekend and adventure racer in any spare time he gets. Adventure racing is an outdoors multisport team competition. Disciplines usually include trail running, mountain biking, paddling and special challenges. Races also range in length anywhere from four hours to 10 days! Read Jeremy’s story >

Coolibar Athletes will share their stories with us throughout their season, so check The Coolibar Blog frequently for updates!

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