Tuesday, December 27, 2005

PRQ #5: Dara Marks Marino

This is part 5 of the Pro Racer Questionnaire Series (PRQ)

Dara Marks Marino

*note this is an old picture but I wanted to show her Titus colors as she will be racing again for them in 2006.

Dara Marks Marino is a top Norba XC racer with 4th place rankings in the Short track and the Norba XC. Her breakthrough into the top spot occured at the short track in Snowmass this year.

With her signature pigtails she is easy to spot.


She had been on the powerhouse Ford team but unfortunately that relationship ended. She's put together an impressive grassroots package that has enabled her to continue racing at the top echelon. It says quite a lot about an athlete to be able on the spot to put together a sponsorship package to allow them to train fulltime and travel. It's not just results that can create that.

Dara is one of the few top pros that have a real BLOG. What I mean by that is a Blog that is updated fairly regularly and allows readers to ask questions that she answers. That kind of accessibility is one of the things that makes an athlete much more valuable to the their sponsors than just podiums.

We wish her the best for 06 and thank her very much for her time to fill out the questionnaire. She apologizes upfront for the sarcasm. I'll apologize for any sarcasm in the editor's notes as well.

The questionnaire:


-Who are your sponsors that you'd like to recognize?

*editor's note: Drool
DT Swiss
*editor's note: weight weenie drool
*editor's note: Get me a towel.
Crank Brothers
Athlete Octane
*editors note: Nice specs, especially some nice models for smaller faces like the Zink.

-What makes an athlete a 'good investment' for a sponsor?
Hopefully sponsors look carefully at the kind of person they are sponsoring. Obviously, athletic achievement and potential are important, but more
importantly, is this the kind of person you want to have representing your product? Are they out there talking with people, getting them excited about riding, helping them to be better riders? An athlete who is a good investment is one who does that, who acts professionally, who other people admire and respect. Also, a little bit of personality goes a long way in the marketing world.

-How long have you been racing mountain bikes, how long as a pro?
Started riding mtbs in 94, racing in 98, Pro in 2001

What are your goals for 2006?
Ride smooth, have a good time, inspire others to do the same!

Bike Geek Stuff.

-What bikes do you race on? What other bikes do you own?

I will be racing a Titus Eleven (the ti hardtail)eleven and a Racer X (the dually) racerx_xxs_AL, and I will also have a Titus
road bike fcr_ISO, but I'm not sure which model yet.
*editor's Note: When I started searching for a full suspension XC bike, Titus Racer X was top of the pops. But be prepared with some cash. Their road bikes and hardtails are not as well known but everything I hear is top notch. Those with even fatter wallets will be glad to know that they are on of the few qualified to build with Exogrid tubing.

I also own a Gunnar Crosshairs crosshair that is set up for long distance commuting/touring, a Kona Kaboom 1-speed kaboom, and a green cruiser.

-How do you see XC technology changing over the next 5 years?

I think they will continue to improve the pedalling efficiency of full suspension frames and shocks. In other words, all full suspension xc bikes will ultimately look exactly like the Titus Racer X.

-What component or cycling gear would you pay full retail for if you had to?

I would buy any product made by any of my sponsors :)


-How many hours a week do you train (min, max,average)?
minimum, 9 on a rest week. maximum this season, 23.
maximum the last two years, 27. average, what's that?
I don't know the meaning of that word...

Do you have a coach?
yes. Doug Loveday at CyclingPerformance.net
*editor's note: I don't know Doug or his coaching philosophies but his coaching prices are some of the better one's I've seen, especially allowing ANY client to call him on the phone.

-Do you follow a scientific periodized cycling specific training program or 'just ride'?

Very periodized. Until the last mtb race of the season. Then I just ride until I start up with base again.

-Do you strength train?

a little. Mostly functional strength training, and only a bit of that.
*editor's Note: With guns like these, I think there is more going on than she's telling:
Dara Marks Pipes
*from Nick Martin's site

-How do you recover after a hard ride or workout?
Cold beer and pizza.

*editor's Note: With a physique as in the above I believe we are talking 1/2 of a lite beer and Pizza w/no cheese.

-What is your nutrition protocol for a 2-2.5hr XC race?
Too detailed to start explaining!
*editor's Note: What! Not pizza and beer?

-What is your pacing strategy for a 2-2.5hr XC race?
Pacing? What's pacing?
*editor's note: sounds like how I race.


-How do you balance the stresses of regular life with training and recovery?
Cold beer and pizza.

*editor's note: See a pattern here?

-Do you have a guilty pleasure?
*editor's note: Any guesses?..Anyone?

Cold beer and pizza.

-What advice do you have for those of us with families, and full time jobs who want to race our best?
Cold beer and pizza.

*Editor's note: I'll work on this.


At 4:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an Interesting Review!
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