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The success of our grand opening was, in part, thanks to Karen's quick action in getting us a write-up in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Her work and support made a difference.
— Rebecca Clinger, owner, The Crafter's Studio

"Thank you! You were awesome. Your recent Facebook seminar helped me formulate a vision for how to position my business within the social media space. And you left the crowd feeling good, which is a great skill to have."
Frank Horath
Registered Investment Advisor Representative, Clientfirst Financial

"Thank you, Karen, for the great telephone class on LinkedIn. I have joined at least five new groups, have expanded my connections, and re-established the LinkedIn toolbar in my Outlook, all thanks to your audio session. Good stuff I was able to put into practice immediately!"
Kennerly Clay
Executive Recruiter/Trainer and Business Development Director

"You have given me the basics and the confidence to charge forward and embrace Twitter and LinkedIn."
Sue Brooks, Santa Cruz, CA

"You are so informed and vibrant. Great energy! Thanks again for the Twitter lesson. Your handouts are a good way to get started, so no excuses for me."
Sloane Devoto
Realtor, Coldwell Banker

“Thank you again. Your social media talk was a real hit! Well done and much appreciated.”
Bill Tysseling
Executive Director, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce

"There was a considerable amount of goodwill surrounding your presentation...You have a lot of positive energy and great ideas."
Bonnie Lipscomb
Director of Economic Development and Redevelopment for the City of Santa Cruz, CA

"Good presentation this morning at the Santa Cruz Chamber’s Caffeinated! It deserves at least a half-day workshop. I learned at least 20 new things this morning alone!"
Carol Skolnick
Clear Life Solutions

"It was a great talk, thanks! It was helpful to watch you manage your account on the big screen."
Traci Tompkins
ABC Sedans & Limousines

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Tom Honig
Armanasco Public Relations

"Congratulations! You brought us back up to a 5-star rating again for our marketing meet-up. And there were zero no-shows. I would like to get you on the schedule again."
Maggie Barr
Maggie Barr & Associates

“Fabulous class! I never know how much I don't know until I start to learn what I don't know. Thanks again for the great class!”
Carmen Richardson Rutlen

“You have a clear, easy-going style of teaching that I found very effective. What a great talent you have!”
Carol Siegel
Employment Manager, Santa Cruz Seaside Company

“I attended Karen’s workshop on social media and would attend again whatever she presents. It was well worthwhile. She knows her subject and communicated it well.”
Donna Rankin Love

“Thanks for the great class. I really got a lot out of it, and feel others did too. In fact, I went onto LinkedIn and began to set up my account!”
Paula Mahoney
Writer and Producer

“Your class last Saturday was amazingly helpful! In addition to having a lovely persona, you have so much useful information to impart. I am full of ideas as to how to proceed regarding how the get the word out about my present novel when the time comes.
Janice Wittenberg

“Being a complete novice about the business of social media, I was anxious to take her class recently at Capitola Book Cafe. Passion to share what she knows would describe her; I highly recommend her classes!”
Jane Parks-McKay
Writer and Voice-Over Actor

“Just wanted to say thanks again for a very informative presentation this morning. It was very helpful, and I thought you did a great job of giving us a general overview of Twitter in a short period of time.”
Sonia Potts

“With so much to cover I appreciated how organized you were and how you stayed on track. Taking the approach of showing how the mechanical features of Twitter could be used for positioning and building our business was particularly helpful.”
Charlie Zimmerman
Publisher, The Wedding Companion

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Feature Articles

A Hard Day in Paradise

Triathlete Magazine

February 2002

Triathlete No. 214

By Karen Kefauver, photos by Robert Oliver

Against the backdrop of Maui, the Xterra World Championships is the annual test of endurance and skill required to excel off-road. This year, it was the South Africans who shined brightest, as Conrad Stoltz and Anke Erlank earned their first Xterra world titles.

Not even the vicious kiawe thorns could stop Conrad Stoltz from capturing his first victory at the Nissan Xterra World Championship in Maui. The South African native had never tackled the notoriously difficult course, but after dominating the bike leg and ultimately opening a nine-minute gap on a world-class field, he walked away with the 520,000 winner's check at the end of a tough day.

Stoltz and 388 competitors charged into the balmy Pacific Ocean for the start of the sixth annual Xterra championship with a $105,000 purse at stake. The talented field of pros and age groupers were set to attack two loops of the rough water 1.5k swim, a gnarly 30k bike on the slopes of the dormant volcano Haleakala and an Ilk run through jagged rock, scrub and sand. The race was the culmination of a series of 26 qualifying events worldwide--with 18 in the United States and eight held in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Japan.

The day's challenges included changes to the run course ("The Wall," a climb over lava rocks, was replaced with "Hell," a hot, dusty climb and descent) to avoid construction crews building multi-million dollar coastal homes. A 2 p.m. cut-off was also enforced for the bike course, located on the private property of 30 landowners and closed to the public at all times.

None of these changes proved obstacles for first-time Xterra world champions Stoltz, 28, and Anke Erlank, 24, both from South Africa and both new to the Xterra Maui race. Each earned their victories by taking control during the bike and leaving their competition relegated to chase mode.

The day began with Oahu lifeguard John Flanagan, a world-class swimmer, pushing the top swimmers by coming in at 18:19 in his first triathlon. He was followed by Hawaiian lifeguard Glenn Wachtell (18:55) and Eneko Llanos of Spain (19:34).

Stoltz completed his swim in 19:44 and caught the lead cyclists about 15 minutes into the 30k bike leg. He maintained a comfortable lead and delivered the fastest split of the day in 1:27:31.

Former mountain bike pro and '98 and '99 Xterra world champion Ned Overend docked 1:31:09 on the bike, followed by '96 Xterra champion Jimmy Riccitello in 1:32:17. French pro Nicolas LeBrun, who had been a top contender, dropped out of the race after he was unable to recover from a flat tire.

By T2, Stoltz had earned a seven-minute lead, and the race for the $10,000 second place prize shifted dramatically during the run. Former Navy Seal Kerry Classen, who began the run in fourth behind Riccitello and Overend, claimed the runner-up spot when he passed the two veterans halfway through the trail run from Makena to Wailea. The fastest runner of the day was 2001 Boston Triathlon winner Paul Amey in 39:07.

Stoltz finished on top in 2:28:48, and Classen followed in 2:37:02 with Riccitello 35 seconds back and Overend in fourth. The Reign of the Mikes had ended. For the first time, neither Mike Pigg, Michael Tobin (2000 champion) nor Mike Vine had placed in the top three. "Everything went so well today for me," said a thrilled Stoltz. "I felt like I was flyin'--just breezing along. Today was my day."

In the women's race, Anke Erlank dominated from early on the bike. New to Xterra this year, the rider from the women's Saturn-Timex cycling team had won 2001 Central and West championships in the Xterra series.

Fresh off her seventh-place finish at the Hawaii Ironman, Wendy Ingraham had the fastest swim of the day in 20:27, followed by Australian pro Raeleigh Tennant in 21:07 and fellow Aussie Jody Mielke 33 seconds behind her. Despite a disappointing swim in 25:48, Erlank fought her way to the top of the pack in the first climb on the bike. Her cycling talent landed her the fastest split of the day in 1:48:06, followed by Canadian pro Lesley Tomlinson in 1:52:31.

Pro Shari Kain of Cupertino, Calif., the '99 Xterra champion, was plagued with problems on the bike, destroying the lead she enjoyed for nearly half the bike leg. She watched the top women pass while she struggled with mechanical problems related to a flat tire. "At that point, my mentality was to chase back to the front," Kain said. "I rode too aggressively at the most technical part of the course." Kain wiped out, hitting her head at a treacherous spot called the "Plunge." Dazed and fearing she had broken an elbow, she climbed back on her bike, only to crash again later. "At that point, I was almost ready to throw in the towel." She sought medical attention at T2 and continued on the run, ultimately finishing 13th.

Cherie Touchette and Erin McCarty of California chased Erlank out of bike-run transition. Erlank's gap widened on the run, but Colorado pro and defending 2000 Xterra World Champion Kerstin Weule, 32, secured third place with the second fastest run split of the day in 47:04.

A victorious Erlank finished her first Nissan Xterra World Championship in 3:00:59. Touchette finished second nearly a minute back, followed by Weule and Monique Merrill.

Erlank admitted that she was "happy I didn't know what the course looked like before I went out there... at some points I felt like I was dying." That feeling melted away with the $20,000 winner's check. "That can almost buy a house in South Africa," she said.

Ten percent of competitors reported to the medical tent post-race, including Kain, who had extensive road rash. The new mom was clearly disappointed with 13th place. "I was really bummed because I was so close to a great race. But after that I am more convinced than ever to come back for a great season next year."

Pros Cameron Widoff and Wendy Ingraham won the Hawaiian Airlines "Double"--$2,500 each and airline tickets for the fastest combined Nissan Xterra championship and Hawaii
Ironman times. Widoif, who had placed eighth in Kona two weeks before, hadn't planned to race, but only to cheer for his brother, Benjamin Widoff. At the final hour, the Colorado
athlete decided to borrow a bike, helmet and running shoes from friends and jump into the race, lured by the Double.

Maui, Hawaii, October 14, 2001

Pro Men

1 Conrad Stoltz 2:28:48

2 Kerry Classen 2:37:02

3 Jimmy Riccitello 2:37:31

4 Ned Overend 2:38:05

5 Andrew Noble 2:39:19

6 Pat Brown 2:41:32

7 Paul Amey 2:44:22

8 Jimmy Archer 2:44:29

9 Jason Chalker 2:45:24

10 Wes Hobson 2:48:17

Pro Women

1 Anke Erlank 3:00:59

2 Cheri Touchette 3:11:51

3 Kerstin Weule 3:12:37

4 Monique Merrill 3:13:41

5 Lesley Tomlinson 3:14:35

6 Jamie Whitmore 3:15:18

7 Erin McCarty 3:15:30

8 Candy Angle 3:15:57

9 Jenny Tobin 3:16:16

10 Linda Gabor 3:17:50

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