On Friday the 29th of July I headed to Merrill in Wisconsin to participate in the longest Adventure race I've done so far: The Stubborn Mule 30hr Adventure race. The time up to the race had been chaotic, as my original teammate got injured in a MTB crash when we did the Tri-Loppet the weekend before, but luckily he had some friends on another team that also had lost a teammate, so they agreed to take me on the team. I was therefore now part of the GearJunkie/WEDALI 2 team with some very experienced racers, so I was a bit concerned if I would be able to keep up.
I drove out to Merrill with Tom, Justin and Kelly from GearJunkie/WEDALI 1 in their Adventure Mobile a.k.a. The Silver Bullet, where I got a chance to take a nap on the way.
We got to the hotel around 9pm and I met my team: Dave, Erl and Andrei and we did some planning for the race.
The alarm clock went off at 3:30am and it was time to get dressed and get breakfast before we headed towards the start location for the 6am start.
The race consisted of 6 sections
1) Memory-O (~1 hr)
2) Bike (~4 hrs)
3) Orienteering/Trekking (~4.5 hrs)
4) Bike ( 6 hrs)
5) Paddle (9 hrs)
6) Orienteering/Trekking (4.5 hrs)
Total race time 29 hrs
It was a very hot day with around 30+c degrees, so that also affected the pace and we needed to make sure we got enough to eat and drink to keep going.
We got to the paddle section around 9.30pm and it was getting dark, so the full paddle section would be during the night, but luckily it was almost full moon and there was a clear sky, so it was actually fairly easy to see where we were going without the head lamps.
When we got in from the paddle section we knew that we were among the leading teams, but not sure if the team ahead of us had managed to take all the check points like us. We therefore kept a good pace on the last section and were aiming at getting all the check-points. However we were doing a lot of bush-waking and could only move forward slowly and therefore had to skip the check point that was furthest away in order to be sure we got back before the cut-off.
It turned out that only one team ahead of us had gotten the same amount of check points as us and we therefore got a 2nd place overall after 29 hrs of racing in the beautiful Wisconsin nature.
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