Browsed by
Tag: expedition race

Athletes of the Month ~ Gold Rush Adventure Racing

Athletes of the Month ~ Gold Rush Adventure Racing

This October, we’re happy to feature an amazingly dedicated team of individual athletes and adventurers. Meet Gold Rush Adventure Racing – our Athletes of the Month. Here, they’ve recapped an epic championship race – the 2013 Gold Rush Mother Lode 4 Day Expedition Race.

Gold Rush Adventure Racing

The 2013 Gold Rush Mother Lode 4 Day Expedition Race was a tight competition between the top 4 Teams in the beautiful California Sierra Mountains: Bones (USA), Sweco (Sweden), YogaSlackers / GearJunkie (USA), and (Denmark), all teams vying for a winning free entry into the Adventure Racing World Series in Costa Rica. Weather was a factor, as it was very hot the first day, mild the second day, and cold with snow, hail, and rain on the third day and night, clearing up on the fourth day for a spectacular finish.

The Day Before – Wednesday, Sept 18th

The Racers Arrive

climbingThe day before the race, 15 3-4 person coed teams gathered at the Long Barn Lodge in Long Barn, CA. That afternoon all racers were required to do an equipment check, rope climb, and swim challenge to make sure that everyone had the basics. That evening we all congregated for a hearty meal and warm welcome and introduction by Adrian Crane, race founder. After dinner was the moment everyone was waiting for – the revealing of the maps and race directions by Mark Richardson, course director. Racers spent hours looking over the maps and charting the check points from the masters to their copies, making sure each one was correctly placed. Then it was off to bed to try to get some sleep. Not so easy for everyone as the excitement was building!

Race Day – Thursday, September 19th

At 6 AM all the buses were loaded and ready to take the racers to the starting line on Lake New Melones. Once we were all gathered, the clock started ticking at 8:00AM marking the start of the race. It began with a 3 mile run, followed by a 30 mile kayak interspersed with a 15 mile fast trek. Skies were clear and the temperature rose close to 90 degrees by noon. Not really a problem but a bit challenging to those not used to the heat. At the end of the first leg teams tied their kayaks to a buoy in the middle of the river, swam to shore and trekked up a steep bank for 3 miles to the first TA (transition area).

 race start

TA1 – Kayak to Bike

Teams started arriving at TA1 in the early evening and on throughout the night. Here teams rested a bit (or not!), resupplied with food, built their bikes and started a 60 mile mountain bike out of the canyon. There was a tremendous amount of very steep climbing involved. Teams rode all night, up and up and up. Some stopped for a quick cat nap and to fix any mechanical issues due to all of the fine dust on the climbs.

Kayak to Bike

TA2 Sponsored by FRS –Bike to Trek

By now in the teams started to be spread out. This is typical when you have world class athletes competing with weekend warriors and every combination in between. At TA2 racers took apart their bikes and repacked them into their bike boxes. Once again they rested if needed, resupplied and planned their next assault – a monster trek!

bike to trek

This trek, which was the crux of the race, started with a 45 mile trek to the climbing site, a HUGE ropes course. Each person had to carry their climbing gear to the site. The ropes course was epic with a 300 foot free hang ascent, then a low angle repel to a 300 foot zip line and finish with a 300 foot repel. They then scrambled back to the CP to get some water and drop off their gear. The accent was daunting and not for the faint of heart. A number of people were unable to complete the ascent as it was technically and physically very challenging, especially after such a long trek and so little sleep.


trekThe trek continued after the ropes course for another 30+ miles and climbed to over 8700ft. No one can predict all the variables that will be encountered in an adventure race, especially when it comes to Mother Nature. This year was no let down as far as surprises go! Up to this point the weather had been excellent… But then it turned ugly with an unexpected winter storm rolling in. Slower teams that got caught before doing the climb and ones that were well on their way past the climb fared better. It was the ones in-between that got hit the hardest with a 30 degree drop in temperature, drenching rain that turned to sideways sleet and finally snow.

It’s always a hard decision on whether to accept outside support since this will take teams out of the running according to race bylaws. But given enough lack of sleep, fatigue, cold and lack of supplies, it can be the only choice. This is a hard decision for an adventure racier, but sometimes any other decision could be disastrous.

TA3 –Trek to Bike to FINISH LINE

As the storm raged on many teams accept outside transportation and were dropped off at TA3 were they got something to eat, rested and most importantly, warmed up. Then it was off again for the final leg of the race, a 60 mile bike ride that was, thankfully, mostly downhill! By the time most teams did the bike ride the storm had blown through and the skies were sunny and clear. Hard to believe that just 18 hours before there was a howling storm with sleet and snow whirling in sideways.

All together the teams had traversed hundreds of miles using just a map and compass to find as many check points (CPs) as possible. In all there were 30 CPs with the podium teams getting them all. Quite an accomplishment!

And a big congratulations to everyone for their valiant effort…

finish line

Teams competed non-stop, navigating with map and compass to find checkpoints in four disciplines: Trekking, Paddling, Mountain Biking, and an awesome Ropes Course. The Ropes course featured a difficult free ascent with Jumars and a 500 foot Tyrolean/Zip Line over a 300′ deep canyon that ended up being the Achilles Heel for a few teams. Partly through careful strategy, Bones was able to throw Sweco off their trail, and Sweco ended up missing CP25. YogaSlacker / GearJunkie and were the only other teams besides Bones to capture all checkpoints on the course.

The final standings were: First Place: Team Bones, Second Place: YogaSlackers / GearJunkie, and came in Third, Sweco in Fourth. The competition was outstanding, and as usual the Gold Rush Team put together a fantastic race.

Check out more videos here.

About Gold Rush Adventure Racing

Gold Rush Adventure Racing is proud to be the North American qualifier for the Adventure Racing World Championships. We offer an event where US teams can test their mettle against international opposition and potentially win a place at the World Championships. In 2013, the Championship Race is in Costa Rica. We also work to attract international teams to the race so they can experience the incredible natural beauty that is California. We never lose sight of the fact that we live in such an incredible part of the world. Our event in 2013 attracted teams from Europe and South America. In 2014 we plan to increase the home and overseas entries and cement the status of the event in the 10 race circuit of Adventure Racing World Series qualifiers. With the help of our sponsors we hope to host the Adventure Racing World Series Final in the near future. The Gold Rush Mother Lode expedition race has been a 4 or 5 day event but we plan to expand it to an 8 day event in 2015 to become a true destination event for Adventure Racers the world around.

Athletes of the Month ~ Tecnu Adventure Racing

Athletes of the Month ~ Tecnu Adventure Racing

Ever wonder how an extreme adventure racing team gets started? Here’s a quick recap of how Team Tecnu got started and how far they’ve come today. We’re happy to have Team Tecnu as our Athletes of the Month here at Headsweats!

Team Tecnu
Team Tecnu

Written by Earring Doug Judson

Tecnu Adventure Racing started in 2007 when we stumbled across our amazing partner in Tec Labs and we started off on our amazing journey together testing the boundaries of human endurance. For those of you who don’t know what Tecnu is, it’s a scrub that removes the poisin sumac oils from your skin, clothes, dogs, and gear after coming into contact with it. A not so subtle sponsor plug, but we do love them, and their products rock.

Tecnu Adventure Racing

When I formed the team we set out to find like minded athletes who love to train, and race hard, and love to do it together in exotic locations of the world. In the first couple of years, like in any when you are trying to build the right team and find the right chemistry that works for you to race hard and fast, we had mixed results. 4 years ago we brought Kyle Peter on the team after watching him for a year as a youngster and seeing him racing hard and suffering with a smile on his face, so I decided that we would start forming the team around him, and try to develop some athletes, and see what happens.

Tecnu Adventure Racing

Since 2010 we have won many races, always at or near the top of the podium, but ALWAYS a contender. In 2011 we became the top team in North America winning the ARWS qualifying race, the Gold Rush Mother Lode 4 day expedition race, and represented the U.S at the World Championships in our first venture there, and finished in 12th place as the top team from North America out of 82 teams. Not bad for our first international race against the best teams in the world. We were excited to build on that experience and exposure.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

2012 saw us string together a great season with 12 podiums in 12 races finished all over the globe including a 2nd place finish in Ecuador at the Huairasinchi Expedition race, a 3rd place at the Gold Rush Mother Lode expedition race, and a dominating 1st place in Costa Rica that qualified us for the World Championships in France. We also finished in 2nd place at both of our National Championships, narrow misses that we hope to remedy in the coming weeks. We were also featured in 12 episodes of the Wild Racers television series that is supposed to be airing in North America sometime in 2013 which is very exciting for all of our partners.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

In 2013 we tweaked the team a little bit adding several new key team members that we felt would help us continue our progression up the food chain in adventure racing. We started the year ranked first in North America, and are currently ranked 5th in the world. We started strong by heading off to South Africa and qualifying for Worlds by finishing 2nd at the most competitive race of the year. We followed that up with a dominating win at the innagural Cowboy Tough 4 day stage race in Wyoming in July, and a close 2nd at the Wilderness Traverse in Canada. We still have some of our main goals still out in front of us with races remaining at the Checkpoint Tracker Nationals, the USARA National Championships, and ending our season in December at the World Championships in Costa Rica. We are training hard hoping for the top rung on the podium at each race. We feel we finally have the team that can compete at any level, and feel that we are peaking at just the right time.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

Current team members are founder and manager “Earring” Doug Judson, Team Captain and the “next phenom in the sport of AR” Kyle Peter, Bob Miller the resident Nav God and Canadian on the team, Garret Bean our resident sherpa and whip cracker, the two Queens of the Machine Karen “Super K” Lundgren, and Mindy Fernando. Together we make up Tecnu adventure racing, and hope you will tune in to watch us live the life of adventure. Thanks to Headsweats for this honor, and for continuing to make amazing performance hats that help us push the envelope. Come out and join us in an adventure race. It will change your life.

 Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing

Follow Tecnu Adventure Racing on Facebook, and for race recaps, updates, and news, check out their website:

Team Tecnu Training Camp 2013

Team Tecnu Training Camp 2013

Team Tecnu training for their first international race of the year, Expedition Africa in May 2013. Enjoy these photos and video:

Team Tecnu Training Camp 2013 April 5-8th, 2013
41 hours of adventure training in 4 days

To give you a taste of their training, watch their video:

Here was the agenda:

FRIDAY (10 hours)
 ~ Early AM trail run in Marin Headlands (2 hours)
 Noon Double Surf Ski Yerba Buena Island+ (6 hours)
 Late PM MTB Oakland Hills (1.5 hours)

SATURDAY (12 hours)
 ~ Early AM MTB from SF (Golden Gate, Headlands, Tam Summit… Tamarancho, Top Secret descent, 680, Pt Reyes) (4 hours)
 Afternoon run Tam, Stinson, Dipsea, Matt Davis, Steep Ravine… (4-6 hours)
 Late afternoon MTB return on roads to SF (2 hours)

SUNDAY (11 hours)
 ~ Early AM MTB from Alameda to Del Valle (3 hours)
 AM Bay Area Orienteering Club Long O Meet (3 hour)
 PM MTB/BART to Alameda (1-2 hours)
 PM Alameda Surf Skis (3 hours)

MONDAY (8 hours)
 ~ Early AM Headlands run (2 hours)
 AM surf skis Angel Island (3 hours)
 PM Skeggs MTB (3 hours)

Tecnu Adventure Racing was 2nd at the 10 hour Rogaine in Spokane, Wa yesterday. Here are a couple of pictures of Garret Bean and Kyle Peter racing:

Garret Bean racing in the Rogaine 2013
Kyle Peter racing in Rogaine 2013

To find out more on Team Tecnu and their 2013 race schedule, visit their website here: and become a fan of them on Facebook.