|from Photo set #1 (From roving photographer Wes Peck. Photos should appear as a slideshow, starting with finish line photos and going backwards in time. Feel free to download, share, etc. For any professional use, please ask for permission first!)|
Team Blind Squirrels (from the Twin Cities) wins both the overall race and the premiere category (3/4 person coed) by clearing the full course in 23 hours. Team Swamp Donkey (from Winnipeg), also cleared the full course in just under hours, but walked right by CP 15, getting a two hour penalty and so officially finishes second overall but first in the open category. Awesome job guys!
More to come later, including complete results, links to photos, and eventually some videos of the action that will allow you to relive it all from the comfort of your couch, and have you impatient for next race. For now though i want to give a big congratulations out to all the racers (whether official finishers or not) for your accomplishments. I said it at the awards and i'll sat it again - this was a HARD RACE, and not just by the merit of being a 'so called' 24 hour adventure race - there are lots of those out there (case in point - at another more high profile and long running race in Illinois this last weekend, top teams completed the full course in under 14 hours!)
The grit and perseverance displayed by teams was remarkable. As i sat at CP 17 watching teams limp in well after first light, i put on a positive face and tried to convince each of them that if they kept pushing they'd have a chance at completing the short course - all the while secretly doubting that some of them could ever to make it. Amazingly, every team that made CP 17 finished the course before the race close even though this meant they had to dig deep and give performances rivaling that of the top teams on the final river section. Some of them did this even though forced to paddle with one less raft than they started, as the shallow river had by then destroyed many of the less expensive boats.
I've got some many stories like this, i'll try to share them over the next few weeks, so bookmark the site and check back often. Racers captains will also be getting an email in the coming week soliciting race reports, comments, etc so be looking for that as well. And tell your friends, recruit them, be honest about how brutal it is, but also about how it changes and affects you.
Once again, well done everyone.