Does 5 days of biking, hiking, and rafting in western Pennsylvania sound like an adventure? Check out the recap from the first-ever Endless Mountains Adventure Race.
The inaugural Endless Mountains Adventure Race ended on June 26 with the Bend Racing team emerging victorious. On the 5-day journey, competitors cranked out 342 miles over land and sea.
Just three teams managed to meet all of the race’s checkpoints, organizers said on adventure racing hub SleepMonsters.com.
The course involved cycling, hiking, and rafting through many of Pennsylvania’s most beautiful parks, lakes, and rivers. Teams also got the option to choose how they manage specific challenges. Racers could tag the final seven checkpoints of the race, for example, by traveling on foot or by boat.
The Endless Mountains competition also served as a demo race for the 2022 Adventure Race World Series (ARWS). Next year in its second edition, it will become a full qualifier.
Bend Racing for the Win
As for the winners, Bend Racing crossed the finish line on the fifth day, with a time of 110 hours, 51 minutes, 57 seconds. It was the team’s second consecutive World Series event win; Bend also bested the field at the ARWS Qualifier at Expedition Canada 2 weeks ago.
Jason Magness, one of the directors of Bend Racing, called it an “amazing race put on by great people.”
“From the fun start to the big off-trail trek, to the river section where we made a ‘floating hotel’ (jury is still out on this choice, but it was hilarious and so much fun!) — our team had an incredible time,” Magness said.
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Bend Racing finished just 3 hours before Rib Mountain Racing, which had a final time of 114 hours, 7 minutes, 50 seconds. Rootstock Racing’s team took the final podium position with a time of 116:48:15.
A Touch of Culture
Finishing the course took longer than first anticipated, organizers said. But the racers said they appreciated the touches of Pennsylvania culture strewn throughout the event.
For example, no tour of Pennsylvania could be complete without meeting its famous groundhog and weather forecaster: Punxsutawney Phil. After a meet-and-greet with the famous rodent, competitors combed the streets of Punxsutawney to find 14 statues of Phantastic Phil.
After finding the statues, they grabbed their bikes and got down to business on the course proper.
Only in Pennsylvania.