Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Adventure race too much for one man's feet

Rusch and Team Montrail pull out with one day to go


Adventure racing, as the name implies, isn't a very predictable discipline.

It was with a heavy-heart, but sound rationale that Rebecca Rusch of Ketchum and her Team Montrail dropped out of last week's Adventure Racing World Championships in New Zealand due to extreme wear and tear on teammate Neil Gellatly's feet.

They withdrew reluctantly on the final day of the five-day scramble.

Montrail had just completed a swift water kayaking section and stopped for a planned, two-hour sleep (one of the race's longest snoozes) before heading into a third long trek.

The team was tied for tenth place and was competing in a large field vying for second and third places. New Zealand's Team Balance Vector ran a flawless race, finishing the course nearly thirteen hours ahead of the runners up, U.S. Team Nike Balance Bar.

For Montrail the decision lay in the seriously compromised health of teammate Gellatly's feet.

By the time of their decision to withdraw from the race, his feet were swaddled in makeshift duct tape bandages. His battered wheels proved to beyond the pale even for the hardiest of adventure racing souls. With less than a day to go, the Team agreed that this race wasn't meant to be.

Despite this ending, Montrail faired well last week in a technical race (kayaking, caving, repelling, mountain biking, rafting are just a few of the disciplines) through some of the hardiest stretches of New Zealand's rugged south island.

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