Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Rusch races to victory in Tasmania

Adventure racer back on top


Local adventure race queen Rebecca Rusch, 37, has carved yet another notch on her belt.

Racing as part of Team AROC/Mountain Designs, Rusch and her male teammates took the overall title in the Australian XPD adventure race last week in the southern Australian island state of Tasmania.

The event, likened by organizers as an expedition as well as a race, visited some of the most remote corners of Australia and included a total of 650 kilometers spent mountain biking, kayaking, repelling and a great deal of trekking through all varieties of landscapes.

Rusch helped captain her former Team Montrail to a win at the 2003 World Raid Championships in Kyrgyzstan.

Since Montrail was purchased by Columbia Sportswear, Rusch decided to join different teams for certain races. Aussies joining her on AROC/Mountain Designs were Matt Dalziel, Tom Landon-Smith and Karl Strode-Penny.

In Tasmania, they enjoyed a constant lead. At the first checkpoint, roughly 36 hours in, the nearest competitor was over two hours behind. By Saturday, the winners stretched their lead to five hours.

For its win, the team earned $4,000 to be used for travel expenses.

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