Stoke for the Advendurist



Stubborn Mule 30 Hour (Tomahawk, WI)

Written by : Tara Kenny

There are so many things that I love about adventure racing, but I think the thing that I love most is how much I learn from each race experience. And this one was a doozy.

On Friday June 27th, myself and 5 other racers from Team Endracing/Yogaslackers carpooled to Tomahawk, WI. Three of us were doing the 30 hour course and 3 of us were doing the 12 hour race.

Myself, my husband John Kenny, and our fearless leader Andy Magness were to complete the 30 hour course together. The humidity and heat of the day was unreal at the start of the race, as we headed out on a 6 point rogaine section, we were all dripping with sweat within minutes, which may also have been because of the blistering pace we were setting. We were the first team out an hour and a half later before a 20 km bike ride to another foot rogaine. This course was very micro-nav intensive with over 70 points on the course in a 30 hour time span.

The second nav. section took us a few hours to complete, and we transitioned to the bike. This is when things really went downhill for me. I think it was a combination of heat exhaustion coupled with a migraine and the medication I took for it. But at this point I started throwing up and couldn't seem to keep anything down. It was a 40 km bike over to the paddle section. I really didn't have much to give at that point, and had to stop several times to throw up. I distinctly remember thinking at one point "If I pay Andy $200 maybe he'll let me quit the race, because I have no idea how I'm going to get through this". The boys supported me whole heartedly, and I tried to give it my all. Getting back on the bike immediately after each incident. We got to the paddle section and I decided to see if things would get better on the water with the cooler temperatures. I had smartly packed a 6 pack of coke in our paddle bag and was able to keep a couple of them down, and my energy levels went up.

We were on the river from 4pm -1:40am with two foot rogaine sections along the river. We hit a couple of sets of small rapids, mostly fast moving water with rock beds, and one set of class II right at dusk. As we got back on the water after the last rogaine section out of the blue a crazy wind/rain storm blew into us. We couldn't see a thing for a good 10 minutes as we got berated by rain and wind heading down the river. The boys took over paddling for the last hour of the river as I was crushed at that point. I'd thrown up again and just needed a bit of time to re-couperate. I was so very thankful for that time, and their understanding.

After the paddle section it was a 40-50 km bike over to our final section with 27 optional points on single track and another foot rogaine. In hindsight the three of us remember very little of the bike over. I distinctly remember being towed by John and closing my eyes for 10 seconds at a time, reasoning with's okay, you can totally nap on the bike on tow.....

On arrival, based on my state, and the fact that it had rained a lot of the night we decided to skip the 3 point single track cousres and headed out on the 24 point foot rogaine. All I remember is being amazed by John and Andy's navigational skills, and trying not to throw up again. Zombie bush walking at it's best. We decided after achieving 9 points on the rograine, and solidly earning us 3rd place, that we would hit the final 25K bike back the race start and celebrate. And celebrate we did.

I learned a LOT on the course, most importantly that if you give it your all, even when you're feeling rough, that's all your teammates can really ask of you.

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