Tough Racing at the Shenandoah Tough

After an intense 2 and a half days of racing, all the teams at the Shenandoah Tough 2018 have now finished and are off the course.  Racing not only the other teams and the route set by they organisers, they were also racing to finish the course before the rain of Hurricane Florence is forecast to hit the Shenandoah Valley.  

USA MRC MainNerve crossed the finish line in first position under some light rain in 58 hours and 27 minutes.  James Galipeau said on the finish line to Race Director Mark Harris “You did a wonderful job putting a course together with what you had”.  Peter Jolles said “Thanks Mark, we really do appreciate it”.  

With uncertainty of the approaching storm, the top teams were racing with a heightened intensity knowing that there was the chance that the race could be called off early and whichever team was furthest on the course would be declared the winner.  This saw four teams break away early from the rest of the field and form a lead group.  

One of the race favourites, BendRacing/ YogoSlackers was in this group and pushed hard to finish in second place in 61 hours and 37 minutes.  It wasn’t a smooth race for the world ranked number 14th who suffered mechanical issues with one of their bikes early in the race.  Despite these difficulties, other than the race winners they were the only team to finish the full course.

Untamed New England came in third place finishing a shortened course.  Storm Racing from Canada was the other team in this pack of four but did not finish as a ranked team with two team members pulling out. 

MRC MainNerve have won an entry to the AR World Championship in November.  Shane Hagerman said on the finish line “Guys, bring it in, we got to talk about November!”.  This is the best result for this team to date and the first time they have had a victory at an ARWS Qualifier.  

Back in the field many teams weren’t racing for a podium, but just the experience on offer by the Shenandoah Tough.  Previously this race was held in Wyoming under the name Cowboy Tough and culminated in hosting the AR World Championship last year.  Moving now to Virginia and rebranding as the Shenandoah Tough, it still brought one of the experiences from Wyoming it has become renowned for – Whisky Shots!  Orange Lederhosen was one of the teams obviously relishing the opportunity to be out racing and also partaking in the Filibuster Whiskey.  

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You can also follow the race via the organisers social media and through AR Live Coverage hosted by Craig Cook

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Released 16 September 2018 written by Craig Bycroft, Adventure Racing World Series

Photo Vlad Bukalo and Chris Radcliffe

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