Team Tumbleweeds finishes 2016 Cowboy Tough Adventure Race!

As the 2016 Cameco Cowboy Tough Adventure Race comes to close, athletes reflect on the grueling three days. We spoke with Adrian Gerrits, member of Team Tumbleweeds to catch up with him after the race. We all know at this point that there is nothing easy about the Cowboy Tough, but we wanted to know what the most difficult aspect was for Team Tumbleweeds. This won't come as a surprise to most Wyomingites, but in Adrian's opinion the most strenuous part of the race was....wind. He told us, "This year was definitely the headwinds we encountered. Mark, the director has always warned all the racers about the crazy winds of Wyoming but until this point we'd never encountered anything really significant. This year we hit Glendo at about 9pm which should have been the time the wind was dying down, but we had about a 20mph headwind with whitecaps through the night to paddle through. Behind us the wind whipped up to 30-40mph and a lot of teams had to pull off to shore and wait it out. In face one boat ended up capsizing and sinking. That team was floating out in the middle of the dark lake for an hour or so before rescue crews could get to them. Then the bike on day 3 was 14 hours of pedaling into 30-40mph winds that just broke us down mentally." [image: Inline image 1] Team Tumbleweeds had an idea of what to expect, but Adrian pointed out to us that every year is different, "the new format this year with no required dark zones or stopping in the night which mentally made it a bit more challenging. Usually you're required to sleep a little each night but this time there was a sense of urgency to keep going rather than having a place to sleep for the night." There are bound to be some bumps in the road during an event like this, but luckily no one was injured. However, along with the team getting stranded in the middle of a lake, Adrian mentioned one of the teams, "got wrapped around a post in the river and Team McGinley had to ride with the 4 of them down the rest of the river in one canoe." Because the Cowboy Tough will be the world championships of Adventure Racing next year it will be more difficult to get an entry spot. Gerrits informed us that, " It's also going to be a 7-day race next year which enters a whole new set of logistics into the scenario." [image: Inline image 2] To all the up-and-coming adventure racers and athletes out there: "It's amazing what the human body is capable of. It seems like after you get over the initial sore muscles after 5 or so hours of doing an activity, your muscles just seem to get what you're doing and they'll just keep going in perpetuity as long as you keep feeding them. It's very bizarre." Congratulations to Team Tumbleweed!