Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge Creates Winter Event – January 23, 2021
Wisconsin’s only winter adventure race kicks off in 2021
RIB MOUNTAIN – After growing the Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge to the largest event in the United States Adventure Racing Association (USARA) series, a spinoff event will provide a winter challenge. The Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge – Winter Edition premieres as Wisconsin’s only winter adventure race. Participants will run, bike, snowshoe, and compete in special challenges using a map and compass to navigate the secret course disclosed the night before the event. Racers may race solo or on a team with 2, 3, or 4 people, where they must stay together the entire event.
The event will take place on the historically coldest day of the year in Wausau, January 23, where the average high temperature reaches only 23ᴼF. But the cold doesn’t seem to be stifling excitement. Registrations have already exceeded expectations for the inaugural event. “We have been dreaming of a organizing a winter adventure race for years, and we finally had the perfect storm to put it together,” said co-race director Anna Nummelin.
After COVID forced all twelve Wisconsin Adventure Racing Series events in 2020 to cancel, racers feel excited to finally have an event on the calendar. And half of the first 100 participants signed up for the Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge – Winter Edition are first time adventure racers. This may owe itself to the resurrection of Eco-Challenge. Coined the “World’s Toughest Race,” Amazon Prime aired a ten episode series on the adventure race, inspiring many people to try the sport for the first time.
Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge – Winter Edition race directors have designed a beginner-friendly course, will lead a virtual navigation clinic to help those new to orienteering prior to the race, and offer snowshoe rental and allow any bike type. “We’ve had ages 7 to 70 in our summer event and love to see first time racers trying the sport,” said co-race director Tim Buchholz.
To keep racers safe on the course in the frigid temperatures, racers must pack mandatory gear such as a space blanket and hand warmers. The added challenge of the elements will also test seasoned veterans of the sport, as many have never competed over the winter months.
“It lasts only three hours,” Michael Prucha said, “but with the possibility of cold, snow, and all the other elements that can happen in a Wisconsin winter, you need to be prepared. And that proves part of the challenge that gets me excited for every adventure race. You never know what will happen on race day, but it usually makes for a good story afterwards.” Prucha, Race Director of the Chasin’ the Bone Adventure Race, has competed in 50-plus adventure events.
To maintain a safe race environment, several COVID-19 adaptions have been put in place. This includes a virtual pre-race meeting, staggered starts, with each team starting two minutes apart, and completing the race in any order. Registration closes on January 17, 2021. The race will be held even if there are low snow conditions. For more race information on the Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge – Winter Edition, go its Facebook page or https://www.ironbull.org/
We are willing to accommodate interviews at the event on January 23, 2021. Please email [email protected] to arrange.
IRONBULL is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that promotes outdoor adventure sports in Central Wisconsin. IRONBULL aims to drive economic development, benefit community organizations, and attract and retain a talented work force through the production of high quality races and events that promote healthy living in our community.