Racers trek off-trail to checkpoints along an unmarked course. Photo credit: Lee Ilagan of Ann Ilagan Photography
RIB MOUNTAIN – After surpassing expectations for the inaugural Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge – Winter Edition in 2021, it returns on January 22, 2022. Racers navigate with a map and compass on the secret unmarked course on foot and bike that is revealed shortly before the start of the race. As the name implies, the day is full of challenges, including a secret mystery challenge. Last year, racers needed to bring a sled to slide down a local sledding hill which was featured on the cover of Silent Sports Magazine.
Tracy Anderson braved the subzero temperatures volunteering at a remote transition area last year since an injury prevented her from racing. “Races can’t happen without the help of others, and what better way to see what the race is all about if you aren’t actually racing than to volunteer?” said Anderson. This year she returns as a racer.
Last year’s event was headquartered at Doepke Park in Rib Mountain and featured local bike paths, Sandy’s Bark Park, and four private properties exclusive to the event.
“The area offers so many beautiful places to explore in the winter months,” said Andrea Larson, co-race director. “Once again, we are grateful to local landowners that have offered up their properties for this event.”
Robert Szczesniak comes to Wausau for whitewater releases and will be making the winter trip from Chicago for the race. “It’s in a known great location, is a great chance to see a different side of the area, and looks like a great introduction into the sport,” said Szczesniak.
The winter weather may pose a unique challenge to racers, with the event held on the historically coldest day of the year in Wausau. Last year, nearly half of the field were brand-new to adventure racing with ten teams in the family division, ranging from ages 1 to 71. Last year, the subzero temperatures didn’t deter racers, with 87% of racers visiting from outside of Marathon County. This year, racers represent more states than last year. To create a beginner-friendly race, minimal gear is needed. Snowshoes are optional with rentals available to racers and any bike type may be used.
Registration closes on January 15, 2022. 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 to the Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge – Winter Edition Facebook page or https://www.ribmountainadventurechallenge.com/winter
Proceeds benefit local non-profits UW Wausau Campus Foundation and IRONBULL.
IRONBULL’s next event, the Last Hurrah, offers a winter-ending event with snowshoeing or fat tire biking at Erbach Park in Athens. Free snowshoe rentals and a non-competitive snowshoe option is available along with the competitive races. More details at: https://www.ironbull.org/last-hurrah-details
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.
High resolution or more pictures may be provided upon request. Photo credit: Lee Ilagan of Ann Ilagan Photography
Racers may use any bike since the course features roads and local paved bike paths. Photo credit: Lee Ilagan of Ann Ilagan Photography
Special challenges keep teams on their toes. Photo credit: Lee Ilagan of Ann Ilagan Photography