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Bend Racing Win the First Endless Mountains AR

Rob Howard / 26.06.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
Bend Racing on the finish line
Bend Racing on the finish line / © Chris Radcliffe

Bend Racing will go into the record books as the first winners of the Endless Mountains AR. 

They crossed the finish line at the new ARWS Demonstration race at 00.51.57 on the 5th day of the race, with a time of 110 hours 51 minutes 57 seconds.  For the Bend Racing team it was a second win in a row in the AR World Series, to back up their win at the ARWS Qualifier, Expedition Canada just two weeks ago.

Such is the strength of their squad that was with a different team line up.  For Endless Mountains the team comprised the Bend Racing Directors Jason and Chelsey Magness, Lebn Lovejoy, who was new to the team, and Danish racer Lars Bukkehave. 

They finished just over 3 hours ahead of Rib Mountain Racing (114.07.50), with the Rootstock Racing team taking the final podium place (116.48.15).  These were the only 3 teams able to visit all the checkpoints on a course which took longer than anticipated, and which some teams may have felt was endless if they were having a low point on the final day!

Until the last few hours of the race Team Untamed New England were also racing as a full course team, but with the course closing they had to miss 4 checkpoints on the last trek to make sure they reached the finish in time.

The course was smartly designed to allow this, with optional checkpoints on all stages and short course routes built in.  As a result, all of the remaining teams came through the finish line on the final night and morning of race.  All but one of the starting teams was in that finish line ‘rush’, with only Team Bones retiring, as the result of an injury.

The final stage of the race on day 5 was a long paddle down the Clarion river, with two trekking loops put in to get the racers out of their canoes (if they had time to do them). 

Canoes with sleeping racers were towed down the river as teams fought fatigue and sleepmonsters, and a footsore Jason Magness started the last trek in his flip-flops.  Teams had to draw on all their resilience to get through to the finish line in Clarion.

After finishing Jason Magness said, “Amazing race put on by great people - Brent and Abby Perkiss, it was so fun experiencing your race style in your part of the country. It really shows how much you love AR! From the fun start to the big off-trail trek, to the river section where we made a "floating hotel" (jury is still out on this choice, but it was hilarious and so much fun!) - our team had an incredible time on your course. Thank you!”

Bukkehave added, “All the American culture you offered during the event was really cool.”

Those cultural elements included a start with Punxsutawney Phil (of Groundhog Day fame), the chance to ride past the Pennsylvania Elk herds, local food and drink served along the way by communities who took the race to their hearts, and this included a checkpoint at the ‘endless tap’ at the Straub Brewery. (Which also hosted the media HQ at short notice to enable the innovative and detailed online race coverage.)

The race wrapped up with an evening social and race presentation in Clarion, and racers are now on their way home with a new perspective on Pennsylvania and plans to return for the next Endless Mountains AR!

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