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Cowboy Tough 2016 - 2nd overall after battling hard for 3.5 days in the wilds of Wyoming

Adventures

Cowboy Tough 2016 - 2nd overall after battling hard for 3.5 days in the wilds of Wyoming

Judson Douglas

What a race! #CCT2016 certainly was the most competitive race we have seen so far in Wyoming at the Cowboy Tough! We finished in 2nd place overall after 1.5 days in the lead. What a great experience, and we are proud of the direction our team is headed. We look forward to building on it!

Take a look at our own 240 pictures gallery, we have some amazing pictures of our journey: https://www.flickr.com/photos/140415534@N03/sets/72157670656591901

All informations: http://www.cowboytoughwy.com/
Official race pictures: http://rev3adventure.smugmug.com/2016CamecoCowboyTough

Total distance : 700km
Racers: Greg McHale, Denise McHale, Alex Provost, Stuart Lynch

AR Cowboys Caspering

We each had a good preparation prior to the race, and arrived ahead of time to get everything in order. Casper is a quiet city and we made sure to take in tourist sights as it was our first time visiting. Never know when familiar street corners and sights can become handy in a race!

Objectives

We came to race in Wyoming with 3 clear objectives:

  1. Improve from our last outing in Iowa, and first as the newest version of Team Tecnu
  2. Bring back an entry to #ARWC2016 in Australia 
  3. Race to the best of abilities

We clearly reached objectives 1 and 2. We had a better overall execution than in Iowa. Happy Mutant Olmitz Miner was our first race together and there were some key elements we wanted to improve upon for #CCT2016. It's normal as we are just at the beginning of this new team. We are still discovering how we all interact together, and finding cohesiveness, and how to capitalize on the teams strengths, and make weaknesses our strengths, and the more we will race the more effective we will get.
As for the free entry to World's, AMK won the race but we knew going in they won the ARWS Belize earlier in the year and already had an entry, so the entry available at #CCT2016 goes to the next team in the ranking, who is team Tecnu. Goal accomplished.

Our last goal still lies somewhere in front of us. We had a lead for 1.5 days, and were building on it but were slowed considerably by stomach issues. We certainly raced our best given the conditions but there is far potential for this team, and we are excited by this potential as we felt like we were the fastest team out there had our race not been altered by illness, and we look forward to proving that at our next outing. Denise, Greg and myself all had food/heat related issues at different points that prevented us from going full speed for an extended period of time, and yet we still managed to keep the race close. We are steadfast on our goals for excellence as a team, and in what the future holds for us. 

Highlights

We certainly have several: racing along side world champion in Stuart Lynch, leading for half of the race, the first 4 TAs, seeing bald eagles, not flipping in the rapids, sleeping under a truck, coyotes screaming at night, climbing those high desert gravel roads (...really a highlight?), sharing those mountain house meals, and bonding as a team.

Hard times

Boy we also had some hard times out there: TA5 and all TAs after that were a struggle. This is where we have to improve the most, is a more efficient execution in TA. 

Stomach issues: I had a rough patch on the trek to Roaring fork. I guess it started on the bike, which is quite unusual for me. We managed to make the most out of it but it cost us some time for sure. Shortly before the TA Greg started to feel weird as well. We took some extra time in the TA to make sure to recover and be ready for Laramie Peak ascension as we planned to go for the $250 bonus. We were all keen to set the tone there but Greg suffered on the way up and we had to take our foot off the pedal a bit. Rest assured that as I'm typing these words we have plans in place to address these issues, and be a much more well oiled machine the next time out.

Somehow we thought TA10 was at the top of Casper Mountain so we went all the way up only to figure it was at the summit of Muddy Mountain, yeah that other mountain. So we swallowed it and down and up again we went... I'm sure AMK was shocked to see us coming down as they trudged up the long climb on their bikes.

Racing with a Star 

We had the privilege of racing with Seagate racer Stuart Lynch, and 4-time AR World Champ. A sincere privilege it was indeed as Stu was kind enough to pass along some of his racing knowledge, and views that we will thoughtfully use to make us a stronger unit. It was not only a racing but a learning experience for Denise, Greg and myself, and something we are all reflecting on to make us better athletes, and teammates.

Many racers asked us after the race: "So how was it to race with Stu?" The answer is that it was very straight forward. Stu keeps things very simple and he was all in whenever we needed his support. He is the consumate team player with no wasted energy.  We gelled instantly when he arrived and it was as if we had been racing together for years. A true Champion, and now a wonderful friend.

Wyoming

Wyoming is a wild and unique place. Congratulations to all teams, volunteers and race organization for putting on a great show.  We loved racing there and we are glad we had a taste of it as we are building not only for #ARWC2016 but also for #ARWC2017 back in the wilds of Wyoming. 

Sponsors

We would like to take a moment and thank our incredible sponsors for without them we would not be able to test the boundaries of human endurance. Our family over at Tec Labs, makers of Tecnu and Tecnu Extreme to rid your body of poison oak and poison ivy oils. Our amazing Partners over at Ripcord makers of the best travel and evacuation Insurance out there. They keep us safe knowing that they will be there to protect us if we need them. Voler makers of the best racing kits out there. They keep us looking sharp as we race fast. Out There USA packs by Mike Kloser are frankly the best out there. Leki for making the best trekking poles. Darn tough Vermont socks for blister free socks. Headsweats for the best performance visors and hats (thanks Alan). Julbo USA for their incredible Aero, Trail and Dust sunglasses, they keep us safe. Saltstick for their incredible electrolytes. Xact Nutrition for the delicious maple bars. Princeton Tec for their incredible head lamps. Kinesys for amazing greaseless sunscreen. Skwoosh for awesome canoe pads. Specialized for their amazing Epic carbon fiber 29ers. Lazer for amazing Mips helmets.  Mountain House for incredible and deliscious meals. Chamois Butt'r for great lube that keeps our butts chafe free. Light and Motion for Seca and Stella lamps to light our way. Skins for killer compression gear.  KEEN footwear for great kicks. Mocke for the best PFDs on the market. Hillsound for killer gaiters and crampons. Thank you all amazing partners. We were Cowboy Tough, and Cowboy Strong.

Next up, ARWS exhibition race in China in September.  

Alex & Team Tecnu