Winning team ‘zips’ through new adventure race

Not only did the “Old Way of Seeing” team finish the first annual August Rush adventure race in high velocity, zooming down a 1,000-foot zipline, they flew through most of the course – perhaps a little too fast at times. “We made it as short as possible,” said Darren Holcombe. “It was how we expected it to be – we only just decided to do it a week ago.”

Not only did the “Old Way of Seeing” team finish the first annual August Rush adventure race in high velocity, zooming down a 1,000-foot zipline, they flew through most of the course – perhaps a little too fast at times.

“We made it as short as possible,” said Darren Holcombe. “It was how we expected it to be – we only just decided to do it a week ago.”

Holcombe and Forrest Pearson, who make up the two-person team, finished the course in nine hours and 46 minutes, which includes some time waiting around, scratching their heads.

Early in the event, a shorter version of the Yukon Adventure Challenge in June, the pair actually reached checkpoints before organizers could find their way there. In fact, they helped plant one checkpoint in the middle of Scout Lake.

“We were just standing around and a truck pulled up with our bikes, which is what we needed, and a guy stepped out with the checkpoint,” said Holcombe. “He said, ‘That has to go in the lake.’ We had already changed, so I said, ‘I’ll go put it in the lake I guess.’

“It was kind of refreshing after a four-hour run in the alpine.”

Both experienced orienteerers, Pearson and Holcombe, held the lead for the entire race – as best as anyone knows – using a common adventure race technique of tethering the two together during the mountain bike section.

“Darren is a much stronger biker than I am, so I was like, ‘We need to equalize this or else you’re going to be waiting for me,’” said Pearson. “It was good. When he had a little extra power it went to me. And it made me bike a lot harder, so I was sucking wind for a lot of it. I didn’t want to be dragging on him.

“I did a 36-hour (adventure race) a number of years ago, so I have an idea of the pace and what we needed,” he added.

Finishing second out of the 11 two-person teams was The Martenator, featuring Mike Marten and Foreste Marten, 15, a father/daughter team from Whitehorse.

Although Foreste’s first adventure race, it was her father’s fourth.

“This was awesome. It was a little bit shorter, but I got to do it with my daughter, which is awesome,” said Mike. “It was a good day. The weather was nice. It was freezing in the morning and as it started to thaw we got all wet – we were soaked going through the buckbrush. But by the end of the day it was T-shirt weather.”

Coming in with a time of 10 hours, 24 minutes, The Martenators narrowly kept in front of the third place team, Found Patrol, featuring Leif Austad and Wendy Tayler, outpacing them by just two minutes.

“We were leapfrogging (during the race),” said Mike referring to Found Patrol.

Although Mike did the swimming section of the race, the team dynamic clearly had a top-down power flow.

“I do whatever he tells me to,” said Foreste.

Beginning at Icy Waters Fish Farm on Fish Lake Road Saturday morning, teams first went up Heckle Hill, over Mt. Sumanik and down to Scout Lake. From there teams hopped on their mountain bikes and cycled through the Ibex Valley to Takhini River where the race went nautical. In canoes, teams paddled to Takhini River Road, just about three kilometres from the finish line at Takhini Hot Springs.

Turning “finish line” into a bit of a pun, teams ended the race by scaling the Equinox Learning Centre climbing wall at the Hot Springs and riding the 1,000-foot zipline, across the pond, before returning the base of the climbing wall to complete the course.

“Ziplines and traverses are pretty common with these types of races,” said race director Mike Tribes. “They actually set them up remotely in some of the races – specifically for the race.

“Often races have a repelling section, or a zip.”


1st Old Way of Seeing (Darren Holcombe/Forest Pearson) – 9:46

2nd The Martenator (Mike Marten/Foreste Marten) – 10:24

3rd Found Patrol (Leif Austad/Wendy Tayler) – 10:26

4th Third Time’s the Charm (Michael Pealow/Pauline Frost) – 11:45

5th Mad Macs (Gerry Noble/Trina Huslage) – 12:33

5th Look Ma… No Hands! (Nathan Millar/Eleanor Rosenberg) – 12:33

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