Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Explore the West and RTN Press Release...

DART-nuun wins the Baja Extreme 24 hour race and comes a close 2nd at the Raid the North 36 hour race in British Columbia

(August 18, 2006) Last week, DART-nuun won the 3rd stop of the Explore the West series in Baja, Mexico ( and finished a close 2nd in Canada’s premiere 36 hour series in Sun Peaks, British Columbia ( The team’s win in Baja gave DART-nuun a commanding lead in the prestigious Explore the West series (the team won the first 2 races in Southern California, and Nevada) while their 2nd place finish in Canada earned them a spot in Canada’s most respected expedition race scheduled for early 2007, Raid the North Extreme. Jen Van Gorder, Sean Clancy, and Cyril Jay-Rayon competed in Baja while Matt Hart, Ryan Fleming, Patricia Williams, and Glenn Rogers took on the central British Columbia race.

The Baja Extreme race showcased why northern Baja is an adventure racing paradise. The course included paddling along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast, canyoneering through the region’s stunning desolate canyon lands, rappelling down deep gorges, horseback riding an intricate network of animal trails, and mountain biking the area’s endless jeep and animal trails. “Baja is what California must have been a hundred years ago, “noted Cyril. “It’s stunning, has a varied landscape and has large areas where no one has been before. It’s simply an adventurer’s playground.” In the early hours of the race, the team raced closely against experienced teams Kayak Lake Mead and Team Big Bear through the paddling and first canyon section. As the heat and technical nature of the course took its toll, DART-nuun was able to edge out a small lead heading into the horseback riding section. “The horseback riding was definitely a highlight for us as we navigated through a maze of trails. We only had one horse for the 3 of us so I was the lucky one to ride our spunky stead,” Jen said with a smile.

On one of the mountain bike sections, the team had a close call with a pick-up truck that lost control on a dirt road and hit Sean. “Most of the area we rode on had no traffic so we were quite unfortunate to come face to face with the pick-up truck at the time it lost control on the loose dirt road. It was coming in the opposite direction and started skidding and swaying side to side. We weren’t sure were it would go but as it got closer, I realized it was on a collision course with me. It all happened so fast but when the dust settled, my bike was under the pick-up truck and I was seating on top of a dirt bank by the side of the road,” reflected Sean. “I was sure Sean had been hit,” added Cyril. “When I turned around after the truck missed me, I was afraid to look what happened behind but I was relieved to see Sean seating on top of the bank.” In the end, Sean escaped with a small scratch but his bike was done. The handlebars were at 45 degrees, the rear derailleur was broken and the brake rotors twisted. The team, however, managed to convert the bike to a single speed and manage to finish the section albeit more slowly.

Despite the bike incident, the team managed to keep it together and finish the remainder of the course that included a rope section through a spectacular canyon and a fast and technical mountain bike section back to the Pacific Ocean, in first place.

Up in central British Columbia, the team competed in the 36 hour Raid the North race that included lake coasteering, bushwacking, trail running, mountain biking, ropes, and canoeing.
In typical Raid the North fashion, the race started at midnight with all teams charging into a kilometer of heavy bushwacking. After the start, the race quickly increased its pace and intensity. It turned out to be an extremely fast race with DART-nuun and one other team leading the charge. The first section left the team with a 40 minute disadvantage. As the race progressed, the team closed the gap and by the end of the paddle, 12 hours later, they caught the lead team. The teams then spent the next 7 hours exchanging the lead.

The race stayed close and exciting until the very end with Banff Lodging Co. edging out DART-nuun by 12 minutes.

Next, DART-nuun will compete in the fourth race of the Explore the West series ( in Southern California on September 9th.
DART-nuun is an elite adventure racing team based in Seattle, WA. The team goals are to foster the regional development of the sport and to be a recognized national and international team by successfully competing in the world’s toughest races.

Cyril Jay-Rayon – Team Captain

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