The Gauley River and the New River National Parks have about 80,000 acres or so of heart-pounding, breath-taking, fear-inducing wilderness between them.
What would a U.S. Soldier have to say about that? Great place for a race.
That’s why the Gauley, the New, and this particular part of the West Virginia mountains is so perfect for the annual Wilderness Challenge. It’s a two-day race between active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard that’s guaranteed to leave the four-person teams exhausted, exhilarated, and pegging the fun meter.
Here’s a rundown of the course:
- Start with an 8K run down into the Gauley River Gorge.
- With the help of an ACE guide, the teams then paddle as fast as they can through the Class IV-V Lower Gauley River.
- Then it’s on to a 10 mile mountain bike race on ACE’s world class trail system.
- The teams trade bikes for paddles and take two-person inflatable kayaks down the New River.
- Everything winds up with a 13.8 mile hike up out of the gorge to the finish line.
In all, the teams will cover roughly (get it?) 50 miles during the two day race. The Saturday finish is going to be marked with a huge victory celebration.
Hey, that’s tonight!
Congrats, all you men-and-women-at-arms. Everyone here at ACE wants to say thanks for your courage, your patriotism, and your willingness to participate in this truly grueling (and awesome) race.