Team Vert has finally broken through and claimed a mixed division USARA National Points Series Regional Championship race. The team won in meticulous fashion surviving an epic overnight trek and was the only team to clear the course at NYARA's The Longest Day.
“We had so much out there,” said Alyssa Godesky from Team Vert. “We knew this would be a course to play to our strengths of being physically demanding on technical terrain, so we were pleased to back that up with a solid day of navigation and route choices.”
Teammate Matt Cymanski concurred about the difficult course through the Catskills.
“The course was by far the physically hardest trekking we've experienced in an adventure race, compounded by the heat on Saturday, but we loved it,” he said. “There were some interesting route choices, great unpredictable, mandatory bushwhacking with not many rhododendrons, and some opportunities to put the hammer down on roads and trails.”
“The course played to some of our strengths, but also it was incredibly well run by Aaron, Austin and the team at NYARA. They worked really hard and pulled off a ton of logistics to make the race happen,” he added.
The race was originally scheduled for western Connecticut, but the state wouldn't issue any permits due to logging activities in one section of the course.
"I have been adventure race planning non-stop for two months," said Aaron Courain, the main race director. "The course hasn't suffered at all. We were not going to just slap something together. I would want to race this course."
NYARA is very familiar with the Catskills, but the course reused a few areas. And they haven't been used since 2009 in this linear, point-to-point race featuring big elevation, class IV scrambling near the summits, and beautiful alpine terrain.
“The overnight trek is pretty committing,” said Aaron Courain, NYARA Race Director. “It is 12 miles and 5000 ft of vert. There is no way out other than through ---I was a little worried. The 3 mile bushwhack is very committing.”
"It was all of our first time visiting the Catskills, and it was a unique opportunity to race through the wilderness area," said Cymanski. "We will definitely be back in the future."
Team Vert has raced strong at the other Regional Championship races including the Shenandoah Epic in April and the Hard Fall last October.
“It feels great to finally get the first adventure racing W,” said Cymanski. “We targeted this race with the intent of punching our ticket to Nationals, and it seemed in doubt a few times during the day and night to us, but we were able to manage our mistakes and always keep moving forward. We still have so much to learn but are excited to see where we stack up against the best in the country this fall."
Team Vert joins Strong Machine AR, Team Kuat, Rootstock Racing, Dead Reckoning, and Team Toyota Tundra as mixed division Regional Champions who have earned free entry into the USARA National Championship in September.
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