Nike wins Wulong Mountain Quest Adventure
For the first time in its history, World Adventure Racing Champions Team Nike assembled an all male group and headed to China for the Wulong Mountain Quest Adventure Race. Team captain Mike Kloser of Vail and long time-team member Michael Tobin of Boise, Idaho recruited world-class mountain biker Jay Henry and multi-sport phenom Josiah Middaugh, both also of Vail.
The 220-kilometer event featured trail running, mountain biking, rope skills, kayaking, rafting, caving, canyoneering and team skill challenges. After large waves capsized one of their kayaks, Nike narrowly won the prologue, but then dominated the next three stages, winning the overall event in 21 hours, 2 minutes, 30 seconds, outpacing former teammate Richard Usshe”s Adventure Sport New Zealand team by just over an hour.
Nike’s win was impressive considering that Tobin slipped and fell onto razor-sharp shale rock during a wet trail running segment along the Wulong River. Tobin suffered deep gashes to his left knee and hand but continued racing for six more hours, including a pounding mountain bike segment. After Nike won the stage Tobin went to at a less-than-sanitary hospital for treatment. Kloser said that Tobin received only about 10 stitches for wounds that should have required at least three times that many. Putting aside concerns for his own health Tobin carried on without complaining and helped Nike secure their victory over the final two days. Kloser was very pleased with the win and commended Tobin for his toughness, and praised Middaugh and Henry for coming through in their Team Nike debut.
Before the team departed they were asked to participate in another event, the Zunji Outdoor Challenge which featured 45k of mountain biking and a10k run. The race promoter failed to tell them that there was a 9 hour bus ride involved to get to the event, but Nike overcame that discomfort, easily winning the event, leaving China with two impressive victories.
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