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Stubborn Mule Challenges Teams to Keep Going, and Not Get Lost

A race this weekend near Tomahawk will test endurance and problem-solving.  The Stubborn Mule Adventure race asks teams to compete in a kind of off road triathlon that lasts either 12 or 30 hours. 

Race Director Paula Waite says the race requires navigating on foot, on bikes, and in a canoe. 

“Key kind of difference between triathlon and adventure racing is that the teams are navigating the whole time using only a map and a compass. So they can’t use GPS – so they need to look at the map, figure out what the best route for them is, and figure out how to get from point A to point B.”

Waite says having to find your own way is part of the thrill.  Participants were only told the starting point location a week ago.  And the race course is kept secret until the day of the event.

Waite says most participants tend to be men age 30-45…but there are plenty of women that also compete, and racing ages include teenagers and people in their mid-60s. 

There are races of this genre all over the country.  They typically include the same kinds of activities, but the terrain and the length of race can vary dramatically…from 6 hours to 10 days long.   

Waite says it takes a combination of physical endurance, smart thinking and teamwork to do well. 

“Certainly some physical fitness, but I don’t think that’s the key element. I think it’s good teamwork, supporting each other, working well together. And then making good decisions, being able to keep track of where you are on the map – and when you fail, you miss something or you get a little bit lost – being able to recover quickly.”

Check-in time is 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.  

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