Team BendRacing/SkinDoctor wins US Adventure Race National Championship
September 21, 2023
Smugglers' Notch, Vermont played host to the 2023 U.S. Adventure Racing Association (USARA) National Championship.
/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Team BendRacing/SkinDoctor won the 2023 United States Adventure Racing Association National Championship, hosted at the Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont, on September 15-16, 2023.
The team of three from Bend, Oregon – Emily Caseria, Dusty Caseria, and Max King – completed the 122-mile course in nine stages of paddling, mountain biking, and trekking with a combined 18,000 vertical feet of climbing in Vermont’s rugged and beautiful Green Mountains in a time of 27:09, collecting all 64 mandatory and optional checkpoints along the route within the 30-hour time limit.
“Wow that was a tough course,” Dusty Caseria said after the race. “We definitely came into this race hungry for the win after each of us had placed second in our previous nationals experience. We got out hard and had a very small lead by the first transition area. We kept pushing and despite a couple small bobbles, had a really clean race and managed to hold onto the lead through the finish.”
This year’s race featured 62 teams of three vying for the title of national champion. Jesse Spangler, Amanda Bohley, and Jesse Tubb of GRIT Adventures of Laurel, Maryland, finished second in the premier mixed-gender division in a time of 28:57, and Justin Bakken, Mari Chandler, and Brian Mayer of two-time defending champion squad WEDALI of Minnetonka, Minnesota completed the podium and was the final team to get to every checkpoint on the course, in a time of 29:40.
“Several other fast teams were nipping at our heels, and we’d see them in or near transitions.” Caseria said. “The navigation was challenging – so much bushwhacking through difficult terrain. The biking was technical and hilly, and the paddle was perhaps my favorite from any of the national championships we’ve competed in.”
National champions were also crowned in the female, male, and masters divisions, with the local team Feral Femmes of Winooski, Vermont, taking top prize in the women’s division. The men’s division was once again won Michigan Racing Addicts – the team’s fourth championship – and the masters division was won by Kinetic Energy/Odyssey Adventure Racing.
This year’s USARA National Championship was organized by the Green Mountain Adventure Racing Association.
“This is the first time in its 23-year history the USARA National Championship has come to New England, and we’re excited to introduce racers from across the country to our beautiful Vermont playground,” GMARA Race Director Chris Yager said before the race.
Sponsors of this year’s race included Ultraverse Supplements, Lubanzi Wines, Cabot Creamery, MyTopo, Lubanzi Wines, Lamplighter Brewing, Enabled Tracking, Stowe Trails Partnership, and the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.
USARA Executive Director Michael Garrison said this year’s event demonstrated the sport is thriving in the niche world of ultra-endurance team sports.
“What really distinguishes adventure racing from other extreme sports is the emphasis on teamwork and navigation. To finish an adventure race, teams have to work together and keep moving in the right direction, using only a map and compass,” he said. “To win, teams have to do that and also go very fast.”
Learn more about adventure racing and the USARA National Championship at www.USARA.com.
USARA Executive Director