I’m so honored and stoked to have represented Team USA at The Rockyman Adventure race here in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The amount of training and support from sponsors and Team USA made this event a huge success.
Traveling internationally always presents roadblocks to overcome— including lost SUP race boards, paddles, etc.— but with great help and support from our Brazilian friends, Roberto Araujo and company, Team USA got back on track.
The race was 11 hours and 20 minutes of nonstop hammering and strategic battling against a solid international and Brazilian field of top athletes. Events included surfing, mountain biking, 12’6 SUP racing, distance running, paragliding, outrigger canoe paddling and then finishing it off with a crazy run through the jungles, beaches and city of Rio.
I have never experienced such an insane event where each teammate competed at a high level in their own specialized sport, before combining efforts as a team. After competing in our specialties, we jumped in a 6-man outrigger canoe and paddled for 8 miles in super challenging and rough seas where three canoes sank. After the paddle we ran through the mountainous jungles that filtered down through the Favela (slum neighborhood) and emptied on to the white sand beach, where we ran another 3 miles through deep sand before finishing at the end of Ipanema beach in the dark.
It was such an emotional experience pushing each other past our pain thresholds to continue and finish as a team. I’m so grateful to our team captain, Paul Romero, and to my other two USA teammates J. Marshall and Kari Castle, as well as my Brazilian friends, sponsors and Rockyman Brazil. I can’t wait ‘til next year! —Chuck Patterson
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