Five solo competitors and four teams—19 athletes in total-- battled it out for top honors at this year’s Mountain Warrior Decathlon fundraiser for Higher Ground, which raised more than $5,000 for the Ketchum based organization. The 7 indoor events which included the climbing wall, slack-line, SkiErg, Row Erg, Agility Course, Sandbag Push/Pull, and Pegboard, were contested on Saturday at the HardCore Training Center in Ketchum. Points were awarded based on objective performances in each event, with 100 points going to the best score. Non-winning scores were based on percentage back from best performance.
Recusing themselves from the overall standings and prizes didn’t stop race organizers, Bill & Naty Nurge, from sharing the pain and exhilaration of each event with the other athletes and earning the highest indoor point totals (655 and 562 respectively). The greatest number of indoor points—out of a total of 700-- for athletes vying for prizes went to Jeff Shiver (436), followed by 18 year old Evan Telford (417), Carmen Finegan (370), David Gilbert (365), Sue Engelmann (359), Donnie Saver (336) and Sandra Caulkins (285).
The remaining 3 events took place Sunday, on Bald Mountain. All outdoor events started at the River Run Lodge and finished at the Round House. Solo Warriors and Team athletes biked up the service road to the Round House, hiked up lower River Run and Canyon, and then ran up the Bald Mountain & Connector Trails covering a total of 9 miles and 6,000 vertical feet of elevation gain. Capturing all 300 points in the outdoor events, Naty Nurge set the bar high with a 44:05 bike, 37:09 hike, and 56:08 run split. Trailing close behind were Evan Telford (47:40 bike, 38:16 hike, 1:08:39 run) with 267/300 points, and Carmen Finegan (58:16 bike,41:53 hike,1:08:11 run) earning 234 points. Biking up “just for fun” were Bill Nurge (34:26) and HardCore TribeMate John Reuter (38:19)
The high-mark point total—all 10 events-- went to Naty Nurge with 862 out of a possible 1,000 points. In the competitive division, Carmen Finegan topped the women’s field with 603 total points, and Evan Telford dominated the solo men’s field with 683 points. Rounding out the solo field were David Gilbert (607 points), and Donnie Saver (529 points). Bill Nurge, Muffy Ritz, Brenda Powell, and Jim Lathrop posted highest points (921) for the Team division.
In addition to being crowned 2017 Mountain Warrior Decathlon Champion, Carmen Finegan won the prize—one night’s accommodations at the Limelight Hotel—for most sponsorship, singlehandedly raising $1,850 for Higher Ground. The HardCore Hammer prize for Most Inspirational Warrior went to Sue Engelmann who, due to air travel difficulties, was forced to complete 8 events in one day.
2nd Annual Mountain Warrior Decathlon FUNdraiser for Higher Ground
July 22/23, 2017
Cost: $50 for individual competitors
Cost: $25 for team competitors ($25/indoor, and $25 for each outdoor event; 4 person team max=$100)
Sponsors: We encourage all athletes to get sponsored by anyone who doesn’t want to—or can’t—compete but still wants to participate and donate to Higher Ground.
Sponsorship levels are Bronze ($25), Silver ($50), Gold ($75), Platinum ($100) and OTC/Off The Charts ($150 or more)
All proceeds go to Higher Ground. Last year we raised in excess of $5,000 and we’re hoping to beat that this year!
Post race Pizza and Perry’s cookies party at HardCore. Special prize for the athlete who raises the most sponsorship money :)
This is the only event of its kind in the World that puts cyclists, climbers, runners, kayakers, hikers, cross-fitters, nordic skiers, gymnasts, and alpine skiers on an even playing field. The Mountain Warrior Decathlon can be attempted as an individual competitor or as part of a Team; one person does all indoor events and one, two, or three people conquer the 3 outdoor events.
Indoor events start Saturday, July 22nd, at 8:00 a.m. There are 7 indoor events that are each 2 minutes in duration, with a two minute recovery between events: Slackline traverse, climbing wall traverse, pegboard, sandbag push, agility course, SkiErg, and Row Erg. Each of the indoor events will have a “happy”—very doable version—and an extreme—just like it sounds—iteration.
Each participant will be awarded a certain number of points based on their objective performance in each event; the “extreme” version of each event will offer more points but the athlete runs the risk of exhausting themselves, or not completing the event because it is simply too “hard.” Each indoor event will carry the same “weight”/value as each of the 3 outdoor events; so every type of athlete has a fair chance of garnering the most points and winning the coveted Mountain Warrior hammer.
Outdoor events start Sunday, July 23rd, at 8:30 a.m. The order of events for solo participants is bike, hike, and run. All events are timed (selfie time-stamped pics with your iPhone) from the bottom of Lower River Run to the clock at the Lower Xmas Lift just below the Round House. Because every event is essentially a timed-trial, all team participants—cyclists, hikers & runners—will start at 8:30 with the solo competitors. So all of the Team competitors will finish at roughly the same time and then download on the Gondola.
The bike course starts at Lower River Run and goes up the service road—same as Buddy Hike course—to the bottom of Round House slope at which point cyclists bear left and go around the back of the Round House and take their selfie-pic next to the clock at the lower xmas lift; then download.
After locking your bike at the River Run Lodge, solo athletes will take a selfie pic by the planter closest to the Gondola and then hike up lower River Run service road taking a left on to Canyon slope (after passing Lower RR lift it’s the 2nd left; after Exhibition slope). Hike to the top of Canyon and go straight for the Xmas lift clock and smile for your 3rd selfie of the day :) Then download.
Take a selfie at the Gondola planter and then run over to the Bald Mountain Trail and stay on it until you hit the single track “connector trail” that will take you straight across mid-river run and right into the Xmas lift clock. Take a selfie and you are a Mountain Warrior!!!
This is a fun and extremely unique event that will test your fitness on many different levels. Whether you do it for the fun, personal challenge, or to help raise money and awareness for Higher Ground really doesn’t matter. What matter’s is the “doing” part. Do it because you can. Do it because it helps others who can’t. Do it because we are all in this together and shared fun is double fun. If you simply can’t get yourself fired up to participate as an athlete then perhaps you would consider sponsoring—a donation to Higher Ground—any one of the athletes. If your athlete completes the event your sponsorship check will be put to good work at Higher Ground :)
Please feel free to call me—208.720.1829-- if you have any questions or would like to participate in any way (including volunteering!). Thanks so much for your consideration.