The Dark Zone 14: Rootstock Racing – The Endless Mountains ARWS Demonstration Race, Working with Others, and Helping to Grow the Sport

Rootstock Racing’s Abby Perkiss and Brent Freedland join The Dark Zone to talk about their new 5-day adventure race – – an ARWS Demonstration Race for 2022, partnering with Bend Racing and Expedition Canada, and how communicating and working together helps to grow the sport.

Show notes:

Check out Expedition Alaska –

The Endless Mountains Adventure Race –

The Dark Zone (Lucky) 13: Mari Chandler – National Champion, International Racer, and Teammate to All

Search many a race start list and you’ll be sure to see Mari’s name. One of America’s most prolific racers, Mari brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to The Dark Zone. Mari tells us about her introduction to Adventure Racing, her training, nutrition, and how to be a solid teammate. With her years of experience, her thoughts about the future of the sport are powerful and insightful. Thank you, Mari, for joining us for lucky episode #13.

The Dark Zone 12: Wilo “Mr. Spirit Award Winner” Nater of Team Onyx

Wilo Nater – Father, U.S. Army Veteran, Educator, and Adventure Racer – of Team Onyx tells us all about his recent experiences at the recent USARA National Championships, his introduction to the sport, and the steep learning curve that he is enjoying as a newcomer to AR. Listen along as his infectious spirit, love of all things outdoors, and his joy in being part of a team just pours out of him. Thank you, WIlo, for sharing your experience and enthusiasm with us.

The Dark Zone 11: Darren Steinbach – Bend Racing’s ‘All I Need Is A Day’s Notice’ Backup Extraordinaire

Darren Steinbach, with just a few days notice, jumps on a flight to Spain and competes in the Adventure Racing World Championships as a member of Oregon’s Bend Racing. Join The Dark Zone as Darren walks us through his race, the challenges of the course, and the incredible support offered by his teammates. Plus how a bungee cord became a shin-saving lifeline.

The Dark Zone 10: Richard Sparks – Two Races For the Price of One

Richard Sparks recently competed at the Adventure Racing World Championships in A Coruna, Spain in October 2021. The 600km race consisting of Mountain Biking, Trekking, Sea and River Kayaking, Coasteering, Ropes and Navigation hosted close to 100 teams. The race that Richard thought he was going to have and the race that he had were two completely separate things. Thank you to Richard for joining The Dark Zone: An Adventure Racing Podcast.

The Dark Zone 9: Team WEDALI – 2021 USARA National Champions Tell All About Their Race Experience at Nationals, Their Training, and Non-Racing Lives

Justin ‘Biz’ Bakken and Brian Mayer join The dARk Zone to tell all about their recent victory at the USARA National Championships, the ups and downs of the race (broken bike shoe bolt, anyone?), and how teammate Mari Chandler (currently racing at the World Championships in Spain) saved their race 3 minutes after the start. Stick around for the bonus content.

Thank you to episode sponsor The New York Adventure Racing Association – – and visit their website to learn more about The Longest Day 24-hour race coming in May 2022.

Episode 8: Tim Buchholz of Rib Mountain Racing: On the Podium at Nationals, Wisconsin Pride, and the Nicest Guy to Ever Pass You In a Race

Tim Buchholz of Rib Mountain Racing recounts his team’s USARA Nationals experience, talks about his growth as a racer, speaks about his best and not-so-best races (Who needs to bring all the maps anyway?), and reminds us that people from Wisconsin are just the nicest people. He’s so nice that when he passes you during a race he offers a bright smile and really hopes you have a great race. Yep, one of those guys. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Tim and his tales of racing greatness.

Episode 7: Mike Garrison, Part II: Breaking Down Nationals, Telling Tales, and Having Us Book Flights West in 2022

USARA Executive Director Michael Garrison, TDZ’s first repeat guest, joins Brian to talk all things 2021 nationals. From the race structure, the teams that amazed him, and all the lessons learned, join Garrison as he shares his thoughts about the current state of and future growth of USARA.

And get ready for some jet lag, East Coasters, when the 2022 Nationals comes around.

Episode 6: Paula Waite: Nationals Race Director and future owner of the Clam Lake Tanning Salone

2021 USARA National Championships Race Director Paula Waite of 180Adventure joins The Dark Zone to talk about the recent championships, the course, the experience of various teams, and her own adventure racing career. A longtime racer, RD, and advocate for the sport, Paula and her team brought the ar community a very successful national championship. Join us to learn more and hear directly from her.

Episode 5: Steph Ross: RD, Racer, and the Woman of AR

Stephanie Ross, USARA’s nationals coordinator, competed in her first adventure race Odyssey’s twelve-hour Jeep Kentucky AR at Carter Caves State Resort Park in 2002. She raced it solo and was completely demoralized by the course – and also completely hooked on the sport. A year later, she designed her first race, the Red River Gorge American Classic, aka the Fig, now the longest-running adventure race in Kentucky. She continued to organize races under the Flying Squirrel Adventure banner until 2015, when she turned over the Unbridled AR series and the Fig to 361 Adventures. Her efforts now focus on bringing more women (and youth) into the sport, through the Women of AR campaign. She has directed two USARA National Championships and has assisted with planning and vetting courses for Nationals since 2010.

Our conversation is expansive and wide-ranging – from her background in AR, how to be an aspiring race director, and her important and vital work with the Women of AR initiative.

This was a fun one to record, and I hope that you find Steph. Sit back and enjoy Episode 5 of the Dark Zone: An Adventure Racing Podcast.