Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Le Grand Raid Adventure Race, Northern France, June 23-27

Anticipation was high for Le Grand Raid, a five-day adventure race in Northern France. Decent prize money drew some of the top teams in the world, and I was happy to compete with Mike Kloser, Monique Merrell, and Jay Henry on Team Le Grand Raid Out There USA.

Due to the stage-racing format, a fast pace was part of the bargain, and things moved quickly from the start. We battled hard with the French of Team Wilsa/AFG, the Kiwis and Swedes of Team Thule, and the Spanish of Team Buff, and were happy to be in the mix after three of five days of racing.

Early on the fourth day, our team was brought back to reality by a very serious bike crash for Mona. After crashing into a cement pillar and flying over ten feet, Mona lay battered on the side of the road. Tense minutes passed as we stabilized her and waited for an ambulance. She was diagnosed with a broken wrist, cracked ribs, and deflated lung at a large French hospital.

Thankfully, Mona will recover fully. The owner of Breckenridge's Amazing Grace Cafe, Mona truly showed amazing grace in courageously dealing with a terrible accident, severe pain, and a week in a foreign hospital. Hats off to Mona, who reminded me this week about the truly important things in life.

Sometimes we forget that making it home in one piece is the most important thing. We did not finish this race, and things looked bleak for awhile, but we all made it home in one piece.

Special thanks to our support crew, Mike and Audrey, who's hospitality (show here) and care made a tough situation just bearable.


  1. Very sorry to hear about Mona's crash, I hope she is making a quick recovery.
    What was the race format and course like?

  2. Travis,

    Amy Schenck here ... bit of a blast from the past, I know. Based on your blog and the occasional bits of info I get via your mom, then my mom, sounds like you're doing well.

    Question for you: I'm doing the Leadville 100 this year. It will be my first 100 miler and I'm so, so, so excited! I'm looking for someone to pace 35 to 40 miles. (A friend who wants to pace 10 to 15 miles is coming out for the race). Would you have any interest in pacing and/or do you know anyone who would be interested in pacing? The race date is Aug. 21. I'm hoping to finish in under 25 hours, but of course I don't really know how it will go since the longest I've run to date is 50 miles. I'm training as much as possible and hoping for the best. My e-mail is amy.schenck@gmail.com. Thanks for any help you can give!


  3. Wow! Just getting caught up on the world news here and I see that a big one went down. Glad Mona is okay!