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In praise of the Bleeding Nipples

Adventure race team places second at Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race



On Saturday, March 26, the Whistler team of Gary Robbins and Mark Fearman trekked, kayaked, ran on the beach and mountain biked a 35 km sprint course to finish seventh overall and second out of nine teams in the male team-of-two category.

Close to 100 people took part in the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race in Duncan, including some of the top adventure racers in the province.

The fastest time belonged to Dave Norona of North Vancouver, who completed the entire distance in four hours, three minutes and 35 seconds. Norona is a member of the Supplier Pipeline team, one of Canada’s top expedition racing teams, and a past champion of events like the Sea2Summit race.

The co-ed team of Normon Thibault and Wendy Simms were second in 4:09:38, while solo Ryan Ervin was third in 4:18:15.

The Bleeding Nipples team, Robbins and Fearman, posted a time of 4:43:41, just over four minutes back of the top male team of two in the race. The slowest teams finished about three hours later.

"If Mark and I hadn’t lost our way three times, we would have won our division… but such is adventure racing," said Robbins.

Still, even with a few navigational errors Robbins says the self-sponsored Bleeding Nipples finished well ahead of several experienced corporate teams. Third in their category went to a team sponsored by Helly Hansen.

"We consistently finish ahead of sponsored teams (in adventure races)," said Robbins. They’re not married to the Bleeding Nipples name, Robbins explains, and are looking for sponsors to help cover costs at future races.

This summer Robbins and Fearman will be competing in a lot of racers, including the Half Knacker, the Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run, and the 67 km STORMY in Squamish. The list of adventure races on their schedule includes the Raid the North in Nelson in August and the Sea 2 Summit race from Squamish to Whistler.

"We’ll be doing a lot more training and a lot less racing this year. Apparently that’s what smart people do."

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