Jeff Bryan, Bee Mathis and Cory See are back from a walk on the wild side.
The three area athletes spent last weekend biking, paddling and climbing around Grand Junction in the 2016 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado.
There were 12 teams competing, each with five athletes, with three able-bodied and two disabled – including one wheelchair user. Each team was tasked with working together to complete a course that included multiple adventure sports.
Bryan, Mathis and See have each had a leg amputated, so they were joined by three able-bodied athletes and a wheelchair-bound athlete on their respective teams.
Mathis and her team named Pumpkin Spice finished second overall, while See’s team came in sixth and Bryan’s seventh.
“The race included miles of paddling, even more biking, trekking, and a bit of rock climbing,” she explained. “At the end of Saturday’s portion of the race I had mud caked on my teeth. My husband Brandon told me I must have been smiling the entire race. It was rainy and cold, the biking section was muddy and our bikes definitely kicked up a ton of mud. We laughed a lot, got a bit lost, and grew as a team.”
Bryan, who first introduced Mathis and See to the event, said he enjoyed working and growing together with his teammates.
“I enjoyed the camaraderie the most,” he said in an email. “My favorite event was the biking. Assisting the hand cyclist with a towline was tough work. It was very inspiring to see all the teams working together.”
It was the first time competing in the event for all three local athletes, but Mathis said she’s already looking forward to next year’s race.
“It was such a fantastic time!” she said. “Everyone said this was a life-changing event and I couldn’t agree more. My team Pumpkin Spice was truly amazing. We worked together through some tough terrain and as a team made it across the finish line.”