Gravity Matters News Archive:
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The 2004 Table Rock Challenge was a success for first time race directors, Jason Elsenraat and Brandi Resa. The amount of preparation and planning for putting on a race is incredible and Jason and Brandi learned a lot from the experience. Brandi's co-director race report can be found here.
Deron Graham and Paul Freeman competed at the Table Rock Challenge and managed to return with a respectable 6th place overall finish.
Casey Caughron and Brandi Resa joined up with Brandi's brother, Eric Resa to race at Robber's Cave. This was Eric's first and probably only race but he seemed to have a good time. I think it was Brandi's intention to convince him that she's not the only "crazy" person out running in the wood for a day or more. The team managed a 16th overall finish.
Founding Gravity Matters member, Aaron Luffman, was recently accepted into the United States Foreign Services. Aaron and his family have been temporarily relocated to Washington D.C. but will be headed to Aaron's first assignment in Baku, Azerbaijan. We wish Aaron and his family well with his new adventures. You can keep up with Aaron at his family website here.
The USARA National Championship is underway. You can track Gravity Matters race progress in near real time on the leaderboard page of the USARA Nationals website. It looks like the team is off to a great start.
The Gravity Matters team made up of Deron Graham, Jason Elsenraat and Laura Szemplenski are less than a week away from competing at the USARA National Championship in French Lick, Indiana. The team has been putting in many hours of preparation and should be in great shape for the race. We'll be wishing them well as we wait for a great race report.
Read about Gravity Matters championship qualifying race here.
Gravity Matters qualifies for the 2004 USARA Adventure Race National Championship. That's right. The Gravity Matters team of Deron Graham, Jason Elsenraat, Rick Steurer, Laura Szemplenski, placed 3rd at the Extreme Heart Challenge and thus have qualified for the national championship race in French Lick, Indiana. This is a major accomplishment for the team.
The Gravity Matters team of Deron Graham, Jason Elsenraat, Johnathan Bubalo, Rick Steurer also came back from the Raid the Ridge with a 1st division, 6th overall finish. The race report can be found here.
After two races, Gravity Matters welcomes Rick Steurer to the team. Hopefully we'll have a bio up for Rick soon.
This weekend (6/19), Gravity Matters will be sending a team to the 2004 Raid the Ridge. The team will try to better last year's 2nd place over-all finish. The team this year will consist of: Deron Graham, Jason Elsenraat, Johnathan Bubalo and a new comer, Rick Steurer. The race will be held near Castana, Iowa.
In other news… Jason and Brandi managed to keep secret from the rest of us their plans for directing their own Adventure Race. When we heard about the race we immediately thought "where in Kansas City would they hold a race?" Well the answer is about 200 miles south of Kansas City in the Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Missouri. With the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake nearby, this should be a heck of a race. More details, and these are the only details Jason and Brandi have shared with the rest of the team, can be found at the race website, TableRockChallenge.com. We guarantee many of the Gravity Matters team members will be there, either racing or supporting.
A belated congratulations to Aaron and Robyn Luffman on their recent new arrival. The new little adventure racer, Anders Luffman, arrived at 12:24 am on May 27, 2004. He came in at a healthy 8lbs. 14 oz, 21 1/2 in long. Mother, Father and baby are doing well.
New links to some older photos have been added to the Gallery page. Hopefully, we'll be adding new stuff soon.
Wow, it's March already and Gravity Matters has not participated in any adventure races this year. In previous years this would have been due to a lack of race options but adventure racing has exploded and good races can now be found all year round.
Our team race attendance for the first half of 2004 may be light for a few reasons.
Aaron and Robyn are expecting their first child in May which obviously has kept Aaron close to home. Mat and Bethany also recently had their first child last fall but Mat has already said he's ready to get back to racing. Casey will be getting married in April, which unfortunately happens to be the same weekend as the Ozark Challenge despite his plea to the race director to not schedule the race that weekend. Also, many of us are still recovering from last year's commitment to racing which has created many race scheduling conflicts for this year. Finances, household, school, job, vacation time and family can all take a pretty good hit when you are committed to preparing for and participating in adventure races.
So are we setting around? Heck no! Deron spent the winter lifting, biking, running and rock climbing nearly everyday so he's more than ready to race. His condition is evident by his recent 2nd place division , 12th overall, finish at the Devil's Revenge off-road duathlon and later that day he participated in the Possum Trot Orienteering Club's 8hr night ROGAINE. Several of us paired up into different teams for the ROGAINE and team Aaron and Brandi managed a 1st place finish in the mixed team category (check out their map with route choice here). Way to go! The rest of us also did well and we all had a great time.
Short, individual and small team races may be all there is to report for a few months while we recover, regroup and reassess races for 2004 and into 2005. Since several of us are race ready but haven't been able to mesh schedules, feel free to send an email if you need a team member for a race or are interested in joining Gravity Matters.
This year's end is near so it's time for a little reflection. 2003 was a great year for Gravity Matters. We participated in a lot of adventure races, orienteering races, mountain bike races, an off-road duathlon, team training events, trips to the doctor, and some of us even ran up Pikes Peak for fun. Highlights from the year include:
2004 should be another promissing year. We hope to focus on full day and longer races and possibly add a few more team members (if you're interested in joining Gravity Matters please email us). Several race possibilites have been posted on our 2004 race calendar and we hope to add more as the race directors post their events.
The forums (message board) are up and running. Sign up for an account, post questions, answer questions, list your race or team's website or just read for fun.
Train hard and see you in 2004!!
The 2003 US Rogaining Championship proved to be quite a challenge. The competition and terrain were tough and Deron and Casey were still a little wore out from the Berryman Adventure race. The event was attended by several adventure racing teams, several of which had Eco-Challenge and Primal Quest veterans. Deron and Casey finished in about the middle of the pack of around 40 teams.
We're sad to report that Aaron and Jason will not be participating at the St. Louis leg of the Southwest Sprint Championship Series. Both Aaron and Jason have not been able to properly train due to illness and other commitments.
Two Berryman Adventure race reports are now up for viewing. Gravity Matters' can be read here. The Gravity Matters Two's can be read here. Don't for get to sign up for an account in the forums and post your question or comment about this race.
Aaron Luffman and Jason Elsenraat have decided to attempt a repeat of their first place performance at the Southwest Sprint Championship Series. This time they will find themselves in Castlewood State Park near St. Louis, Missouri. The race will be held November 1st.
Deron Graham and Casey Caughron will be heading out this weekend to the 24hr 2003 US Rogaining Championship. This US Orienteering Federation sanctioned team orienteering event will take place at Deam Lake in the southern part of Indiana. The format puts teams of 2-5 against each other in a challenge to collect as many checkpoints as possible within 24 hours. Each checkpoint is assigned a specified point value based on its difficulty. The most points will win.
Gravity Matters will be competing against a couple national and world champion orienteers but they believe their adventure racing skills will help them be competitive. "We're planning on approaching it like a long orienteering/trekking section in an adventure race". The results should be interesting.
Gravity Matters astounding finish at Raid the Ridge has been featured in an online article from the Mapleton Press. The article can be found here. Then come back to read our race report posted by Brandi Resa.
Both Gravity Matters teams successfully completed the Berryman Adventure race. The 4 person, Gravity Matters, completed the course in about 25 hours and finished in 15th place. The 2 person, The Gravity Matters Two, completed the course in about 28.5 hours and finished in 13th place in the 2 person division. Both teams were leading the race for the first few legs but Gravity Matters' miss marked map and a couple bad route choices and a nap for both teams dropped each to a lower finish place. The miss marked map really broke the spirit of the 4 person team since they came in to this race strong and with the hopes of qualifying for the USARA Nationals in California. The team was able to recover and change their focus on enjoying the rest of the race. For Johnathan and Casey, just finishing was an accomplishment since this would be their third attempt at completing this race. Both teams had a lot of fun and learned new things. We will be back next year and with a vengeance.
Full race reports from each team are in the works and should be available soon.
Gravity Matters has returned from Raid the Ridge with an astounding 1st in division, 2nd place overall performance. Great job team! Now on to the Berryman...
September 27th, Gravity Matters will be sending two teams to the Berryman Adventure. Billed as a "real ass kicker", this race has proven to be quite a challenge over the last couple of years. We have been looking forward to this race all year and are more prepared than ever to slay the beast. ...expect an exciting race report from at least one of the teams.
Gravity Matters will be on their way to Raid the Ridge in Iowa this weekend. Racing are Jason Elsenraat, Brandi Resa, Deron Graham and Aaron Luffman.
The team is in pretty good shape, having returned from a weekend 12 hour mountain bike race in Springfield, Missouri area. Deron, Aaron and Brandi competed in the solo division having placed 6th male, 7th male and 1st female respectively. Johnathan Bubablo and Jason entered the 3 person relay category as a 2 person team and finished in 6th place.
Soon...the adventure race we've all been preparing for, the Berryman Adventure, will be upon us. Stay tuned.
Special congratulations to Mat and Bethany Maynor on having their first child. Soon to be adventure racer Kegan Joseph Maynor was born August 25th. Kegan weighed in at a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches long. Mom, Dad and baby are doing fine. Congratulations!
On the same weekend Deron Graham and Casey Caughron participated with Kerry Davis and Daron Bennett in the Extreme Heart Challenge at Ponca State Park, Nebraska. The team raced under the name Flying Monkeys and returned with a 20th place finish out of 49 starting teams. A complete race report will be coming soon.
Many new site updates have been made including the addition of message forums, an AR news page and several race reports including the 2003 Mark Twain and the North Georgia AR. ...more site updates coming soon.
Gravity Matters team member's have been training hard in preparation for several races later this year. Deron Graham and Casey Caughron are leaving town for Oklahoma City to participate in this year's Trail of Tears 100 mile mountain bike race. Casey and Deron are also preparing to race with the Flying Monkeys at the Extreme Heart Challenge.
Aaron Luffman and Jason Elsenraat have been training hard for one of the Southwest Sprint Championship Series adventure races. This will be Kansas City's first local sprint length adventure race.
Mat Maynor just return from the Barr Trail Mountain Race, a 12 mile trail run up and down Pikes Peak in Colorado. Mat reports, "We are at a definite disadvantage when it comes to altitude racing." Yep, that's a problem for us flatlanders.
Gravity Matters has returned from the Mark Twain with a 12th place finish; only 15-20 minutes out of 3rd! Great job team! ...race report coming soon...
Look out kids! Gravity Matters will be participating in the 2003 Mark Twain Forest Adventure Race. Racing this year will be Aaron Luffman, Brandi Resa, Mat Maynor and Deron Graham.
Brandi reports from the road that they successfully completed the Rock, Roll and Rattlesnake Challenge at around 59 hours total race time. Brandi sounded pumped. Expect an exciting race report soon.
Brandi Resa has graciously offered her adventure racing skills last minute to a team in need. Brandi will be participating in the 3 day Rock, Roll and Rattlesnake Challenge in Haskell, Texas starting May 1st. This will be the longest race that any member of Gravity Matters has participated in to date. We're hoping Brandi can bring back a lot of experiences to share with the team. Brandi left so fast that we're not even sure of the team name that she is racing with. All we know is that they are experienced and are using this race to help prepare for this year's Primal Quest. Go Brandi!
Gravity Matters had an interesting experience at the 2003 Ozark Challenge. Racing this year was: Deron Graham, Brandi Resa, Jason Elsenraat, and filling in last minute for Mat Maynor who injured his knee was Keith Lay. While the team was not able to successfully complete this year's race, the members of Gravity Matters gained a lot of experience and confidence in their ability to be competitive. It may have been a little too much for Keith to fill in last minute without properly preparing, as Keith became ill around the 17hr mark thus resulting in Gravity Matters' early exit from the race.
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