US Military Endurance Sports

USMES is Cowboy Tough!

Posted 11 Aug 2016 in News Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail
2016 Cowboy Tough Header

Photo courtesy of Chris Radcliffe


by Don Hettinger

The USMES Adventure Racing Team had a strong showing at the REV3 2016 Cameco Cowboy Tough expedition race.  Ron Flick, the USMES 2016 AR Team Manager, assembled a team for this focus event that was just right to shatter the ceiling for the USMES AR program.  Ron commissioned team members Jim Weinstein, Brian Greaser and Shannon Gaffney to join him for Cowboy Tough.  This was the longest and largest AR team race that USMES has completed since the 8 day race Expedition Alaska in June 2015.

This race was a unique opportunity for our team.  REV3’s Cowboy Tough will be the host of next years AR World Championship.  Finishing this demanding event with the USMES team has instilled and reinforced the pride I have for USMES and it’s members.  This had some of the longest most relentless segments I’ve ever done.  Mile-for-mile, this race was of similar distances found in other in the AR World Series races, however, few will throw you in a canoe for the 1st 100 miles!
– Ron Flick

The race lasted over three very long days, with 100 miles of paddling, 200 miles of mountain biking, over 10,000 feet of elevation and more than 30 miles of trekking/rappelling.  Adding this AR milestone to the USMES race portfolio, the team members also experienced many personal accomplishments and milestones.  The physical and mental challenges encountered illustrated the determination and resolve of each of the members individually and the camaraderie as a team.

It was by far the most physically demanding event I’ve done in my life!  Yes, that’s right [you] eight-person team RAAM lovers…this was harder for me.
– Jim Weinstein

I really enjoy pushing my body to limits that you really wouldn’t think your body can handle.  I like to tell people the body is far more capable than the mind would have you believe.  I love seeing how adventure racing illustrates that.  It’s incredible what you can do.
– Bryan Greaser

Now that this race experience is in the bag, Ron and the crew are already looking at advancing in the next race, with specific improvements in nutrition and endurance training.  However, these lessons learned are the only things the team is taking from the race.  The most significant are the individual struggles and memories they experienced in solitude, as well as the bonding and challenges the team overcame together.

Sleeping for that hour wrapped in a space blanket under the Milky Way will be a memory I take with me forever.
– Jim Weinstein

Check back for more on the USMES AR Team and their accomplishments.  You can also find more information and press for Cowboy Tough and the USMES AR Team at the following links:


AR World Series

Adventure Race World

The South East Missourian

2016 Rev3 Adventure Cameco Cowboy Tough Wyoming — Summit AR Team Commie Bar/ USMES

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