Gnarly Bandit update post-Kettle!

The Gnarly Bandits have again demonstrated that they are a force to be reckoned with. After April’s Zumbro race eliminated only one of the starting 11 hopefuls, all 10 remaining Gnarly Bandits rolled through Kettle Moraine’s torrential downpour, soul-sucking mud, and crushing heat and humidity with the implacability of an Abrams tank. That’s right, despite an overall finish rate of less than 45% at Kettle last weekend, every one of our 10 Gnarlies crossed the finish line!

Along the way, the mighty Tina Johnson again distinguished herself, finishing second female overall and first open female. The great Susan Donnelly was second master female. And the indomitable Angela Barbera, Steven Barge, Kevin Clark, Andrew Deering, Ty Kleiner, Jeff Leuwerke, Erik Raivo, and Carl Skustad all logged solid finishes in a tough year. Congratulations, all you Gnarly Bandits!
We’re now heading into the crux of the Gnarly Bandit series, where the hot and hilly Black Hills 100 follows only three weeks after Kettle Moraine. Be warned, Gnarlies: according to the Black Hills website, “This course is probably harder than you think it is!” It’s a fine balance between recovery and preparation for 18,000 feet of climbing in late June heat. So recover well, dry out your shoes, catch up on laundry, and be sure to clean out your hydration bladders (ask how I know about that one!). You’ve survived two of five races, Gnarlies, and the challenge continues!
 – Robyn Reed

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