WAUSAU –After competing in 10 races across five states in the 2019 season, Rib Mountain Racing topped the season’s rankings in the United States Adventure Racing Association National Points Series, the racing organization announced this week. The season concluded last weekend in North Carolina at the national championship where the team finished in third place overall.

Team members Tim Buchholz, Anna Nummelin and Erik Martinez finished a physically demanding course well under the 30 hour time limit, finishing in 24:35. Of the 50 teams competing, only a third of the field was able to complete the course within the time limit, according to Rib Mountain Racing.

Co-captain Nummelin was proud of the team’s tenacity at nationals.

“This race course did not appeal to our team’s strengths.  To produce our best result at nationals on this course shows a testament to our team’s resolve,” said Nummelin, the team’s navigator. “Usually our strength is difficult navigation. This course had limited navigation, but we still managed a few tricks to save time and distance.”

Other team members for Rib Mountain Racing include Ryan Knitter and Wausau native and Ironbull executive director Andrea Larson.

As part of the team, they must stay together for the duration of the race. The team navigates with a map and compass paddling, biking and trekking to find checkpoints throughout the unmarked course. Often races include special challenges that this year included pumpkin carving, archery, bouldering, rappelling and solving puzzles.

Next year, the national championship is in Wisconsin for the first time ever.

The team doesn’t just race at an elite level; it also organizes the Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge every Memorial Day weekend to give back to the community.  The event has raised more than $10,000 for student scholarships at UWSP at Wausau, the racing team said.

The Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge will be one of six Ironbull races in 2020.