Crusher Race Report

Sarah Romanik

Attitude of Gratitude:
In the inaugural run, participants were given 24 hours to finish a 50+ mile adventure run through the wilderness on ungroomed and unmarked trails without aid or crew. There were 3 checkpoints along the way we had to take selfies at to show we did the entire course. With required gear our packs weighed 12 lbs give or take. Sounds way too easy, right who needs that much time to finish 50 miles?!

I started the day with this text from my coach.
“Have fun enjoy the journey have Gratitude for the suffering 🙌🏻🙏🏻”

We were dropped in the middle of the woods at McCormick Tract Wilderness Head gate. The trail was unmarked and basically non-existent for the 1st 7 miles. There was an abundance of bushwhacking. We went through midthigh deep Beaver Dam. Then up a moss covered pretty much sheer rock face to the top of a hill. I was averaging 1 fall per mile because my feet kept getting caught on terrain features. The next 11 were still too technical for me to run. At this point I was falling apart mentally and wanted to cry and quit. Saying it out loud helped immensely. Grateful that Scott stuck with me, he reminded me that we had plenty of time. I did a mental reset on expectations.
Then 12 miles of sand covered road where we did intervals. Grateful that we can make up some time. I was stung by ground bees. I have never screamed and cried so loudly in my life; no kidding 0-10,000 pain in 1.6 sec flat. Then I got stung again, more screaming and crying ensued. I decided it was time for another mental reset. Find the gratitude in the suffering. Jocko and Good came to mind. Ok, I was stung and it HURT, feeling pain means I am still alive and if I’m still alive, I can keep moving forward. Feeling better, we moved on again. Apparently my feeling grateful for the stings was taken seriously though, as I was attacked a 3rd time. Then a bee started circling me and I literally sprinted as fast as I could until I got away, I would walk so Scott could catch up and another one would appear, off I went again. 3 times this happened. Grateful to learn that I can move pretty quickly when it matters, fastest mile of the race. Then another bee, this time it didn’t chase me when I ran though, it stayed with Scott. Grateful to find out it wasn’t personal. (Oragel works on ground bee bites)
There was a porta potty, AND IT HAD TOILET PAPER, it’s the little things that can make your day.
It was straight up rock strewn ravines to the top, then down them to the bottom. Even the flats were tripping hazards with all the rocks and roots. Find gratitude in the suffering. Missed a checkpoint? Grateful for the bikers that told us where we could find it, plus, who doesn’t love bonus miles? At some point your gratitude becomes a tad sarcastic “wow, more technical terrain. I’m so happy about that because I need more practice on technical trails.” “More uphill, my favorite, time to practice my hiking skills” “It’s not that bad, I’m not saying I’d build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely” After dark when you start asking if the view is worth the climb to the top.
Grateful that my feet didn’t swell, grateful that I got no blisters, even though I spent over 10 miles in wet shoes and socks. I didn’t even know my feet were that angry until I put on clean, dry, and freshly powdered socks. Grateful for the people that appeared out there unexpectedly with food and water. We ended up only filtering twice. The bikers that would offer us food and call us the real rock stars. There was so much about this race that could have made me quit and throw in the towel. I’m grateful for my coach’s reminder to find the gratitude in the suffering. This race was very humbling. We for sure thought we would be to Forestville well before dark. We weren’t, but we finished it. #nottodaysatan

It’s all about community.

906 Adventure Team is a 501c3 Non-Profit based in Marquette, Michigan. Since 2014 we have been creating outdoor adventure experiences for youth through Adventure Bike Club and events like Polar Roll, The Crusher, and Marji Gesick. Our take on life is pretty simple – it’s an adventure. In life (and adventure) stuff doesn’t always go to plan. Things go wrong. Bad things happen to good people and you don’t overcome it by complaining or pointing fingers. The truth is adversity brings out the best of us – by taking us down unknown paths to find it. 


906 Adventure Team uses revenue from the events to support trail organizations and create more youth Adventure Teams. 


The Marji Gesick will donate $27,000 to local trails this year, bringing total trail donations since 2015 to $216,000. 


In 2022, with the help of corporate partners, we invested $40,000 in youth programs for three new Adventure Team communities. Resilience, confidence, community, and a sense of belonging have never been more important than it is for kids today. Adventure Teams help them “find their people”, the way you feel like you’ve found yours at Marji. 


We want you to know when you support 906 Adventure Team and the events you’re making life better here in Marquette County and in communities across the Midwest.