A Crusher’s first experience.

Doug Glen

Like a lot of people in mid 2020 I got back into cycling. I was out for 10 years. I started training for a bike race that a friend talked me into signing up with him. Things were going well, until they weren’t. As we all know, life came to a halt. Just about everything bike related was canceled. Except the Crusher was still going to run, but changed up the format to EX. After reading through all the warnings about self-supported, have an extraction plan, and dial 911 because no one is coming for you, we thought this sounds like a bad idea and immediately signed up. Out on course of the Crusher 40 things were going well. Within 4 miles we were off course trying to find a checkpoint. We got help from some friendly crushers when they told us we were not even close and to follow them. I’d like to say it got better after that, but sadly it did not. After a lot of sand, mud, rocks, and climbing we were nearing the second and final checkpoint. We again were having trouble finding the checkpoint. Along came another Crusher who was clearly going for a fast time. He said to follow him to the checkpoint. I was in no shape to keep up with him, but my buddy was. After a few minutes they were both out of sight. I kept riding thinking I would see someone shortly. After a while I was out of water and food. My legs were cramping, and I had to push my bike up some(most) of the hills. What ended up being 3 ish miles later, the other rider came up behind me yelling “turn your phone on, your buddy is back at the checkpoint”. They ended up going off course and I rode past them. At that point I knew I failed. I mentally had quit, so I texted my friend to meet back at the truck. That was a decision I regretted later that night. I didn’t like the feeling of leaving it unfinished. I could have turned around and got that check point, but 6 miles seemed to be insurmountable in that moment. I was wrong, I took the easy way out. I said to my friend “I need to finish that ride the right way”. We then made plans to come back. We rode the Crusher 40 ex two more times that year, and finished it both times. Finish what you start. Those 6 miles taught me a lesson. You can always do more than you think you can. Since this ride I was able to finish the long Polar Roll EX, Crusher P2P, Polar Roll SnowFlake Challenge, and I will be making a second attempt at Marji in the fall.

It’s all about community.

We asked you to #adapt in 2020, and you did. Now we’re asking you to join us and #forge ahead. 2021 is about doing what you do best, making the most of what you have, and getting better every day.

While a lot of races out there are run by for-profit companies, that’s not the case for Marji Gesick, Polar Roll and The Crusher. All of our events are productions of the 906 Adventure Team, a 501(c)3 whose mission is to empower people to become the best version of themselves through outdoor adventure. We don’t have a large staff of people (two, to be exact) or significant overhead, and that enables us to donate a significant portion of race revenues in two ways:

Since 2015, we’ve given back more than $141,000 to the trail-builders of RAMBA, NTN, Sisu Dirt Crews, WinMan and the DCNT. We also support youth adventure programs in three communities and have plans for that number to grow in the near future.

In 2021 we’re building a learning management system to train 150+ volunteer Adventure Leaders, and have our eyes on the future: planning to grow from 500 youth served to thousands. Together with your continued support and a network of dedicated partners, we will connect kids with each other, their communities, and give them a healthy alternative to time spent on devices.