Sought after cowbell
Not so long ago, Toni Guthrie couldn’t run the distance of a city block. Now she's creating adventures.
Her life all changed when her mother suffered a heart attack at age 51.
Guthrie, now 33, started working out, making it a lifestyle. She loves it so much now that she is organizing an adventure race in North Platte -- a bike/run adventure.
Adventure races are the most fun way possible to exercise, she says. She has often gone to other towns to compete.
The one is called the Urban Cowboy adventure race. It is part of the Platte River Fitness Series. It begins at noon Saturday.
Teams will run, trek, bike and navigate their way in and around North Platte within an allotted time, finding checkpoints and meeting challenges.
Teams have to adjust their strategy as they go, deciding which checkpoints to go for so they can still make it back before time expires.
More distant, challenging checkpoints give teams the most points. Team challenges are catching tossed objects or helping a blindfolded teammate navigate a course. The challenge must be successfully completed before the racers can go on.
Sometimes they travel by foot, sometimes by bicycle. They carry a map and usually discuss strategy as they go.
It’s a test of endurance, teamwork, coordination and thinking power, Guthrie said, in contrast to the tediousness of standard workouts.
“Teamwork and navigation are key,” she said.
So far, 40 2- and 3-person teams have signed up. That’s a nice number for the first time in North Platte, she said. Registration is open until midnight Monday, but last-minute racers can squeeze in by emailing Gutherie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost is $30 per person. Check in is from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday. A mandatory pre-race meeting is held at 11:30 a.m. There is a two-hour course and a four-hour course, and there are separate men, women and co-ed divisions.
The winners receive bragging rights plus a commemorative cowbell they can strap to the front of their bicycles, Gutherie said. All participants get a tee-shirt and free meal.
Proceeds benefit the development and maintenance of North Platte’s hike/bike trails.
Gutherie said she was no athlete when she started. She “did various sports terribly since high school.”
But her mother’s heart attack changed her. She said her mother seemed to be in pretty good shape and was eating right. After that heart attack, they make a pact to workout together.
It was tough, but “once you get past the wall by competing against yourself, it’s fun,” Gutherie said.
“We worked our way up,” she said. “It got addicting. And these adventure races, they are the most fun.”
For more about the year-round Platte Valley series of fitness races in and around North Platte, click HERE.