Weekend Update

The Hike-a-thong was a huge success! It was our biggest turnout ever for this annual event and thanks to everyone who came and hiked in thong solidarity.


Team NYARA member, Chris Rice raced in the Winter Death Race this past weekend and got 3rd place OVERALL!! We are so proud of Chris and his accomplishment. We got a short race report from one of Chris’s support team members, Greg Rice, which I’ll share here:


“Some background for those who might not know Chris’s passion, which has been driving him since 1999 when he completed his first adventure race. Since then he has done extreme racing probably on an average of 8 races a year.  They include 2, 3, or 4 day adventure races, Ironman races, triathlons, 50 and 100 mile races and the World Tough Mudder. He generally finishes in the top 10% in those races, although lately he’s been improving.This weekend he was in the Winter Death Race in Pittsfield, Vermont. I went with him as his support team, assisting him in transition from one event to next, helping him with food, drink, etc, and  being his all around cheerleader.  Chris said I “did good.”

The Winter Death Race was a 48 hour race in which there were only 50 racers allowed to enter (because of the logistics of safety and managing the race). Typically only about 15 people finish the race.   The race is completed when the racer finishes putting together a 24 piece puzzle.  Puzzle pieces are given out when the racer completes an event. The events in this race included: 2 hours of chopping wood; carrying a full pack of gear plus a 70lb bag of sand up and down a mountain at least 6 to 7 times; building fires without matches or a lighter (Chris used a flint and knife); an hour of hot yoga; 3 hours of ballet; holding the 70lb sand bag over his head for 45 minutes (15 minutes then rest and cycle it two more times); finding 30 pennies in the snow; and I’m sure I’ve missed a few.

Chris finished the race in a little over 31 hours and came in 3rd.  Chris and the 1st and 2nd place winners were 3 to 4 hours ahead of the next racer. When we left, about a dozen racers had dropped out. The race directors expected a lot more to drop on their own, but they would pull the racers out because of safety concern ( hypothermia, injuries, exhaustion).  No awards were given for winning the race, but everyone who completed the race got a small skull (the symbol of the race.)”


Again, huge congrats to Chris and thanks to Greg for this report!

10 Questions with the Race Director of Hike-a-Thong


Are any of you doing Hike-a-Thong this weekend? Are you still thinking about it? Well, we asked Race Director, Denise Mast 10 questions that will give you more info about the race and hopefully convince you to do it!


1. Do you have to wear a thong?

You don’t have to wear a thong but you will be given one and we can hope that you carry it along with you in a show of thong solidarity. It makes a great neck gaiter or face muffler.

2. Considering the various polar vortices we have been subject to do you have any specific gear suggestions (i.e. poles, snowshoes, etc)?

Basically, dress in layers. Weather should be in the 30’s and there will be a good deal of hills along the way to keep your body temperature up. The trails are snow covered and it may be a good idea to wear Yak Trax or micro spikes. Unless it snows again before Sunday, snow shoes won’t be necessary. Everyone should also bring a working phone with them so they can call if they get lost.

3. Should racers carry food? how much?

Bring enough food/snacks/water for 6 hours whether you plan on being out that long or not. There are plenty of bail out options and shorter route choices so bring what you feel will be appropriate.

4. What about water?

Same as above

5. If I am the best hike-a-thonger out there what kind of prize can I expect?

The prize for the best hike-a-thonger will be something crazy valuable as evidenced by past NYARA prizes. It’s usually something that I find laying in the back of my truck.

6. Is this a good race for spectators?

Not at all. The Hike-A-Thong isn’t really a race as much as a fun hike/run. The participants will be out on various trails of their choice and spectators won’t be able to see them.

7. If I am new to hiking (and thong wearing) is this a good race for me?

Yes, again this isn’t so much of a race as it is a fun hike or run (depending on how fast or how far you want to travel).

8. Do I need strong orienteering skills for this race?

Nope – no orienteering skills will be needed as the hike/run will take place all on trails. Basic trail reading will be necessary. If you can follow trail blazes, you will be fine.

9. Is this a solo event or can I bring a teammate?

Of course. You can bring friends/family/the dog/whomever.

10. Do you have any last minute suggestions to make this race extra awesome?

Just come out and have fun. Again, no pressure to compete for time or prizes. Participants will have 6 hours total to hike around and be home in time for the big game.

Thanks Denise! For all of you who are still undecided, stop thinking and just register! Click here for details