Day three had competitors breaking camp and heading into the backcountry early so athletes could navigate a challenging 17-mile mountain-bike loop, geocaching along the way. Tom Lyons and Lisa Lieb took a strong lead in this event, but that didn't surprise too many because both had recently won various mountain-bike multisport events. From the exhausting mountain-bike event, competitors caravanned to Lincoln County's Rainbow Canyon where teams dual-climbed a nasty set of vertical rock faces. Each team was timed, and none was allowed to watch the team before them. As it turned out, the last team--the one that had to spend all afternoon nervously listening to the cheers of the others--had the fastest time: Team Royal Blue (Adam Chase and Caroline Colonna) finished their respective climbs in less than three minutes, for a combined total time of 5 minutes and 20 seconds.
The final day of competition put the teams just outside of Las Vegas, in the shadow of Nellis Air Force Base (with jets flying overhead), where each would get a condensed advanced education in winching their LR3s up an impossibly steep sand dune. Pulling up a fully loaded 6000-pound vehicle complete with kayak and two bikes strapped to the roof isn't an everyday occurrence, but is a skill that'll come in handy for both winning teams. In addition, the winners will go for more advanced Land Rover training in early 2009 at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, England. Team Red (Jim Perkins and Brandyn Roark-Gray) posted the fastest winching time of the day with a time of 14 minutes, 52 seconds, just eight seconds better than Team Lime Green.
Once finished with the dune-winching event, scores were tallied and the major announcement made. With all competitors exhausted and buzzing with anticipation, Tom Lyons and Lisa Lieb of Team Purple took top honors, with Peter Hanson and Sarah McMahan of Team Turquoise as the runners-up. Both will go to England in January to train with other international teams to select the final two competitors that will compete in the main event in Asia in June 2009.
Congratulations to everyone who was a part of this competition.