Heart, determination, and grit were demonstrated by all those who participated in the fifth annual Master of the Mountains Adventure Race and Relay, held on August 26 in Sugarite Canyon State Park and the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico.

     According to Jared Chatterley, Director of Parks & Recreation for Raton and an organizer of the adventure race, fifty-nine athletes participated in this year’s event, including twenty solo competitors and fourteen teams.

Local high school sophomores Andrew and Connor Lutz competed in the Master of the Mountains race for the first time this year as part of the four-person co-ed team “Up the Riv,” alongside their aunt Stephenia Grande and her husband, Bill. For runner Andrew Lutz, the race was an experience he will never forget: “My leg of the race was successful, scary, and tough. Although it was a difficult race, I honestly don’t think it could have gone any better. For me, the highlight of the race was doing it with my family. Also, coming down the bridge and shocking everyone by only being three minutes behind first place as the youngest competitor during the run - that was incredible.”

Andrew’s brother, Connor Lutz, enjoyed competing as his team’s bicyclist, helping secure Team Up the Riv’s second place finish. “Overall, my leg of the race went great. It was a little tough because I was using a mountain bike on a paved road. But on the dirt road sections, it was amazing.”

     As a first-time competitor, Andrew Lutz encourages new folks to give the adventure race a try. “It is not as scary as it may sound. It’s a really cool experience and a fun event in which to participate.”

     “This is our fifth year to hold the Master of the Mountains Adventure Race and Relay,” explains Chatterley, “and it’s neat that we have several people who have participated every year. Also, having worked out the challenges that we had faced with the shotgun shooting component in years past, the race has now evolved to a point where we can focus on increasing the number of participants. Our goal is to have over 100 participants in 2018.”

     Several changes were made to this year’s event, adding to the level of challenge for athletes. For example, Gardner Road was closed to vehicles, meaning that cyclists had to go around gates, slowing down their overall times a bit. Shooters were responsible for bringing their own ammunition, and Rocky Mountain 3 Gun added some new elements to the shooting course which were unique to this year’s course. Overall, however, the race was spectacular. “We had perfect weather this year. The kayaking times seemed faster across the board for our participants. We also saw a substantial increase in two-person teams and women’s solo participants this year,” states Chatterley.

     For Chatterley, this year’s adventure race and relay was one where camaraderie and positivity really stood out. “The highlight of this year’s competition was the outstanding sportsmanship demonstrated by the athletes. Also, everyone was very complimentary and said they had a great time, had lots of fun, and plan to come back next year and bring friends.” Andrew and Connor Lutz feels the same: “ The best part of the race for me were all the competitors,” states Connor. “They were super supportive.” “I truly loved the atmosphere at the race,” seconds Andrew. “Everyone was so nice and encouraging. I am looking forward to the next one.”

     Chatterley is grateful to those who worked hard to ensure that the 2017 Master of the Mountains race was successful yet again.  “I always want to thank all our sponsors and volunteers, from those who made financial contributions to those who donated time or in-kind donations. Without their help and support, it would be impossible to put on an event as dynamic and diverse as the Master of the Mountains.”


Master of the Mountains

    Men:   John Kabler

    Women:  Kelley Krengiel

Men Solo 39 and under

    First Place:  Andrew French

    Second Place:  Andy Edmondson

    Third Place:   Cody Truitt

Men Solo 40 and over

    First Place:  John Kabler

    Second Place: Robert McIvor

    Third Place:  Ted Kamp

Women Solo 39 and under

    First Place:  Kelley Krengiel

Women Solo 40 and over

    First Place:  Michelle Hopper

    Second Place: Suzanne Byrd

    Third Place:  Carol Brimmeier


2 Person

    First Place: Team Limp

    Second Place:  Get Out Get Moving

    Third Place:   Macartack

3 Person

    First Place: D-Lux

    Second Place:  Marvels of the Mesa


4 Person

    First Place: Carpe Diem 4

    Second Place: Up The Riv

    Third Place: Team Wicked Ones

Fastest Team Kayaker:  Team Limp

Fastest Team Runner:  D-Lux

Fastest Team Biker: Carpe Diem 4

Best Team Shooter: #MomandSon

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