Daughters of Distance of the Week: The Rev3 Koa Wahine Women’s Adventure Racing Team


For three months now I have been posting a series of profiles featuring individual women in endurance sport. Today I’m thrilled to present our first all-female team! These ladies are hardcore. Allow me to introduce you to: The Rev3 Koa Wahine Women’s Adventure Racing Team



About the Team

The Rev3 Koa Wahine Women’s Adventure Racing Team is made up of four female endurance athletes from both Virginia and North Carolina. Kia Wahine is Hawaiian for Warrior Women and really embodies the team’s fighting spirit.

As individuals the team has years of experience in Adventure Racing but 2016 marks the first time they will compete together. The team will be participating in the Rev3 Cameco Cowboy Tough Expedition Adventure Race this July in the state of Wyoming. The race is a non-stop 3.5-day event during which the team will rack up over 100 miles of paddling, 200 miles of biking, and over 100 miles of trekking.

Team member Susan Alderman’s best race memory comes from the Untamed New England Race:

“It was day three in the middle of the night somewhere remote in the backcountry of Maine. I was sleep deprived, hungry and hallucinating. We had been on our feet for hours and we had just transitioned onto our mountain bikes.

Half asleep and pedaling down this lonely stretch of backcountry, I turned to look over to my right side and there was this huge creature galloping alongside me. At first I thought maybe it was my teammate, but then I realized it was something extraordinary. It was a moose!

We had been traveling for days in the remoteness of Maine and seeing evidence (droppings) of these stately creatures along the way. I was hoping to encounter one face to face. I just didn’t know it would be in the middle of the night. It was pretty wild!”

Team member Britt Mason’s memory also comes from Maine:

“It’s the sort of train wreck leg of a race that is bound to happen when you have only slept about an hour in the last three days. This section was designed for you to hike up a trail for about 10k, then packraft (think expensive blow up dinghies) down a river with class III rapids.

In the daytime, I’m sure this was a blast; however, we hit it in the dark while our navigator was basically asleep on his feet. The batteries for our lights were dying, so we didn’t feel comfortable on the water, and we kept hitting big water that would drench us. None of us wanted to go swimming at this stage!

There were checkpoints on the other side of the river we had to collect, so we ended up paddling across to get them. Crossing the whitewater was no easy task, and we had to time it right while making sure we were crossing in the right place. It was a long, cold, demoralizing night.

We saw other teams along the trail who were hypothermic and warming up or who had lost gear and even boats in the water. We ran out of food and struggled to stay awake. But as the sun rose, we made it into the final transition area and were rewarded with a final short victory ride to the finish. We had overcome a lot of things throughout the race, and there was such a great feeling of accomplishment as we headed home.”

Dusty Repphun’s memory comes from the 2013 Cowboy Tough race in Wyoming:

“We were paddling on a reservoir in Wyoming when a crazy storm came up. You could hear the wind roaring through the canyon before it hit us. Sustained 50+mph winds for hours created waves that would swamp our kayak. We paddled from shoreline to shoreline in zig-zag fashion, getting out and dumping the water from the boat, then portaging as far along the shoreline as we could.

Conditions on the beach felt like a sandstorm because of the high winds. All of the other teams still on the water when the storm hit were picked up by rescue boats and taken to the next leg of the race.

My teammate Cory and I decided we could finish the paddle under our own power and made it our personal mission no matter how long it took. At one point, Cory became hypothermic and we had to stop to get him warm. What should have taken us two hours took ten, but we succeeded, and it was a huge personal victory for both of us.”

Sarah Goldman’s favorite race memory comes from the Equinox Traverse in Pennsylvania:

“It was late on the first night of the race. My teammate Glen and I were pushing our bikes, in the dark, up a steep section of road. I was cold, tired, and hungry, which is par for the course on any long race. As we pushed, I could hear something in the woods beside me. At first I ignored it, knowing it could be any manner of wildlife and certainly whatever it was wouldn’t be interested in two skinny adventure racers. But quickly the sound got closer.

I froze thinking that the heavy footsteps must belong to something much larger than me. I remember grabbing Glen in a mild state of panic, which of course made him freeze as well. The thudding sound continued to get closer and closer, moving at a steady clip. Suddenly, out of the woods burst a really tiny toad, hopping expertly just in front of our bikes. Instantly, Glen and I burst out laughing! It may not be the most exciting memory, but what a great reminder to not make a mountain out of a molehill. Sometimes what you think is Bigfoot, is just a toad.”

To learn more about these outstanding women, visit:






What does it mean to be a female in endurance sports?

This series is inspired by my book: Daughters of Distance: Stories of Women in Endurance Sport. Here, hundreds of women open up about their realities as athletes, wives, girlfriends and mothers. From the intimacy of the bedroom to the community of competition, some of these stories will encourage and uplift. Others will surprise and infuriate. Welcome to the beautiful and complicated world of strong women.

Check out the Amazon reviews and purchase at tinyurl.com/daughtersofdistance

Will you be our next Daughter of Distance?

Interested in being featured as a Daughter of Distance? Shoot me an email at vanessaruns@gmail.com.

This is a project to feature one woman in endurance each week on social media. The goal is to connect strong women across sports and across the world in celebration and appreciation. Each Daughter of Distance will receive a copy of my book, Daughters of Distance: Stories of Women in Endurance Sports.

And don’t forget to tag your photos and stories with #daughtersofdistance to connect to this awesome community.

See you on the singletrack!

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