Pictures from the race!

Pictures of race setup and volunteers

Pictures of course setting from volunteer Susanne

Pictures from the MTA on the east side of Lake Tillery

Pictures from volunteer Patsy

More from Patsy

More from Susanne (includes finish line pics)

Pictures from Don

IPAR08 Results!

What a beautiful day for racing!! Thanks to all the racers who came out to race the 2008 Impossible Panther! Thanks to the volunteers who helped set the course, staff the TA’s and picked up the course! It wouldn’t have been possible at all without each and every one of you!

Here are the results in spreadsheet and PDF form.

Results summary – PDF

Results detail – PDF

Results detail – XLS

If anyone has written a race report, we’d love to put a link to it here or post it on the website. We love to hear the racers’ perspective on the course, your feedback will help make the next race that much better!

Thanks again!

Don Childrey


Course checking

Hi All!

Just thought I would send out an update on the field work for the Impossible Panther race. Earlier this week a few of us spent a very full day in MMSP and the Uwharrie Forrest area scouting the locations for control points. The weather was extremely varied through the day, started clear, sunny and warm, got cloudy mid day, and then cooled down alot and rained in the evening. We found that many of the views from the CP’s are going to be stunning regardless of the weather, since we got to “enjoy” many weather changes.

We have picked areas of the park that are going to make this race a blast regardless of whether you are doing the 4, 8, or 12 hour course. The 4-hour will be absolutely perfect for beginners, the 8-hour will be will be a good test for teams growing in experience, and the 12-hour will be the premier event for teams wanting an awesome challenge!

If you are planning on racing, please get your registration in soon. If you would rather volunteer and help us out, please email “info AT gobushwhack DOT com” about your availability on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the race weekend.

Regardless of your plans, please help spread the word about the Impossible Panther AR!

Hope to see everyone soon….

Patrick D.

Course Designer

IPAR08 pint glasses

Here’s a preview image of the pint glasses we’ve ordered for race swag. You can fill it with your beverage of choice – HEED, Cytomax, Gatorade, Guinness, chocolate milk, etc.

IPAR08 teams

4 Hour course:

Dead Weight – 2M – Dan Byars, Brendan Fitzgerald

Wandering I – 4M – Ron DeAtley, Jeff Matthews, Matthew Saraceno, Robinson Gilmore

Wandering Two – 2F – Wendy Truesdale, chris Darr

Wish You Were Here – 4C – Michele Jozwiak, Beau Burdick, Tyler Burdick, Austin Burdick

Duke Neuro – 4C – DaiWai Olson, Melissa Moreda, Carmen Graffagnino, David Parry

WASP – 2C – Deena Murphy, Sully

Riders on the Storm – 2M – Chris Kreider, Bob Wallace

Team Moxie – 4M – Matt Kelley, Andrew Craig, Jon Downie, George Rallis

The Horse Men – 2M – Gregory Moon, Marko Choma

Team Dozer – 2M – Brent Heroux, Jedediah White

8 Hour course:

Dead Men Walking – 4M – Daron Hyatt, Mike Hervey, Ashley Huneycutt, Mark Dail

Running A-Muck – 2C – Marie Winget, Stephen Morris

Team Patriot – 2M – Derick Cauthren, Darren Strapp

Aw, Scheidt, lost again! – 2M – Brett Scheidt, Scott Scheidt

Gimme Three Steps – 2M – Adam Pietrzak, Justin Wilson

Land Scrapers – 2M – Jeff Sosa, David Blakely

The Double Guns – 2C – Gene Casey, Kori Burkholder

12 hour course:

It’s all Bob’s Fault – 2M – Jeff Eichman, Robert Bucki

Ex Tri – 2C – Michelle Lindsay, David Henry

Slow and Steady – 2F – Sheila Whight, Shelly Fischer

Northern Lites – 4M – Ian Prince, Alex Lenzmeier, Charles Martz, Brent Eischen

Adventure-Us – 2M – Matthew Getz, Micheal Getz

Bobby And Ryan – 2M – Ryan Stagner, Bobby Page

Slow and Steady TrailBlazer – 4C – Paul Danie, Mike Dickinson, Janice Stafford, Tom Carpenter

Last Minute – 2C – Brian Thompson, Angela Tabor

Crossroads – 2M – Gerry Ferris, Michael Beacham

Yourmamaween – 2C – Marcilynn Smith, Rob Ward

Operation Jedburgh – 4C – Brett Myers, Patrick Barry, Jackie Auzias de Turenne, James Longanecker

Why the “Impossible Panther”?

I know you’re curious. I could tell you that it has a nice alliteration with it’s “p” sounds. I could tell you it has something to do with the nearest NFL team. Maybe it’s just part of the “Don Childrey” touch.

The “Gold Nugget” race name was inspired by the region’s gold mining history. I liked the way it tied in with the idea of finding something really special and unexpected. Hopefully those who raced the first Gold Nugget feel that way about the experience. I know I feel that way about the experience of producing such an adventure race.

This race also needed a name that had some symbolic meaning. Or at least something that sounded cool and could potentially inspire a cool looking tshirt design. I’ll spare you the long list of possibilities that I wrote down over the last few months. I eventually zeroed in on an experience I had when I lived in Montgomery County. The subject of my experience was mysterious enough to be interesting, possessed a strong enough graphic symbolism to represent the toughness and attitude of adventure racers, and I could find a word that alliterized with it well. 🙂

The story starts one sunny summer morning several years ago. I was riding in a truck down a back road with a co-worker. As we rounded a slight curve and headed into a straight-away, something up ahead caught my eye. A dark colored animal came out of the brush on the right side of the road and headed across the pavement. It walked with a purposeful, sinewy grace that immediately registered as feline. The head was held forward and slightly down, below its shoulders, just like a cat. It’s tail extended straight out behind it, not swinging, like a cat. And like a cat’s tail, it was almost as long as it’s torso.

Ok, I thought, I’m looking at a black house cat. I started to think about the superstitions about a black cat crossing one’s path, but then I realized that something was different about what I was seeing. I looked closer. The cat’s nose was just about over the yellow lines in the center of the road. And then it hit me.

The end of the cat’s tail was still over the grass on the side of the road!!

Being a highway engineer with NCDOT at the time, I was fully aware that the lanes on this particular road were 8 feet wide. That means this “house cat” was over 8 feet long from it’s nose to tip of it’s tail. That’s no house cat!

The cat was soon across the road and disappeared into the brush on the other side of the road. We slowed down of course, but could see no sign of it as we passed the spot. It took a while for what we had seen to truly register. Had we really seen a black cat that was 8 feet long? That couldn’t be an overweight house cat. It had to be a black panther, right? But that’s impossible, right?

Impossible, right?

I have never again seen such an animal in Montgomery County. But I did hear others tell similar stories of seeing large black cats. Some claim to have seen one with kittens in tow. Others claim one came up to their tractor while they were working a field. Others saw one cross the road while they were waiting for the school bus. There were even tales of dogs being killed in odd circumstances in rural areas.

With as many avid hunters as there are in the area, you would think that someone would end up with a animal like this in their sights and then in the bed of their pickup, despite the fact that it’s probably not legal to shoot such an animal that shouldn’t be here in the first place. But I never heard of anyone claiming to have shot one.

My normal reaction to such tales would have been – “that’s impossible”. But having actually seen one of these animals myself, and having had the benefit of someone beside me to confirm that I wasn’t hallucinating, I am now a believer.

The idea that a black panther, or several, could be roaming free in the Uwharries is exciting, mysterious, awe-inspiring and scary all at the same time. Kind of like the idea of setting out with a map and compass and a few friends to spend 4, 8 or 12 hours biking, paddling, and trekking through the forest to find some little orange flags. It doesn’t make sense. Why would you do that? It’s impossible.

But those of you who have done an adventure race before know the awe-inspiring feeling of accomplishment you get when your brain finally registers that it has just completed the course. Despite your doubts. Despite others’ doubts. Despite the impossibility of it. No one else but your teammates may believe you. And certainly no one else but them will know what you saw, and felt, and overcame along the way.

So there you have it, the Impossible Panther. Isn’t that enough inspiration to get you out to glide through the forest with feline grace despite the impossibility of the challenge? Ok, maybe the grace part is a bit too much to expect, but you get the idea.

Are you a believer? Are you ready to sign up for the Impossible Panther AR?

– Don Childrey, May 2007

2008 IPAR Sponsors

Please check out the webpages of our sponsors.
Their support makes the Impossible Panther Adventure Race possible!!


Online registration powered by
Online registration for Impossible Panther Adventure Race

Offline registration
Registration form
Waiver form

Registration Fees:
$55 per person – 4 hr
$75 per person – 8 hr
$95 per person – 12 hr

– Bushwhack Adventures and TrailBlazers AR Club is offering a $15 discount to members of the Trailblazers AR Club.
– Please use the offline registration form if you are using a Bushwhack Adventures winner or volunteer discount.

Registration Deadline:
April 1, 2008 (to guarantee yourself a race swag item)
April 30, 2008 (registration closes)

Refund Policy

Race Rules

These rules are written to ensure the safety and integrity of the racers, race promoter, volunteers, land managers and facilities. Bushwhack Adventures event staff and volunteers will enforce the rules.

The rules for adventure racing fall into that confusing gray area where we try to reconcile the desire to experience the freedom and adventure of charting one’s own course with the need to provide a common basis upon which to measure the performance of teams and determine a winner. The amount of freedom that can be given to teams is dependent upon how well they exercise their ability to race in a fair and honorable manner.

The fundamental rules of adventure racing are fairly simple. Teams of racers must travel by self-propelled means as they navigate their way to various checkpoints. Race directors spice up an AR with a course design that provides challenges for the teams to overcome. Most AR’s are set in wilderness locations and include the opportunity for teams to use their skills of map & compass navigation, mountain biking, running/trekking, paddling and rope work. Other types of challenges are sometimes included along the way, such as mental tasks and brain games. The goal is for teams to use their combined resources and skills to get through a course as efficiently and as fast as possible while following the rules and instructions set out by the race director.

Below are some basic rules for the 2008 Impossible Panther Adventure Race. Additional rules and instructions will be provided through this website and at the pre-race briefing.

Race management
– All participants must be at least 18 years of age.
– Team members must complete all registration forms and sign all waivers prior to competing.
– Teams may continue unofficially if a team member drops out, upon race official approval, as long as at least two team members remain.
– The race director reserves the right to modify the rules or the course at any time. Any protests can be made after completion of the race to the race director by the team captain.
– All decisions by the race director are final.
– The winner of each category on each course shall be the team with the highest point total after any point penalties have been applied.

Course Cutoff
– There will be absolute finish cutoff times for each course. For the 4 hour course, the cutoff time will be 4 hours after the official start of the race. For the 8 hour course, the cutoff time will be 8 hours after the official start of the race. For the 12 hour course, the cutoff time will be 12 hours after the official start of the race. Teams not returning to the finish line by their respective cutoff times will have their highest valued CP deducted every 3 minutes past the deadline until they finish. Teams returning by the deadline will be ranked as finishers, after appropriate point penalties for any missed CP’s have been applied.

Permitted activities
– Teams are permitted to help each other during the race. Teams may be awarded a time/point bonus for helping other teams in emergency need.
– Towing of teammates is allowed on all legs.

Ten Point Penalty
– Failure to produce any piece of mandatory gear during random gear checks during the race.
– Official race numbers must be shown upon request at any manned CP and the finish line.
– All members of each team must remain within 100 meters of each other during the event.

Non-compliance with any of the following rules will result in team disqualification.
– Teams must obey instructions from race officials.
– All racers and spectators must follow a Leave-No-Trace ethic (i.e. all garbage and gear must be carried out by racers and support crew).
– Teams must follow race instructions given by the Race Director, race officials, or found in the race passport.
– Teams must avoid any specified off-limits areas and trails. At all other times it is up to the team to decide navigation from CP to CP.
– The use of any electronic device (including laptop computers, GPS, cellular telephones, etc) other than watches or compasses is prohibited at any time.
– Teams must exclusively travel under their own power during the race.
– Support crews may only render assistance in the Race HQ TA (transition area).
– Helmets must be worn properly during all mountain biking legs.
– All teams members must properly wear a Type III PFD during the paddle legs.
– Teams must provide assistance to any person in danger.
– Interference or alteration of a trail marking, sign, control flag, or punch device is prohibited.

Event Schedule

May 2, 2008
Team Check-in (optional; all courses): 6 – 9 PM at God’s Country Outfitters in Albemarle, NC.

Preliminary race briefing and Q&A session: 7:30 – 8 PM at God’s Country Outfitters in Albemarle, NC.

Friday night free camping check-in: 6 – 10 PM at the Morrow Mountain State Park Group Camp

May 3, 2008
Team Check-in: 6 – 6:45 AM
Pre-race safety briefing: 6:45 AM
Race Start: 7 AM
Race Cutoff: 7 PM

Team Check-in: 8 – 8:45 AM
Pre-race safety briefing: 8:45 AM
Race Start: 9 AM
Race Cutoff: 5 PM

Team Check-in: 11 – 11:45 AM
Pre-race safety briefing: 11:45 AM
Race Start: High Noon
Race Cutoff: 4PM

Awards ceremony (all courses), post-race meal, and party: 7:30 PM until.


– Team check-in will consist of registration paperwork confirmation and racer sign-in. Gear checks will be done during the event.

– Group tent camping on-site for both Friday and Saturday nights is included free for team members and a few support people (please be reasonable). Bathrooms, drinking water and showers are available at the site.

– Morrow Mountain State Park also has rental cabins and a regular campground.

– There are several motels located in Albemarle, NC. These are 15-20 minutes away.