They kayaked.They rode.
And they ran.
Intrepid adventure racers from throughout the Rocky Mountain West tackled the unique test of the 2009 Purgatory Challenge in Durango on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Produced by Durango-based Gravity Play Sports, the three-stage Purgatory Challenge offered a 16-mile kayak race on Day 1, a 50-mile mountain bike race on Day 2 and a 26.2-mile mountain trail marathon on Day 3.
Familiar names worked their way to the top of the results in each of the three phases of competition and in the overall Challenger Division.
James Kovacs, a 28-year-old adventurer from Denver, was the overall Challenger champion. Durango's versatile Tom Ober, 40, finished second in the overall scoring.
Rick Callies of Durango, 48, a more-than-familiar name in local adventure racing, was third overall, followed by Scott Murrell, 24, of Albuquerque. Andrew Ferguson of Durango, 48, was fifth.
Lisa Lieb of Durango, a decorated adventure racer, was the winner of the women's Challenger category.
Chelsea Luttrall, 24, of Colorado Springs was second with Christian Nacos Evanson, 34, of Lafayette third.
Kovacs won with a dominating performance in the 16-mile, up-and-down kayak race. He finished in a Challenger category-best of 3:01:25, building a 14-minute lead after the first stage.
Kovacs also recorded the fastest mountain marathon time, finishing in 3:56:52.
He was fourth-fastest among the Challengers in the mountain bike race (5:38:27), giving him an overall best time of 12 hours, 36 minutes, 34 seconds.
Ober was next in 13:02:08.
Callies won the bronze in 13:34:32.
Lieb, 39, posted a winning total of 16:12:52 with a 3:33:17 in the kayak event, a 7:03:13 in the bike race and a 5:36:22 in the marathon.
Luttrall finished at 16:45:20.
Ober was the top finisher among the Challenger competitors in the mountain bike test. He finished in 5:24:59.
As with any mountain biking event in Durango, top cyclists with national and international experience stepped up to ride in Saturday's race.
Matt Shriver, 29, of Durango, won the 50-mile trial ride in 4:18:58. The former pro cyclist has extensive experience as a road biker and mountain biker. He's also the head coach of the Fort Lewis College cycling team.
Travis Brown, 39, of Durango, was a close second in 4:28:39. He's a former national champion, and one of the nation's top single-speed cyclists.
Joey Thompson, 23, of Durango, was third in 4:33:38. He's a former top FLC rider.
They were followed, in order, by Cale Redpath of Durango, Nick Gould of Durango, Doug Johnson of Colorado Springs and Greg Lewis and Miles Venzara, both of Durango.
Tina Dominic, 31, of Durango, was the top woman rider in the mountain bike race. She finished in 6:31:00.
Alice Drobna of Salt Lake City, 34, was second among the women with Lieb third.