Outside Magazine, February 1995
Two days into the Raid Gauloises adventure race last October on Borneo, Mark Burnett, the captain of Team American Pride, wasn't in what you might call a stars-and-stripes mood. "I don't need to be kicked in the balls to know it hurts," said Burnett. "I have no reason to finish this race." And while he was right -- the Americans stood 37th out of 40 teams at the time -- his wasn't exactly the warrior élan that the French organizers were counting on from the competitors. The Americans had stumbled at the outset. A major navigational error, an unfortunate hallmark of U.S. teams in past Raids, threw them so far off course during the opening 50-kilometer jungle orienteering leg that they wandered in circles for 24 steamy equatorial hours. Meanwhile, Team Samling, a squad of three Malaysians and two New Zealanders, was tearing up the course. Electing to run rather than walk, they grabbed a commanding four-hour lead in the jungle and proved to be equally capable in the barrage of events that followed, including whitewater canoeing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and caving. Their finish -- in four days, seven hours, and 45 minutes -- was the fastest Raid in race history, by about three days. The French Intersport squad took second, four hours back, while the U.S. team finished -- sans Burnett and one other team member -- 25th, two days back.