Racer Bios

Abby Perkiss

11011738_10103431484903623_1306025787449860944_nWhen Abby Perkiss volunteered at her first adventure race, the NYARA twelve-hour Longest Day, in 2007, she was certain she would never undertake such an epic challenge. Four months later, she lined up at the start of the GOALS ARA six-hour Edge with her new husband (and future teammate), Brent Freedland. The one-time competitive swimmer raced for Team GOALS ARA from 2008-2015, competing in dozens of events ranging from a few hours to several days. Her favorite races generally involve a high level of strategy and route choice and a healthy dose of off-trail travel, and she’s always up for good animal sightings (as long as they’re from a comfortable distance). Above all else, she believes that successful adventure racers are able to come together as a team, creating a unit that’s better than the sum of its individual parts.

Abby spends her time off the race-course teaching college history and writing about post-WWII American cities. She and Brent live in Philadelphia with their daughter, Zoe; when not in the woods, the three of them are often found adventuring around the city.

Racing Highlights:

  • Original Mountain Marathon, Iceland – 2017 (1st coed, a truly remarkable adventure)
  • CNYO Snowgaine – 2017 (1st overall – AKA, the year The Canadians stayed home)
  • Itera Expedition Race, Ireland – 2016 (8th place overall, after five days of torrential weather)
  • NAARS Championship – 2015 (an inspired course and a testament to team spirit)
  • Expedition Alaska – 2015 (As RD Dave Adlard noted after the race, it was an “epic-er” adventure)
  • CNYO Snowgaine – 2015 (the weekend we got closer than ever before to The Canadians)
  • USARA National Championship – 2014 (9th overall, 5 months postpartum and finding new depths of physical and mental reserves)
  • Untamed New England – 2010, 2012 (doesn’t get much better than the Maine woods…)
  • Adidas Terrex, Sting in Stirling – 2012 (…except maybe in the Scottish highlands)
  • Longest Day – 2012 (1st overall, tied with SOG – a great day from start to finish with Brent, Brian, and Joel)
  • Palmetto Swamp Fox – 2010, 2012 (Gators and dolphins galore)
  • USARA National Championship – 2011 (5th open, and a true team effort to get to the finish)
  • Cradle of Liberty – 2010 (1st overall, and the race where it all “clicked”)
  • Learning to rappel off of the garage roof

Brent Freedland

Brent Freedland has been adventure racing for ten years, beginning as a weekend warrior with various friends before joining the GOALS ARA race team in 2007. Inspired as a teenager while watching the annual Eco-Challenge, Brent began with six-hour events, convinced he would never do anything longer than that. A decade later, he has competed in nearly 100 adventure races and rogaines including seven expedition races ranging from 3-7 days. Brent raced with GOALS ARA from 2007 to 2015, captaining the team for the last several years. As lead navigator, orienteering is his favorite aspect of adventure racing, and he enjoys listening to his teammates chatter, especially when they think he isn’t listening.

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and teammate, Abby Perkiss, and their daughter, Zoe, who already is growing to love bushwhacking. When not focused on adventure racing, Brent is a high school history teacher and world traveler who secretly (or not so secretly) loves watching nerdy TV while running on his treadmill.

 Racing Highlights:

  • Original Mountain Marathon, Iceland – 2017 (1st coed, helluva way to celebrate our tenth anniversary)
  • CNYO Snowgaine – 2017 (1st overall; we finally got our names on the broken ski!)
  • ITERA, Ireland – 2016 (because who wouldn’t want to experience a five-day tropical storm along the Wild Atlantic Way?)
  • Expedition Alaska – 2015 (7 days of truly epic, wild adventure. Closest I will get to an Eco?)
  • ITERA, Wales – 2014 (A truly epic journey across the nation of Wales)
  • Adidas Terrex, Sting in Stirling – 2012 (5 days in the Scottish highlands)
  • Costa Rica Adventure Race – 2011 (Epic personal failure to keep me motivated)
  • Untamed New England – 2009, 2010, 2012 (5th place in 2010; packrafting in 2012; my first multi-day in 2009)
  • 9 USARA National Championships – 2007-2015 (6 top-10 finishes in the open division; 5th open in 2011)
  • GMARA’s Frigid Infliction – 2012 (we didn’t know what we were doing in the snow, but we had a blast)
  • Palmetto Swamp Fox – 2010, 2012 (once done in the snow at Snowgaine, an even better way to start the season)
  • Snowgaine – 2008-2010, 2013-2015 (always a great way to start the season)
  • GMARA’s Bitter Pill – 2008 (Epic duel with Berlin Bike and EMS; 3 minutes separating 3 teams after 12 hours of racing 2nd place finish)
  • NYARA’s Shag – 2007 (My first 24 hour event, doing whatever Bruce told me to do!, 1st place coed)

Brian Reiss

10850270_357773144395275_3404345442459937087_nBrian Reiss started out trail running and mountain biking before finding his way to adventure racing.  His first AR, with Team Adventure Pocono, was the Endorphin Fix two-day in 2000. In his early years in the sport, when Brian was rich, he dragged his family to expedition races around the world, claiming that they were vacations. These “vacations” included World Championship events in Newfoundland (2004), New Zealand (2005), and Scotland (2007). He also competed in the 2002 Raid the North Extreme in the Yukon Territory, the 2003 Adrenaline Rush in Scotland, Appalachian Extreme Maine in 2005, and Primal Quest Utah in 2006. In recent years, Brian’s adventure racing budget has been redirected toward sending his daughter, Madison, to college, and he now prefers shorter events, including eight trips to the USARA National Championships. He also has multiple finishes at the General Clinton 70-mile canoe race in New York, the longest flat-water, single-day canoe race in the world.

Brian lives in Quakertown, PA with his wife, Kelly, and works at Carson Helicopters in Perkasie, PA. He is the owner and paddle builder for Jolly Roger Paddles, specializing in carbon canoe bent shaft and SUP paddles. Brian claims that he likes the Adventure more than the Race, but he’ll push, pull, drag, and crawl with the best of them to get his team across the finish line.

Racing Highlights:

  • USARA National Championship – 2001 (1st all-male), 2002, 2009, 2010 (3rd overall), 2012, 2014 (9th overall), 2015 (8th overall), 2016 (4th overall)
  • NAARS Championship – 2015 (2nd overall)
  • Delaware Adventure Series Championship – 2013 (2nd overall)
  • ECARS Championship – 2012 (2nd overall)
  • Summited Mt. McKinley – 2011
  • US Rogaine North American Championships – 2010 (5th overall)
  • ARWS World Championship – 2004,  2005, 2007
  • Primal Quest – 2006
  • Appalachian Extreme – 2005 (3rd overall)
  • Endorphin Fix – 2000 (2nd overall), 2004 (1st overall), 2007 (2nd overall)
  • Beast of the East – 2002 (1st overall); 2004 (1st overall)
  • Raid the North Extreme – Yukon Territory 2002
  • Adventure Racing Canada – 2001 Montebello (1st overall), Vermont (2nd overall)

Jim Driscoll

11041304_10153241149202669_8636965105264822709_oJim Driscoll began adventure racing in 2012 and raced with GOALS ARA in 2014 and 2015, following his impressive win in the inaugural Meltdown Adventure Race. He didn’t stop there, taking on his first 24-hour event in his first season…a week after his first expedition race, Untamed New England! He hasn’t looked back since, and he has quickly established himself as a jack-of-all-trades, navigating, carrying extra gear, towing, winning Blazing Saddles contests, often all at the same time.

Jim lives in Philadelphia and works as a structural engineer. His athletic career started with road running, but in the past few years he has been making the transition to adventure racing, trail running, and mountain biking and he’s loving every minute of it.

 

Racing Highlights:

  • Adventure Racing World Championship – 2016 (8th overall)
  • Itera Ireland, 2016 (8th overall)
  • Primal Quest Tahoe – 2015 (2nd overall)
  • NAARS Championship – 2015 (2nd overall)
  • American Adventure Sports Equinox Traverse – 2015 (1st place overall, racing solo)
  • NYARA’s Jersey Inferno – 2015 (2nd overall)
  • GOALS ARA’s Meltdown – 2014 (1st overall), 2015 (1st overall)
  • USARA National Championship – 2014, 2015 (2nd overall), 2016 (4th overall)
  • GOALS ARA’s Cradle of Liberty – 2014 (3rd overall), 2015 (1st overall)
  • Untamed New England – 2014 (first expedition length race)

Joel Ford

After years as a lacrosse goalie, Joel followed his father into mountain biking. From there, adventure racing became his passion. He joined Team ARMD in 2009, starting with six-hour events and building to the four-day Untamed New England in 2012. Not one to shy away from challenge and adventure, he also spent much of the spring and summer of 2011 thru-hiking the AT. In 2013, Joel took a break from AR and spent the next years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia and touring the National Parks in his converted Nissan van. This year, he’s excited to settle back down in his home state of Maryland and return to adventure racing with new perspective and great stories to share with teammates in the middle of overnight bushwhacks. Joel lives in Perry Hall, MD and works as a warehouse manager for Miller Refrigeration. Outside of racing, he enjoys board games, wood working, camping, and taking advantage of as many new experiences as he can.

Racing Highlights:

  • Delmarva Adventure Sports Coastal Challenge – 2013 (1st overall)
  • Gung Ho Adventure Race – 2013 (1st overall)
  • NYARA The Longest Day – 2012 (1st overall, with Brent, Abby, and Brian, first 24-hour win)
  • USARA National Championship – 2012
  • Greenridge Adventure Challenge – 2012 (1st co-ed, 2nd overall, first win as navigator)
  • Untamed New England Expedition Race– 2010, 2012 (Totally epic)
  • Odyssey Endorphin Fix – 2010 (First multi-day race, 4th place co-ed)

Nicki Driscoll

Nicki Driscoll entered the world of adventure racing in 2016, following an illustrious career as a collegiate rower. At the time, she was look for a new outlet to channel her competitiveness, so she followed her adventure-addicted (and equally competitive) mom and brother over to AR. In her first season, she proved to be a successful adventure racer in her own right, with 1st place finishes at the Jolly Roger Paddle and Two Rivers Adventure Race, and several other chances to stand on the podium. Nicki is drawn to the teamwork aspect of adventure racing, especially coming from a sport where she and her teammates literally had to pull each other across the finish line. Nicki lives in Philadelphia and is pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. When she’s not racing or studying, she fills her time with ice hockey and climbing.

Racing Highlights:

  • Adventure Enablers Epic 2017 (1st overall)
  • Jolly Roger Paddle 2016 (1st overall)
  • Maine Summer Adventure Race 2016 (4th overall, 2nd place coed)
  • Edge Adventure Race 2016 (4th overall, 1st coed 3)
  • Wild Pig Mountain Bike 2016 (8th overall)
  • Two Rivers Adventure Race 2016 (1st overall)
Tamela Swan

profileTamela Swan began racing in 2003, splitting her time between road races, triathlons, and duathlons. In 2006, she grew bored of set courses and found her way toward adventure racing, drawn in by the promise of fun in the woods at times when most people were sleeping. For Tamela, adventure racing embodies the true meaning of teamwork. As she puts it, “you do not successfully cross the finish line as an official team unless everyone works together for the common goal.”

Tamela lives in Dalton, NH with her husband, Jon, and their two dogs, Sadie and Suzie. Her two grown children, Lindsay and Ian, live in Dallas, TX and Brooklyn, NY. When Tamela isn’t racing, she dabbles in engineering and soap making, and loves spending time with her new grandson.

Racing Highlights:

  • NYARA Shag 2015 (1st coed)
  • North Country Endurance Challenge, 2014
  • Iron Cross 2013
  • Rochester Fall Classic, 2012 (1st female)
  • USARA National Championship 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 (4th place)
  • Untamed New England, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Pinnacle Challenge, 2007, 2010 (1st female, 2010)
  • Ironman Wisconsin, 2007
  • Wildman Biathlon, 2005 & 2006 (1st female), 2007 (1st in age group)
  • Ironman Lake Placid, 2006
  • Great Floridian, 2005 (1st Masters female)