CARSON CITY, Nev. – Land Rover North America and the Nevada Commission on Tourism have selected 20 amateur athletes from around the country to compete in the Land Rover G4 Challenge Nevada Passage.  The adventure competition, May 5 – 9, will serve as the national selection event for Land Rover’s Global G4 challenge.  The competition will travel through the south eastern part of the state, kicking-off and ending in Las Vegas.

Ranging in age from 25 to 47, the 10 male and 10 female athletes have been paired into coed teams for the competition.  Participants were selected from a pool of applicants that entered online at landroverg4challenge.com based on athletic background and off-road driving experience.

Each team will race in Nevada, competing in driving challenges and outdoor adventure activities designed to test teamwork and skills such as 4x4 driving, navigating, trail running, and mountain biking and kayaking. The top two teams from the national competition in Nevada will advance to the international selection event in early 2009, where one team will be selected to represent the United States in the final challenge in Asia.

“Some of the top adventure athletes from around the country will compete in Nevada for a chance to represent the United States on a global stage,” Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki, Nevada Commission on Tourism chair, said. “We are looking forward to welcoming them to Nevada and showcasing Nevada’s incredible opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers of all skill levels.”

Last year’s Nevada Passage adventure competition champions Tim Menoher of Erlanger, Ky., and Linda Lindsay of Petaluma, Calif., were invited back to defend their title and race in the brand new Land Rover G4 Challenge format.  In all, this year’s competitors represent 13 states, spanning the country from California to South Carolina and a variety of professions, including glass blower, attorney, mental health counsellor and doctor of oriental medicine.  Three of the athletes are from Nevada; returning competitors Tom Lyons and Phillip Glenn, both from Reno and first time competitor Sarah McMahan of Incline Village.

“All of these athletes are experienced outdoor adventurers who have competed in a wide range of adventure competitions,” Chris Marchand, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Land Rover North America, said.  “We are excited to have these talented competitors represent the United States and the Land Rover brand.”

The roster of confirmed athletes, which is subject to change, lists the competitors by name, age, profession and city of residence, with the woman’s name first and grouped by team:

Linda Lindsay, 43, office administrator from Petaluma, Calif.
Tim Menoher, 37, bank sales director from Erlanger, Ky.

Sage Grossi, 30, college professor from Tempe, Ariz.
Nathan Brown, 31, hyperbaric technician from Cedarburg, Wis.

Caroline Colonna, 44, doctor of oriental medicine from Taos, N.M.
Adam Chase, 42, attorney from Boulder, Colo.

Rachel Cieslewicz, 29, personal trainer from Salt Lake City, Utah
Scott Fredricksen, 33, sales manager from Greenville, S.C.

Laura Home, 35, elementary school teacher from Santa Cruz, Calif.
Phillip Glenn, 31, emergency medical technician from Reno, Nev.

Sarah McMahan, 36, sales representative from Incline Village, Nev.
Peter Hanson, 43, sports medicine physician from Minneapolis, Minn.

Emma Garrard, 27, photo journalist from Truckee, Calif.
Dean Kruuse, 35, repair shop owner from San Diego, Calif.

Lisa Lieb, 37, property manager from Durango, Colo.
Tom Lyons, 47, real estate investor from Reno, Nev.

Brandyn Roark-Gray, 29, mental health counselor from Sandpoint, Idaho
James Perkins, 34, construction company sales from Huntington Beach, Calif.

Marne Smiley, 25, director for Michigan MTB Assoc. from Ann Arbor, Mich.
Garrett Wheeler, 27, glass blower from Waitsfield, Vt.

The Land Rover G4 Challenge is recognized as the one of the world’s top off-road driving and adventure events and held every two years with national selection events taking place in 18 countries around the world. This year marks only the second time the United States has participated in the global competition since the inaugural event in 2003.

The Nevada Passage, first held in 2005, is the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s one-of-a-kind, annual made-for-TV event designed to highlight Nevada’s topography and showcase the vast array of adventure sports opportunities found throughout the state.

The competition is syndicated on national networks throughout the country and the hour-long show is seen by more than 2 million viewers each year. Past competitions have included events such as back-country skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, sand boarding near Fallon, kayaking on the Truckee River in downtown Reno and rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon, just outside Las Vegas.
 
For more information on the Land Rover G4 Challenge Nevada Passage, visit www.landroverG4challenge.com. For highlights and information on previous Nevada Passage competitions, visit www.nevadapassage.com.