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The Mighty Marauders

By Staff | Jul 7, 2010

The Montville Marauders, their support team, and relatives, take a moment to check out the Wetzel Chronicle before the Yukon River Quest, a 460-mile race, began. Pictured from left are Cathy Westfall, Jayson Fabian, Erin Fabian, Kevin Morgan, Danny Westfall, Amy Holliday, and Debbie Morgan.

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. -Helen Keller

My cousins, the Montville Marauders can certainly say that they are living life, even by Helen Keller’s standards.

The father/daughter team that I wrote about in my column last week completed the 460-mile canoe race on the Yukon River.

They began the trek at noon on Wednesday and finished Saturday at 3:11 p.m. Yes, that is 75 hours in the race. When you subtract the 10-hour mandatory rest stops, they paddled for approximately 65 hours. It is unfathomable to me, but I am so proud of Kevin and Erin.

They finished sixth in their division and 42nd overall in a race that included 84 entries. That’s incredible! In fact, it’s pretty amazing that they even finished. Thirty of the teams did not complete the race.

While all of that is fantastic, the part of this whole thing that made me the happiest was when Debbie, their wife/mother, said in her blog that kept us all in the lower 48 updated on their progress, “All the race volunteers kept commenting on how they had one of the best attitudes of all the paddlers at the checkpoints. They came in laughing and joking enough that they made an impression on all the workers.”

Actually, that doesn’t surprise me one bit. They are one of the happiest, fun-loving families I know and I’m proud to say they are my relatives.

I was also proud of my brother, Danny Westfall; sister-in-law, Cathy Westfall; and niece, Amy Holliday; for making the trek north to see the Montville Marauders off on their voyage. They had a great time driving around Alaska and the Yukon in an RV and I look forward to hearing their stories soon. Unfortunately I have already heard them say that they saw more wildlife on their drive from the Pittsburgh Airport to Doolin Run than they did on their week-long drive in the Alaskan wilderness. But I do know those sightings included a moose and an elk, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t see those in Moon Township.