In 1983, three whitewater guides attempted a record-breaking speed run down the Colorado River in dangerous waters. Their story is adapted from The Emerald Mile, which will be published in May:

“For Grua, Petschek, and Wren, getting tossed was brutal and blunt. ‘The flip was instantaneous—there was nothing rhythmic or graceful or easy about it at all—it was just boom,’ said Petschek, who was summarily dumped into the river.

“Grua was holding his oars as tight as he could. As the boat toppled, they flew from his hands, and he followed Petschek into the current. But the worst punishment was reserved for Wren.”