What is Adventure Racing?

About Adventure Racing

First of all, adventure racing is AWESOME.  It’s like a giant scavenger hunt in the wilderness for grown-ups, and instead of just one mode of transportation, you get to switch things up.  Adventure races last anywhere from three hours to ten or more days non-stop, and always involve travel on foot and on bike while using a map to find checkpoints along the way.  In addition there is often a paddling section involved, as well as rope work and sometimes other surprises along the way!

Here’s a video from one of our favorite 36-hr races:

The essence of adventure racing is teamwork.  Teams are usually co-ed, and team members are required to stick together at all times.  If one person has to drop out, the whole team is disqualified or can finish unranked.

At the beginning of the race or sometimes the day before, racers are given a map with marked checkpoints (CPs).  Most races will have mandatory CPs which must all be found to complete the course.  No GPS allowed, only map and compass. Often there are also optional CPs that teams can find to gain extra points.  Sometimes CPs must be found in a specific order, while sometimes you can find them in any order. A “rogaine” race format means that racers try to find as many CPs as possible in any order, within a certain time limit.  Our race will have a combination of mandatory and optional CPs, with some rogaining as well!  Basic orienteering markers will be used and each one has a specific number and hole punch.  Teams must punch their race “passport” document as they find CPs to prove they were there….they look like this:

The feeling of finding a tough checkpoint is one of the more satisfying feelings there is, and keeps you hungry for more!