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What is Adventure Racing?

· sport


What is Adventure Racing?
What are the rules?
Adventure Racing Types


What is Adventure Racing?

Adventure Racing is an outdoor endurance sport for teams including a combination of mountain biking, trail running/trekking, paddle sports (kayak/canoe/raft), and map and compass navigation. Adventure racing can best be described as races that integrate multiple disciplines into a single event, over a long period of time and over rugged terrain. Races can be solo or team events. The sport owes its origins to triathlon — swim, bike and run races. During the 1980s athletes took triathlon ‘off road’ and threw in a whole new mix of activities and adventure racing was born.

Entry level adventure races are usually four to six hour events and are essentially ‘off-road triathlons’ involving a lake or river swim, mountain biking and trail running (with a map and compass). From entry level events, adventure races increase in duration and number of disciplines involved, from multi-day races to elite level races over a period of weeks.

What are the rules?

The biggest and most obvious rule is that you are not allowed to utilise any form of motorised travel, so no cars or motorbikes. If you get stuck and need to be picked up, that's your race over. Another rule in team adventure racing is that the team must stay together at all times, usually within 50m of one another. For example, if you spot a checkpoint but your teammates are lagging behind, you can't sprint off to go and get it, you must wait for your team. This is the heart of the adventure racing ethos. Teams are not allowed any outside assistance, however it is actively encouraged to assist other teams if you see them struggling or in obvious danger. Finally, you must carry all your gear yourself and be fully self-sufficient for the entirety of the race.

Adventure Racing Types

Expedition adventure races last for multiple days during which teams must travel significant distances. Today, there are teams from around the world who compete to qualify for the Adventure Race World Championship.

As with many sports, adventure racing included competitions for racers of varying skill levels. Only the most skilled and experienced adventure racers can compete in elite adventure races. These racecourses travel across the most demanding landscapes and can last for more than a day.

Sport adventure racing is a bit less complicated than elite adventure racing, but it is still very strenuous. Rather than going for a specific distance, sport adventure racers work against a set time limit to reach as many checkpoints as they can. Most of these races take place on foot but can involve biking and paddling as well.

While there is no such thing as an easy adventure race, the sprint format is the easiest of the bunch. These races last for no more than an hour and a half, making them ideal for novices. Unlike other race formats, the sprint includes course markers to help with navigation.

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