Most often when refer to competing in an “adventure race” I am met with inquisitive responses ranging from “oh you mean like a Tough Mudder” to “what the fuck is an adventure race”. Seeing that we’re less than 24 hours out from our next race I thought I’d attempt to explain. The USARA defines AR as follows:
“Adventure racing at its core is a multi-day, non-stop, multi-sport event.”
In most races we compete in this typically means 3-5 disciplines that often include trail running, mountain biking, white water canoeing/rafting and orienteering. Over the course of 24 hours we’ll attempt to hit as many checkpoints as possible and still finish within the allotted time. Teams consist of one to four team members all of whom must be within 100 feet of each other at all times.
- Q: How long is the race? A: 100+ miles – over the course of 28 hours we’ll cover 100-140 miles depending on navigation decisions. There is no defined route.
- Q: Do you sleep? A: No – in a 24 hour race, we’ll try to keep moving non-stop. I imagine during a multi-day event we’d change that. (or if they outlaw 5 hour energy’s)
- Q: What do you eat? A: Likely not what you’d think – Energy bars, gels and the like here and there, but mostly junk food. We’ll burn more than 20,000 calories (not a typo) so in pure calorie-to-weight ratio Doritos, Snickers and jerky are hard to beat. We carry ALL of our own food, water and supplies for the race so choosing wisely is crucial.
- Q: What is the hardest part? A: Night-time navigation – at least for our team. Trying to find a 6” orange marker 10 miles into the woods at 4 am will break you mentally even more so than physically.
- Q: So like a tough mudder/warrior dash? A: Yes – in that it involves exercise outdoors. No in pretty much every other facet. It is long. Really, really long – Less than a quarter of first time racers finish an adventure race.
- Q: Why would you volunteer to do this? A: An excessive amount of irrational confidence and competitiveness.
On that note, we’ll be competing in REV3’s Epic 26 hour this weekend (70% chance of rain/t-storms, fuck.). Follow along with us (team Robros) on their Facebook & Twitter (hashtag #rev3) or on the checkpoint tracker live blog. Rock and/or Roll.