Put a spin on the traditional triathlon by switching up running on paved roads for trails, road cycling for mountain biking, swimming for paddling, and toss in a little navigation challenge and some technical climbing/traversing sections and you have the essence of adventure racing.
Just as there are serious Ironman triathlons, easier Tinman tri-s and even scaled down versions for Kids of Steel, there’s also a wide variety of adventure races.
Most races usually contain three core elements: trail running, mountain biking and paddling. They may or may not also include navigation and a technical climbing/traverse section.
There are sprint adventure races that are designed to be completed in as short as two to three hours by solo participants, but the majority of adventure races take a minimum of one long day (with some up to five or six days) to finish and involve a team of normally three to four racers.
It’s a perfect fit for well-rounded backcountry enthusiasts.
Tips for Success:
- Like any outdoor adventure, adventure races require skills, training and the right gear (check out the Brooks-Range adventure racing toolkit with UTM plotters, all-weather fieldbook and field organizer).
- Be prepared for potential medical issues, gear malfunctions, sudden weather changes, wildlife encounters, etc.
- If you’re map and compass skills are weak, consider taking a course or joining an orienteering club.
- Join a local climbing club and brush up on your rope work if necessary.
- Get out on the trails (both running and riding) and on the water and strengthen those skills.
- Train with your team members so that you are familiar with each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
To start looking for an adventure race to match your abilities and interests, check out:
Checkpoint Tracker Adventure Racing
Adventure Racing Canada
Various International Racing Events (calendar)
Did You Know?
Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment’s All-In-One Adventure Racing Map Tools™ are the map tools used in Checkpoint Tracker Adventure Races.