What is Adventure Racing?

Have you heard of Adventure Racing? I think it's a really great sport for the outdoorswoman, since it can combine a variety of outdoor skills that you may already do regularly! According to Wikipedia, adventure racing is described as "a combination of two or more disciplines, including orienteering and navigation, cross-country running, mountain biking, paddling and climbing and related rope skills. An expedition event can span ten days or more while sprints can be completed in a matter of hours." Wikipedia also explains the history of it, but you may recognize some of the more popular events such as Mark Burnett's Eco-Challenge, and PrimalQuest. Most adventure races are team events, and team attitude and coordination can be the make or break "talent" rather than say, great biking, or fast paddling! There are many many women already doing this, and some events require co-ed teams.

Have any of you tried adventure racing? I'm thinking about trying it out next year at a small local event. I think it sounds really fun and....adventurous!


Marlana said...

I've competed in a few 6-hr sprint races & volunteered for over 10 longer races (12hr, 24hr, and 3 days) and I have to say that there is no difference between a co-ed team & all-male team in regards to finish times.

However, it always seemed to me that all-female teams were always slower and/or missed checkpoints... Luckily my father taught me to navigate from an early age, but you can really see the difference in women vs. men in navigation skills. My advice to other women? Practice! Look at atlases, highway maps, trail maps, everything & play a game where you try to guess where you are, or what terrain feature you'll see next. A bend in the highway? A hill or valley? A broad mountain, sharp peak or cliff?
For help in using UTM coordinates, try this website, then practice it out in the field!
A now defunct magazine

Dana @ The Wild WoodsWoman said...

Hi Marlana, Those are really great tips and links! I'm hoping to start with some orienteering events this year to get that practice in that you mentioned.