Adventure racing is an endurance sport which involves travel on foot (trekking or running), mountain bike and by water (canoe, kayak, raft, occasionally swimming).

What differentiates AR from other racing sports is the inclusion of wilderness navigation using a map, compass and common sense. There is no set race course; participants must find their own route from one checkpoint to the next. The checkpoints (CPs) are marked on maps which the racers receive shortly prior to or at the start of the race. AR also differs from other sports in that racers are part of a team of 2-4 people who travel together the entire time.

The races can last from several hours to many days and are unsupported, for the most part, which means that the racers carry what they will need (food, water, gear) in backpacks for the duration of the race.

To succeed, racers will need athletic endurance, navigation skills, mental toughness, good pre-race planning, strategic decision making as well as a strong and supportive "team" mentality.

Sound intimidating? While it's true that longer races can test even the toughest outdoor athletes, AR is a very open and inclusive sport. Beginning racers will feel welcome at nearly every event. Most races are organized so that anyone at any level of experience and fitness can participate. You can find a race near you on the calendar at the USARA website.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

North Country Endurance Challenge 9/7/2013

This was a very fun race we chose to do this year. It was a great reason to check out the most northern part of NH and experience the extensive backcountry of the region. Find more info at We enjoyed our time in the woods, the local state parks and the towns of Pittsburg and Colebrook. A big thanks to Grant Killian, the race coordinator, and the local officials, landowners and volunteers who made it all possible.

We went into the race with a primary goal of having fun but definitely gave it our all during our respective legs. The race can be done as a single person completing all 9 legs (running, riding, paddling) or as a relay. It is essentially an all-day race. We did it as a relay, with each of us taking 3 legs. We did well and finished with a total time 20-30 minutes off the winners in the individual and relay divisions. In a testament to their studliness, the top finishers in the solo division, Alex Provost and Jason Urckfitz, finished within 10 minutes of the fastest relay team, a 9-person crew.

NHTV team vehicle geared up and ready to head north.

Start of leg 1 on First Connecticut Lake 6:30 AM. That is Rob in the middle not scraping the borrowed kayak on those rocks. Photo: Jo M Wood Photography

Rob zooming into TA 4 on his large bicycle

Nick, coming in to finish an arduous and confusing Leg 5. He will soon find out that it didn't count.
Photo: Jo M Wood Photography

We're going to go ahead and name drop Dave Lamb here. Here he is taking some time to chat with us mortals at the finish line, where he was volunteering.

Obligatory team photo

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