Have you heard of adventure running?
Adventure running can be described as a mix of hiking ultra running and orienteering. Including elements of teamwork, navigating, climbing, paddling, and mountain biking. This form of racing has been described as the best kept secret in ultra events. Taking runners through different terrains and giving runners a brand new way to explore the world.
"Adventure Racing offers an easy crossover for cyclist, runners and water sport enthusiasts just to mention a few. Adventure races can vary anywhere from 2-5 person teams, with some events now offering solo categories. The disciplines can also vary from race to race. Adventure racing can include shredding through tight single track on a mountain bike or orienteering and hiking through a dense forest. Adventure racers may find themselves ripping down rapids in a canoe and then rappelling off a 100 foot rock face. The races can last a few hours or several days and can cover 10 - 100 miles or more!"-USARA
In an adventure running event you can expect to set out on a course unmarked and unknown. Using navigational skills to find your way to checkpoints. This adds a huge advantage to skilled navigators. Strategizing your routes and navigating well can be more valuable in an adventure race than just speed alone.
Adventure racing at its core is a team sport, though there are some races out there that can be done solo, most adventure races are completed in teams of 4. Adding an element of camaraderie and teamwork not found in most running events. The bonding experience in an adventure race is said to be the most rewarding aspect of the race.
Most adventure races use three disciplines. Running/Hiking, Mountain Biking, and Paddling.
"Like a triathlon or obstacle course, adventure racing is broken into stages, each revolving around one of the three physical disciplines (foot, bike, paddle). Each stage begins and ends with a transition area (TA), and racers must find checkpoints in between each TA using their navigation skills."-Rootstockracing.org
In a multidisciplinary sport you can imagine that the training for an event like this can be quite extensive. Here you can find a great in-depth start guide to adventure racing if you would like to begin to learn more about each discipline and what it takes to prepare for it! https://www.active.com/outdoors/articles/adventure-racing-101-a-quick-start-guide
In the running world there are many different disciplines and events that we runners can explore. Adventure racing has been growing in popularity and in the coming years you can be sure to hear more and more about these types of events!
-See you on the road!