What is Adventure Racing?

We all like reading about or watching adventures. However, participating in an adventure is something altogether different. Adventures are not just stories where a hero has to battle hordes of monsters and find a way to save the world or universe. Adventures are for some people, going to the supermarket, or even leaving their homes. 

But for some, adventure includes going outdoors and going to the mountains or maybe even racing. What about combining the two, getting something like adventure racing. This is a real multidisciplinary sport that people love competing in. Let us explore it a bit further.

What is Adventure Racing? The Origins of Adventure Racing

Adventure racing is, as mentioned above, a multidisciplinary sport. It involves trekking, mountain biking and canoe paddling as basic disciplines. Some types of adventure races are different and include other sports like rock climbing, skiing, horse riding, abseiling, and even white water rafting.

The very name tells us that there will be serious skill involved and that the routes will involve danger, sometimes due to the very nature of the sport. Adventure racing was created in the 1980s in New Zealand and Alaska, with the Alpine Ironman in New Zealand and the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic in Alaska. The races were developed in the 1990s, and governing bodies were created. They became popular so countries started recognizing them and organizing their own races.

What Type of Races Can We Expect?

The disciplines mentioned above can be present in almost all race types, except the shortest ones, which are meant to last anywhere between two to six hours. Races can be sprint, which is the one mentioned above, 12 and 24 hour races. Races can also be 36 to 48 hours, as well as multi-day. There is also the expedition race, which can be up to 11 days.

Such races have all the disciplines mentioned above, including orienteering, cave exploration, swimming, and more. Gear is transported by the race organizers. Some race types, particularly the short ones, do not allow navigation tools to be used. It is worth noting that the adventure races are team races and not single person races. This also has to do with the nature of the sport, it being very dangerous.

Where Can We Find Adventure Races?

Anywhere in the world is the answer. Almost all countries have some sort of adventure races being held. Some are more standardized, according to the rules of the major governing bodies, while others are more loose, or rather, have their own little sets of rules. Every country has some style of adventure race, some being more similar to the spirit of the original races, which did include canoeing, mountain biking and trekking. 

Adventure races, it sounds like fun, doesn’t it? They are multidisciplinary sports which include trekking, mountain biking and canoeing, as well as climbing, swimming, rope work, orienteering, and all other kinds of outdoor challenges. They can be short or multiple days long. Will you sign up for one?