2012 Adventure Race Guide: Northeast


Choose Your Adventure:

• Death Race • Spartan Race • The Edge Adventure Race • Tough Mudder • Whiteface 5K Downhill Mountain Bike Race • Dogfish Dash Go back to the map >>

Death Race

The website for this insane survival race is YouMayDie.com, which should tell you something about the nature of the thing. In order to set itself apart from all of the other obstacle and short adventure races that have been popping up all over the country, this race turns the difficulty to maximum. If it were a video game, this would be like playing on expert mode. The race itself is approximately 40 miles over treacherous mountain terrain and the obstacles can get downright sadistic. Chopping wood for two hours, cutting up a bushel of onions, and carrying around a giant log aren’t out of the ordinary. The race can take anywhere from 24-48 hours to finish, but only about 15% of the entrants actually make it to the finish line. Those who do, though, can consider themselves certified bad asses. Get more information at Youmaydie.com Go back to the Northeast Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

Spartan Race

The actual length of each Spartan race varies depending on which location you pick to participate. But, they mostly hover in the 4-5 mile range which means they’re meant do be done as an all-out sprint rather than a long, drawn-out slog. The Spartan organizers manage to pack a lot of pain into those few miles, though, relying on the element of surprise and not disclosing the course map before you run the race. If you enjoy the torture that the Spartan Race offers, they also provide increasing levels of difficulty that you can subject yourself to. Tougher events include the Super Spartan, the Spartan Beast and ultimately the Spartan Death Race, which is held in Vermont and might actually kill you. Don’t forget to sign the waiver. Get more information at Spartanrace.com Go back to the Northeast Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

The Edge Adventure Race (Part of the GOALS Adventure Racing Association)

October 21, 2012 Southeastern, PA If you’re looking to try adventure racing, this fall event offers just about everything a beginner could want. The 20 mile course includes 5 miles of trekking (a mix of running, hiking, and navigating), 10 miles of mountain biking, and five miles of canoe paddling. All that should take about six hours. If that sounds like a big bite for your first race, you can also do a shorter course, which is roughly half the distance and takes half the time. There are plenty of team options as well, so you can go it alone, or opt for a team of 2-3. You can choose a single-sex or co-ed team and there’s also a Masters Division for teams whose combined ages add up to over 120. While you will have to do some navigating, it requires only map-reading skills so there’s no chance you’ll need the rescue party. Plus, it’s held in October in the north east, which means the views will be beautiful and the temperatures will be nice and cool. That little perk should really hit you at about mile 8 of the mountain biking part. Get more information at Goalsara.org Go back to the Northeast Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

Tough Mudder

If you find yourself participating in a Tough Mudder event, be sure not to call it a “race” around the officials. This military-style obstacle course was designed by special forces soldiers and represents a personal challenge. Sure, they declare winners and they keep track of your time, but it’s all in an effort to encourage people to push themselves. The events are longer than some of the other of their kind, often including thousands of feet of climbing and descending over the course of 10-12 miles. The obstacles are where the real fun comes in, though. Greased monkey bars, full-on blasts from fire hoses, hikes up steep grades while carrying a log, and a run through a gauntlet of live electrical wires are all part of the experience. Oh, and then there’s the mud. If you cross the finish line, officials will hand you an orange headband and a beer. It’s one of the fastest growing events in the country, so sign up early if you want to get a spot in the one closest to you. Oh, and throw a couple extra towels in your car for the drive home. Get more information at Toughmudder.com Go back to the Northeast Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

Whiteface 5K Downhill Mountain Bike Race

Whiteface is one of the biggest ski resorts in the country, but when the snow is all gone in the summer, the slopes are taken over by mountain bikers. The annual 5K DH race is a test of toughness and endurance. It starts with a trip up the hill in the gondola, which is scenic enough to be worth the trip in itself. The serenity ends at the top, though. Once the buzzer goes of, you have more than three miles of steep, rocky terrain to navigate on your mountain bike before you get to the bottom. The trails range from extremely technical sections to wide open fire roads where you can hit speeds that would terrify most people if you’re willing to let off the brakes a bit. They have plenty of bikes and, more importantly, protective equipment there for rent so you won’t need your own rig to race. Once you’re done with your run, you can watch some of the best riders in the world take to the course and take note of their expert lines for next year. Once the racing is over, you can check out the rest of the Lake Placid area, which is extremely scenic in the summer, and it’s much easier to see when you’re not going 35 mph on your mountain bike. Get more information at Downhillmike.com Go back to the Northeast Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

Dogfish Dash

September 30, 2012 Milton, DE Every year, Dogfish Head, the craft brewery based in Delaware, gears up for the Dogfish Dash, a 5k and 10k race. 1750 racers run the Dogdash, and then, upon their triumphant return, drink beer in celebration of their inspirational physical feat. There will be, beer, food, costume contests, and live music, and the day will be dedicated to an environmental charity. Proceeds from the event go to the Delaware Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, dedicated to restoring forests and wetlands along the Delaware Bay, aiding the many birds who stop there during their migrations. Fun, exercise, and booze, all for a good cause. How can you go wrong? Go back to the Northeast Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>