2012 Adventure Race Guide: Northwest


Choose Your Adventure:

• Spartan Race • Graffiti Racing The Point Adventure Race • Black Bear Challenge • Adventure Xstream Racing • Tough Mudder 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 Northwest Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

Graffiti Racing The Point Adventure Race

June 29, 2012 Wasatch Front, Utah Before this race kicks off, the racers don’t know where they’ll be going, which is a big part of the adventure. You stand at the starting line with a compass and a map, ready to make your way wherever you’re told to go. There are a variety of courses as part of this race, ranging from 40-100 miles of tough Utah ground to cover. That means you can race for anywhere between 4 and the full 24-hours depending on your level of commitment and skill. Once you get to the starting area, you’re given a chance to analyze the map and figure out the best way to hit all the checkpoints before heading out. You’ll have to plan your gear drops and other strategic maneuvers if you want to make it to the end in a timely fashion, which makes it more challenging than some other races. All of the races also include some climbing at an indoor climbing gym, so you get the exhaustion and forearm pump of climbing as part of the race without the risk of falling to your death. Get more information at Graffitiracing.com Go back to the Northwest Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

Black Bear Challenge

April 21, 2012 Resort at Paws Up, Montana There are actually two races as part of this event, including the Grizzly Man Adventure. The races are actually fairly similar, only the Black Bear Challenge is meant more for those looking for an introduction to real adventure racing. The course takes a little less than eight-hours to complete and doesn’t include any of the water portions found in the Grizzly Man. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not tough. You still have to navigate treacherous terrain on foot and on a mountain bike before getting back to the finish. Luckily, that finish is found at the Resort at Paws Up, which is a rather swanky resort with all kinds of excellent amenities so you can nurse your scrapes and knots in the comfort of a hot tub. Not a bad after-race ritual. If you do well in the Black Bear challenge, you can move up to the Grizzly Man next year, which is part of the United States Adventure Racing Association Series. Get more information at Grizzlymanrace.com Go back to the Northwest Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>

Adventure Xstream Racing

September 22, 2012 Glenwood Springs, CO If you want a little it of everything in adventure racing, this is one of the events you should be considering. Over the course of the race, you’ll be forced to do roughly 30 miles of sweet single track on a mountain bike, run 5-7 miles, kayak 6-8 miles, rappel 100 feet, explore two intro-level caves and do some seriously extreme riverboarding. The whole time, you’ll still need to be navigating so you can find your way through the course, but they rate the navigational difficulty just 2/5, so getting lost shouldn’t be much of a worry. It really is a step up in difficulty from most obstacle races and acts as a great way to test your all around skills as an athlete and an outdoorsman. Plus, the whole thing is held in the amazing Colorado autumn, which means there will be plenty of beautiful sights to take in if you can wipe the sweat out of your eyes for a second. Oh, and if the sound of bodyboarding terrifies you, don’t worry, you’re allowed to skip it if you’re willing to take a time penalty. But, we say you just give ‘er. Get more information at Gravityplay.com Go back to the Northwest 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 Northwest Adventure Race Guide >> Go back to the map >>