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Race Information

Caberfae/Epic Edition
Caberfae Peaks Resort

18 hours: June 8-9, 2018
8 hours: June 10, 2018


Get ready for the ultimate wilderness adventure, with plenty of flexibility for beginners and experts alike. You and your teammate(s) will seek checkpoints pre-marked on a map in the Manistee National Forest and Caberfae area, featuring incredible northern Michigan paddling, biking, trekking and orienteering, all combined in one incredible experience (at a location not too far north). We’ll celebrate the experience with a banquet feast at Caberfae Peaks Resort.


  • Solo: females, males 
  • Two-person: co-ed, females, males
  • Three- and four-person co-ed, females, males

What’s Included
See the Register page for prices. Entry fee includes banquet with wedding-quality buffet, share of canoe, paddle, life vest, tech shirt, $1,000+ of top finisher and raffle prizes, navigation clinic. Top finishers will also receive unique handcrafted, wood trophies.

All checkpoints and transition areas will be pre-plotted on USGS maps.
NEW this year: racers will receive maps at check-in to ensure you have plenty of time to plan your route.

18 Hour Race
Expect a point-to-point expedition feel for much of the race but with optional checkpoints and a “short course” option (skipping the last transition area) to help you finish on time. You’ll have access to gear at a minimum of two locations. You may bring your own canoe (same price due to livery transport costs). Based on the preliminary course design, mileages to get EVERY CP are as follows:

  • 60-66 miles of biking on two-tracks, gravel and paved roads. No road bikes are allowed.
  • 14-18 miles of trekking/running, mostly off-trail through beautiful, runnable woods.
  • 16-19 miles of incredible, scenic river paddling (easy to moderate difficulty).

Solo racers allowed in the 18-hour race if you have a tracking device/safety beacon (not a mobile phone). Here’s one rental option.

8 Hour Race
A good option for beginning navigators/adventure racers but with plenty of challenge for experienced teams. The intent of the course design is to allow top teams to clear (get every checkpoint, aka CP) the course in six to seven hours while others will have a shot to clear it or get the majority of checkpoints before the eight-hour deadline. Biking will be your primary mode of transportation around the course and you’ll stop at various transition areas to orienteer/trek and paddle. This year, all teams will visit the transition areas in the same order. However, at the orienteer/trek areas you can do CPs in any order or skip checkpoints that you can’t find. You may also skip the final orienteering section in order to make it to the finish in time. Based on the preliminary course design, mileages to get EVERY CP are as follows:

  • 26-32 miles of biking on two-tracks, packed gravel and paved roads. Road bikes will not be allowed. At this point, there will be no biking on dirt singletrack trails.
  • 6-7 miles of trekking/running on and off the trails in beautiful, runnable woods.
  • 7-8 miles of paddling on an incredible, scenic river. Requires basic steering (we can provide instruction beforehand or consider scheduling a paddle lesson with Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus in Grand Rapids or another instructor).


18 Hours
Friday, McKenzie Hotel – Beatie’s Bar & Grill (north/right side, pool in front)
Check-in, gear check, maps handed out/course planning: 6:00-8:30 pm
Race briefing: 8:30-9:15 pm
More course planning: 9:15-9:55 pm
Race start: 10:00 pm

Saturday, McKenzie Hotel
Race cut-off: 4:00 pm
Banquet, awards, raffle: 4:30-6:00 pm

8 Hours
Sunday, Blackmer Lodge (slope side – south/left)
Check-in, gear check, maps handed out/course planning: 7:00-8:30 am
Race briefing: 8:30-9:00 am
More course planning: 9:00-9:30 am
Race start: 9:30 am
Race cut-off: 5:30 pm
Banquet, awards, raffle: 6:15-7:30 pm

Caberfae Peaks Resort is just 1 hour and 25 minutes north of Grand Rapids and less than 3 hours from Detroit’s northwest suburbs. Detailed directions.

Lodging at Caberfae Peaks

  • Pricing is for single or double occupancy.  Additional people are $5 each.
    • 6/8 – $99 – 18-hour racers will be racing so DO NOT book on June 8 except for guests
    • 6/9 – full
    • 6/10 – $79 – extended stays
  • Friday and Saturday will sell out so book early.
  • Cancellation fee is the room rate of the first night, if you cancel after 4 pm the day before.  No cancellation fee if they cancel prior to 4 pm the day before arrival.
  • Tenters can stay on the Caberfae property for $10 per night.
  • Campers and motor homes can stay in the parking lot for $20 per night (8 electric hook-ups so make sure you call).
  • Call Caberfae to let them know you are coming and if you need electric.
  • All sold out at the resort or prefer to camp? Try Cadillac hotels or nearby campgrounds and rentals.

Charity Partner

  • Our charity partner for the race is Wexford-Osceola Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide.
  • We’re grateful to have some of their staff and friends as volunteers for the race!

Free Shirt or Gear

  • NEW: You may now select from a short-sleeved tech shirt, stainless steel pint or buff/headware as part of your entry.
  • Register by about one week before the race (date subject to change) to receive the shirt. Late registrants will get the pint or buff.
  • Men’s/adult crew or women’s v-neck, same shirt as our other races.
  • If you are normally between sizes, you may want to go with the smaller size.
  • Women’s shirt specifications  Men’s shirt specifications

Navigation Practice/Clinic

  • May 19 at Seidman Park, in Ada just east of Grand Rapids
  • RSVP on Facebook or contact us if you don’t use Facebook.
  • If you can’t make it, check out the Navigation 101/201 clinic presentation and other sources on our Learn More page for tips.


  • See the Gear page for details. Required gear will be standard adventure racing gear (bike, hydration pack/containers, compass, emergency blanket and a few other small items). You must carry these items throughout the race.
  • You will be allowed to leave your bike helmet and other bike gear at transition areas while you paddle or trek.


  • Rental boats, paddles and PFDs will be provided and staged for you for BOTH the 8 and 18 hour races.
  • We will allow teams to bring their own canoes ONLY in the 18-hour race. The cost is the same for rental or personal canoes because of livery transportation time/cost.
  • We can bring your own PFDs and paddles (and a middle seat if you are a 3-person team, otherwise we’ll provide a cushion) to the put-in and take them back to Caberfae after the paddle for teams without canoes but with paddle gear.

Rules & Age Limits

  • Please read through our standard race rules. Special rules that apply for this race only will be listed in one of the race updates you’ll receive.
  • Racers must be at least 14 years old due to biking in traffic; a parent may discuss the possibility of an exception with race organizers.
  • Racers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a parent or guardian sign the waiver/consent form provided during online registration.

Race Format

  • You and your teammate(s) will work to find as many checkpoints as you can in the time period.
  • We will hand out maps at check-in so you will have more time to plan your route.
  • The race will be broken up so that you’ll do one activity for a while, then another, etc. so your body (and brain) will get nice breaks.
  • You’ll stop at various “transition areas” to leave your bike with a volunteer to paddle and to trek/orienteer on foot before returning to your bike to continue on.
  • Checkpoints may be out of view, tucked behind trees or a hill, but generally are not intentionally hidden (except in public areas to minimize risk of theft). Check your map to see where the point is located and consult your instruction sheet for the clue which will help you determine its more exact location.
  • Some points will require use of your compass, topographical map and an understanding of how to read that map. Each checkpoint will have an orange and white flag with a punch (with unique barb pattern) attached to it.
  • The goal is to maximize the number of checkpoints on your passport within the time limit. A team that gets 25 checkpoints with seconds to spare will finish ahead of a team that gets 24 checkpoints with one hour to spare.

After the Race

  • We encourage you to join us for a special banquet after the race. No pizza this time. We’re going to celebrate in style with a full wedding style buffet along with our awards ceremony and raffle.
  • Non-racing guests may join you at the banquet meal. It’s $20 each, payable within your BikeReg account.

Merchandise (available at early and same-day check-in)
Sweatshirt – hooded, pockets, $30 (trim fit for size)
Long sleeve tech shirt, crew or v-neck, $22
Short sleeve tech shirt, crew or v-neck, $17
Buff headwear, $10 ($18-$23 for most others)
Stainless steel pint, $10 ($15 on most race sites)
Sticker, $3

shirt 275Hot coral women's croppedbuffmar magnet 2 150w

Questions? is a great place to ask questions and get answers so others can learn from your question. For questions specific to you, email Mark VanTongeren, race director.

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