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Race Information

Epic Edition
Caberfae Peaks Resort

18-20 hours: July 28-29, 2017
6-8 hours: July 30, 2017

Registration is now open!


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 the best mountain biking, the best paddling and the best orienteering of any race we’ve put on, all combined in one incredible experience. We’ll end the adventure and celebrate the experience with a banquet feast at Caberfae Peaks Resort.

We expect over 400 racers between the two races. Prize depth will be determined in part by size of the divisions.

  • Solo: females, males (6-8 hour race only)
  • 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 handcrafted, hand-burned wood trophies made from Michigan hardwood trees.

18-20 Hour Race: A North American Adventure Racing Series National Championship Qualifier. Incredible trails, terrain and water; our best of any race to date. Expect a point-to-point expedition feel for much of the race but with optional checkpoints and “short course” options to help you finish on time. Based on the preliminary course design, mileages to get EVERY CP are as follows:

  • 65-75 miles of biking on glorious singletrack, two-tracks, gravel and paved roads. No road bikes are allowed.
  • 20-25 miles of trekking/running, mostly off-trail through beautiful, runnable woods.
  • 10-14 miles of incredible, scenic river paddling (easy to moderate difficulty).

All checkpoints and transition areas will be pre-plotted on USGS maps.

This race is sanctioned by the North American Adventure Racing Series (NAARS) and requires a $10 one-day license (or buy an annual license directly from NAARS). Top teams will qualify for the NAARS national championship. We will pay for half of this one-day license and the other $5 is built into your entry fee. License fees will be re-invested to help grow the sport of adventure racing, primarily through regional and national advertising and youth programs.

6-8 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 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. All checkpoints are optional and in any order. Teams will head out in many directions to reduce crowding. Worn out before the deadline? No shame in coming back a little early. Biking will be your primary mode of transportation around the course and you’ll stop at various places to orienteer/trek and one place to paddle. Based on the preliminary course design, mileages to get EVERY CP are as follows:

  • 25-35 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 but we could add a few miles if we find the right trail system within reach.
  • 10-14 miles of trekking/running on and off the trails in beautiful, runnable woods.
  • 1-1.5 miles of paddling on a scenic lake or slow-moving river.


18-20 Hours

Check-in, gear check: 5:00-7:30 pm
Race briefing:
 7:45-8:30 pm
Race planning: 8:30-9:45 am
Race start:
 10:00 pm

Race cut-off:
 6:00 pm
Banquet, awards, raffle: 6:15-8:00 pm


6-8 Hours

Sunday (wedding on Saturday so Sunday is our only option)
Check-in: 7:30-8:30 am 
Race briefing:
 8:30-8:55 am
Race planning: 8:55-9:30 am
Race start:
 9:30 am
Race cut-off:
 5:30 pm
Banquet, awards, raffle: 5:30-7:00 pm

Caberfae Peaks Resort is just 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids and less than 3 hours from Detroit’s northwest suburbs. Detailed directions.


Caberfae Peaks Resort
Pricing is for single or double occupancy.  Additional people are $5 each.
7/28 – $99 – 18-20 hour racers will be racing so DO NOT book on 7/28 except for guests
7/29 – $109 – 6-8 hour racers before the race or 18-hour racers traveling home on Sunday
7/30 – $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 motorhomes can stay in the parking lot for $20 per night (limited electric hook-ups).

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 Safe Haven Ministries in Grand Rapids. Safe Haven provides emergency shelter and support services to women and their children who are experiencing domestic abuse. They also conduct prevention and education trainings throughout the community.

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 July 21 (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
We will have a Navigation 101/201 clinic on May 6 in Grand Rapids, at Pickerel Lake Park where we can do more intermediate/advanced orienteering practice. We will likely hold a second clinic in June or July. 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 canoes, paddles and life vests available.

Bike Rentals
Try McLain Cycle & Fitness in Cadillac or West Michigan Bike & Fitness in Grand Rapids, Grandville and Holland. Tell them you are doing the race.

Rental boats, paddles and PFDs will be provided and staged for you for BOTH the 6-8 and 18-20 hour races.

6-8 hour race. To reduce entry fees, we will NOT have a canoe for every team. Because teams can do the paddle at any point in the race, we can rent fewer canoes. It’s possible you will have to wait a few minutes for a canoe, but in past races there has been either no wait at all or just a short wait.

18-20 hour race. The logistics just don’t work out well for personal boats for the 18-hour race (like most overnight races). We will be providing the canoes, PFDs and paddles and the cost will be built into your entry fee (at cost). 3rd person in the middle if you have a 3-person team. The canoe livery can bring your own PFDs and paddles to the put-in and take them back to Caberfae after the paddle for teams that wish to bring them.

Race Preparation Clinics
Navigation 101/201 clinic, Saturday, May 6, Pickerel Lake Park, Grand Rapids. Short “classroom” instruction but mostly in-field practice. 1.5 hours. Free. If you can’t make it, check out the Navigation 101/201 clinic presentation and other sources on our Learn More page for tips. An additional clinic in June may be announced.

AR gear/clothing clinic, Thursday, May 3, Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus, Cascade/Grand Rapids. In class only. Free. Learn about compasses, footwear, clothing, hydration, and more and get 10% off most adventure racing gear including Salomon footwear with proof of race registration.

Rules & Age Limits
Please read through our standard race rules. Special rules that apply for the Epic Edition 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. 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.

Merchandise (available at early and same-day check-in)
Sweatshirt – hooded, pockets, $30
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 croppedbuffpint 200hmar 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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