June 12, 2021
Cannonsburg Ski Area
Grand Rapids, MI
6 and 11 hours
Race Update #1
6-hour Race Update #2
11-hour Race Update #2
Experience some incredible mountain biking trails, gravel roads, runnable woods, and scenic waterways just miles from the metropolitan Grand Rapids area. Your team will do the entire race together, traveling by canoe, bike and on foot, navigating several natural areas and roads by map and compass. Choose from the 5-hour beginner/intermediate race or the more challenging 10-hour race. Most checkpoints are optional in both races so you can make it back to the finish in time. If COVID allows, we’ll celebrate with a taco buffet, awards and raffle.
Video of how the race works
Video of racer testimonials
All set to register now? Click on the Register page above.
Estimated Miles to Get Most/All CPs
Trek/On-Foot: 5-7 miles
Bike: 25-30 miles
Paddle: 1.25 miles
Trek/On-Foot: 7-10 miles
Bike: 45-55 miles
Paddle: 5-8 miles
Biking. You’ll be biking on two-tracks, gravel roads, beginner and intermediate singletrack (most of it optional but you’ll miss out on checkpoints if you skip), and a few paved roads. Your bike will be your primary mode of transportation from one area to the next (if you wear bike shoes, you may want to carry other shoes for trekking). Traditional road bikes with the super skinny tires are not allowed due to safety. If you are not sure about your bike, bring it in to a local bike shop and ask if it’s safe for riding on dirt “mountain bike” trails.
Trekking. The on-foot sections will be on mostly rolling terrain with light to moderate vegetation. Most checkpoints will be on defined terrain such as hilltops, reentrants (gullies), etc. but some will be more subtle in the longer race to test experienced racers. You should not need to cross treacherous or extremely swampy terrain to reach checkpoints. Most if not all checkpoints will be optional. Can’t find one after lots of searching? Skip it and move on.
Paddling. The paddle will be on a lake so it will be out and back. No bikes in canoes. The 11-hour race will also have some gorgeous, slow river paddling; still an easy out and back. Rental canoes are available (kayaks for solos) for the 11-hour race and will be staged for you at the start of the paddle section. Or, bring and stage your own boat(s) to save the rental fee. Canoes and kayaks will be provided for 6-hour racers at no extra charge! We should have plenty to avoid any wait since it’s a short paddle, but they will be first come, first served. You can pick from a canoe(s) (2-4 person teams), two-person kayak, or solo kayak for solos.
3-4 person Open (gender-based in 6-hour)
- Personal boats dropped off at start of paddle section (unless renting): 6:00-7:00 am
- Check-in; maps handed out: 6:15-7:45 am
- Pre-race meeting: 7:45-8:05 am
- Final planning and prep: 8:05-8:30 am
- Start: 8:30 am
- Cut-off: 7:30 pm (includes bonus hour if needed)
- Taco bar: 4:00-8:30 pm
- Awards, raffle: likely by 8:30 pm
- Check-in; maps handed out: 8:30-10:30 am
- Pre-race announcements: 10:30-10:45 am
- Start (waves): all male teams 11:00 am; all female teams 11:05 women, all co-ed teams 11:10
- Cut-off: males: 5:00 pm, females: 5:05, co-eds: 5:10
- Taco bar: 4:00-6:00 pm
- Awards, raffle: likely by 6:00 pm
The start/finish is at Cannonsburg Ski Area, 6800 Cannonsburg Rd NE, Belmont, MI 49306
BEFORE THE RACE
- Navigation/Compass clinic, June 5, at Seidman Park in Grand Rapids. Free. Click here to sign up and access clinic materials.
- If you can’t make it, check out the Navigation 101/201 clinic presentation on our Learn More page and the blog posts on the right side of the website for tips.
- Receive a short-sleeved tech/wicking shirt (men’s is blue) with your entry if you register the Sunday before the race. Otherwise pick from our buff or pint.
- Men’s/adult (crew) and women’s (v-neck) styles/sizes.
- Women’s shirt specifications
- Men’s shirt specifications
- See the Required Gear page for details on what you need to have and then a list of additional suggested gear.
- Rental canoes available.
- If bringing your own canoe or kayak, you will stage it before the race and pick it up after the race.
- Road bikes (super skinny tires) not allowed due to moderately rugged singletrack.
- Rental bikes are difficult to find this year; you may need to borrow one from a friend.
- Campgrounds: Wabasis Lake, Indian Lakes, Scalley Lake
- Many hotel and home rentals in the area
- Enjoy Frederick Meijer Gardens, great outdoor dining, Lake Michigan beaches and other area attractions before or after the race.
Spectators & Volunteers
- We will offer race maps to spectators so they can try to follow you.
- Even better, have friends and family volunteer!
Merchandise (pick up at check-in)
- Neck gaiter/buff $10
- Stainless steel pint $10
- Short sleeve ($17) and long sleeve ($22) shirts
- Sweatshirts ($30)
- Sticker (removable) $3
Check-in, Pre-Race Briefing, Race Components (changing due to COVID)
- 10-hour canoe/kayak staging. If you are bringing your own boat(s), you will be given the location of the start of the paddle the day or two before the race. You must drop your boats (and PFDs and paddles but no other gear) off there either right before or right after you check in. If renting (or doing the 5-hour race), your boat(s), PFDs and paddles will be ready for you at the start of the paddle.
- Drop bags? Due to the “short” durations of these races, drop bags are not allowed. Water is available out on the course. Pack whatever gear you need. You will not be returning to the start/finish until late in the race.
- Check-in. We recommend arriving to check-in early as we will hand out maps then and you can get most or all of your route complete before the pre-race meeting.
- Pre-race meeting. We’ll go over rules, answer any questions, explain the passport and hand out an instruction sheet and maps. Bring writing utensils (pen, pencil, marker, highlighter).
- Passport. The passport is the piece of waterproof paper you’ll punch at each checkpoint to prove you found it. You must not lose it!
- Flag (control) and Code/Punch. You are looking for orange and white 3-sided orienteering flags (technically called the control marker). You must write the code on the flag (or punch) in the correct box in the passport so we can verify you were indeed there. A card with a number will be attached to the flag. Check it to confirm you got the right one.
- Race instructions/clues. Lists key rules, describes the course and the activities, and provides hints about where checkpoints are located.
- Maps. The map(s) will almost always be topographical but may be aerial if accurate topo information is not available. Most, if not all, checkpoints will be shown. You can waterproof your map with packing tape or contact paper if desired (find at Meijer-type stores). Either way, we recommend keeping it in a waterproof map case or zip lock baggie at least.
- Goal. The goal is to maximize the number of checkpoints on your passport within the time limit. A team that gets 25 checkpoints with one minute to spare will finish ahead of a team that gets 24 checkpoints with one hour to spare.
DURING THE RACE
- Transition Areas. Transition areas are locations where you switch between one discipline and another (trek/orienteer, bike, paddle). TA flags are usually mandatory. They are almost always manned by a volunteer. Always carry cash in case you need fluids or food at a store you pass by. It’s your responsible to punch the TA flag, often when arriving and departing so we can capture your split time and track teams. Teams often switch shoes and other gear at TAs. We will provide water and likely Gatorade at most TAs.
- Orienteering. In most cases, checkpoints will be optional and can be found in any order within an orienteering section. We will note which checkpoints are “advanced.” Teams that are not going at a fast pace should consider skipping these as they require going a significant distance or over dodgy terrain to obtain. They are meant to challenge the elite teams trying to obtain all CPs. Map reading will be critical. You should also know how to use a compass. Checkpoints may be out of view (especially to deter theft if they are in public places) but are not intended to be difficult to spot if you are in the right place.
- Biking. Bike sections will be a mix of gravel, paved, two-track and singletrack sections (beginner to intermediate). No road bikes allowed. Checkpoints are usually along side the route but may require racers to leave their bikes and trek or bushwhack with their bikes off-trail. Racers often wear clip-in bike shoes and then switch to running shoes for longer orienteer/trekking sections within the bike section (which is often the majority of the race). Sometimes CPs are not indicated on a singletrack trail on the map so that teams can’t bushwhack or ride backwards to get them. Sometimes it’s allowed. Safety often dictates which way we do this.
- Paddling. Our races try to keep paddling time at a fairly low ratio compared to biking and trekking because it’s harder to train for and often less navigation-based and/or appealing to the average racer.
AFTER THE RACE
Join us for awards, raffle and a tasty taco bar, COVID-pending and some adult beverages (we’ll buy the tacos, you buy the beverages). Friends and family may be allowed to join depending on COVID. Purchase a meal ticket for them under Merchandise as part of registration.
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Questions? www.facebook.com/MIAdventureRace is a great place to ask questions and get answers so others can learn from your question. For questions specific to you,use the Contact form to reach Mark VanTongeren, race director.