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Race Information

Aug. 15, 2020
Grand Rapids, MI
4, 7 or 12 Hours

Experience some incredible mountain biking, trekking land, rivers and lakes just miles from the metropolitan Grand Rapids area. Travel by canoe, bike and on foot, navigating several natural areas by map and compass. Choose from the beginner 4-hour race which does not have a paddle section, the 7-hour beginner/intermediate race or the more challenging 12-hour race. Most checkpoints are optional in all three races so you can make it back to the finish. Racers in all events will celebrate the adventure with pizza (we’ll serve you with health precautions in place), adult beverages (your treat) and an outside award/raffle ceremony at Cannonsburg Ski Area.

Video of how the race works
Video of racer testimonials

All set to register now? Register here!

Estimated Miles
Trek/On-Foot: 3-4 miles
Bike: 17-20 miles
Paddle: none

Trek/On-Foot: 4-7 miles
Bike: 25-33 miles
Paddle: 2 miles

Trek/On-Foot: 8-12 miles
Bike: 45-50 miles
Paddle: 5-6 miles
12-hour racers will put bikes in their boats so a kayak is not recommended. You may bring your own canoe. We will provide guidance on how best to put your bike in your canoe. Solos flip your canoe around like this.

Plan on biking on two-tracks, gravel roads, 3-6 miles of beginner and intermediate singletrack, and paved roads. Your bike will be your primary mode of transportation from one area to the next. Trekking will be on mostly rolling terrain with light to moderate vegetation. Most checkpoints (CP) 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. The paddle section for the 7- and 12-hour races will be on a beautiful but not difficult river.

Divisions and prizes may be combined if small (e.g., 4 teams or fewer).
Solo Females
Solo Males

2-person Females
2-person Males
2-person Co-eds

3-4 person Females
3-4 person Males
3-4 person Co-eds


Same-day check-in; maps handed out: 5:45-7:00 am
Race briefing: 7:00-7:30 am
Additional planning, gear prep: 7:30-8:00 am
Start: 8:00 am
Cutoff: 8:00 pm
Pizza (tentatively), beer, raffle and awards ceremony: approx. 8:00-9:15 pm

Same-day check-in; maps handed out: 8:30-10:00 am
Race briefing: 10:00-10:30 am
Additional planning: 10:30-11:00 am
Start: 11:00 am (tentative)
Cutoff: 6:00 pm
Pizza (tentatively), beer, raffle and awards ceremony: approx. 6:15-7:30 pm

Same-day check-in; maps handed out: 8:30-10:00 am
Race briefing: 10:00-10:30 am
Additional planning: 10:30-11:00 am
Start: 11:00 am (tentative)
Cutoff: 3:00 pm
Pizza (tentatively), beer, raffle and awards ceremony: approx. 3:15-4:30 pm

The start/finish is at 6800 Cannonsburg Rd NE, Belmont, MI 49306

Orienteering Practice/Clinic



  • See the Required Gear page for details on what you need to have and then a list of additional suggested gear.
  • Rental canoes available.
  • Road bikes not allowed due to moderately rugged singletrack.
  • Contact us for rental bike options.


  • Campgrounds: Wabasis Lake, Indian Lakes, Scalley Lake
  • Many hotel and home rentals in the area
  • Enjoy Beer City USA breweries like Founders Brewing Co., nightlife, Frederick Meijer Gardens, 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)

  • Buff headwear $10 ($18-$23 for most others)
  • Stainless steel pint $10 ($15 on most race sites)
  • Short sleeve ($17) and long sleeve ($22) shirts
  • Sweatshirts ($30)
  • Sticker (removable) $3

buffpint 200hshirt 275Pink Raspberrymar magnet 2 150w

Check-in, Pre-Race Briefing, Race Components

  • 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.
  • 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 Punch. You are looking for orange and white 3-sided orienteering flags (technically called the control marker). You must punch 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

Pizza may be served to you, but pending health official guidance. Beer and other alcoholic beverages available for purchase. We’ll pass out some great prizes to the top teams in each division. We’ll raffle off a bunch of stuff too.

Charity Partner
Our charity partner is Camp Anew, a branch of Starlight Ministries, that provides support specifically to children and teens ages 7-17; it is a place where campers will experience the value of gathering with other children who have experienced grief. Campers share their stories, capture memories, discuss their feelings, and have fun! Camp Anew is a biblically based Grief Camp operated at Warner Memorial Camp.

Questions? 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.

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