Required gear. Each race has a list of required gear that race organizers deem necessary for travel through the race, primarily for transport or safety reasons. This list is subject to change for each race. Many other items of gear should be considered for a race even though they are not on the required gear list. Teams must always have a mobile phone, fully charged at race start (powered off for races of more than 6 hours). It may only be used in emergency situations or to communicate with race organizers about dangerous weather, pulling out of a race, missing flags or similar issues.

Bike. Mountain, gravel and cyclocross (generally 28 mm tires or wider) bikes are generally allowed in all races. Non-motorized. One bike per person. Road bikes may or may not be allowed depending on terrain. Bike helmets must be designed specifically for bike use. Not needed for the Winter Edition.

Canoe or Kayak. Canoe or kayak type may change from race to race. Some races will require racers to use canoe livery boats but most will allow them to bring their own personal canoe, solo or tandem kayak. Unless stated otherwise, racing canoes and kayaks ARE allowed in races that allow personal boats. Michigan’s PFD law permits a vessel that is less than 16 feet long, or is a canoe, kayak or paddleboard, to choose to have either a wearable PFD (Type I, II, or III) or a throwable PFD (Type IV) for each person on board. Not needed for the Winter Edition.

Forbidden gear. The following are not allowed in any race: GPS watch (you can carry if GPS is turned off), motorized transport, maps other than race maps (unless stated otherwise), outside assistance (except if unplanned from a stranger).

Missing gear. Teams that do not provide the required gear at a gear check before or during the race will generally receive one checkpoint penalty per team for each piece of gear. If the gear check occurs prior to the race, teams will be allowed to produce the missing item before the race starts. A bike helmet and mobile phone are required to start and/or continue a race. Teams may not race without these items; they will be allowed to race without the other items if they forgot them with penalty.

Liability for personal gear. In some instances, Michigan Adventure Racing may transport or pack personal gear brought by racers (e.g., bikes or boats). In these cases, Michigan Adventure Racing and its sub-contractors will not be held liable for any damage to these items or for any items that go missing.

Weather. In the event of a thunderstorm, we will postpone the race until conditions improve. During the race, please seek shelter during these conditions. Race organizers reserve the right to cancel the event in the case of extended severe weather. We will do everything possible to get the event in, but refunds are not available if it is cancelled due to significant costs we must pay in advance of the race. If possible, we’ll provide a partial credit for a future race.

Safety. Competing in an adventure race can be dangerous. Racers must obey the rules of the road and only cross roads when they have the green light. Each and every one of our races is OPEN TRAFFIC meaning motorized vehicles, horses, pedestrians, etc. may be out on the roads and/or trails. We have made every attempt to route the course away from heavily congested areas, especially during the bike portion of the race.

Emergency assistance. Any team providing emergency assistance to another team (due to injury or mechanical problem will receive a partial time credit for the time spent providing assistance. Teams should report their assistance and estimated time spent when turning in their passport. Race organizers will award a partial credit to their total race time. If a team arrives after the cut-off time has been reached, race organizers reserve the right to adjust their time back so they are a ranked team, primarily based on the seriousness of the assistance provided (e.g., medical emergency). Checkpoints will not be awarded for assistance.

Short course. Michigan Adventure Racing may provide short course option(s) during the race or teams that are in danger of missing the cut-off. Teams may be required to take these short courses or may have a choice. Teams choosing to take the short-course will be ranked lower in the standings than any teams that are able to finish the full course or more of the full course plus a potential short course later in the race.

Missing control point/checkpoint. A flag is considered missing if it cannot be located within 50 meters surrounding its mapped location. If a flag is mis-hung by race staff but within this 50 meter radius, it is not considered missing. If you are confident that a control/checkpoint is missing, call us at one of the numbers on the race instructions, preferably after multiple teams have confirmed it is missing. If it’s missing and we can quickly replace the flag, we will do so. Teams that called it in will receive credit. If we cannot replace the flag, it will not count for anyone.

Delays related to Michigan Adventure Racing. We will consider time bonuses when racers are delayed by factors related to the race such as not having your boats or bikes at the transition time for you to start. Because you will have time to rest, fuel up and do some extra race planning potentially, the amount of time given will not be 100% of the delay, but more likely between 50-80% of the delay at the discretion of the race director.

Delays and closed/cancelled sections or activities related to external forces. Any external delay such as a train crossing, bike mechanical or stubborn herd of water buffalo blocking your way or closure to part of a course or activity due to weather or any outside effect will not receive any consideration beyond a pat on the back and sweet words of consolation. In golf they call it the “rub of the green.” In adventure racing we call it… adventure racing.

Support. All races under 24 hours will be considered unsupported unless otherwise stated. Unsupported means that no one outside of the field of racers may provide any support except for medical or in case of equipment failure. Friends and family may not provide food or other items. In no races may friends and family provide navigational assistance. Unplanned, spur of the moment guidance by a resident of the area for a single assistance at a single point of time is allowed. No one may travel alongside your team for any reason and at no time may any motorized support be given.

Teams may provide support and race together with any teams as long as they are not sharing required gear that they all must have. Teams in races involved Amazing Race-like challenges may not provide answers to teams that have not yet begun the challenge. Once a team begins a challenge it may work together with another team also doing the challenge.

100 foot rule. Team members must stay within 100 feet of one another. This is for safety as well as fairness. Subject to checkpoint penalty or disqualification.

Environmental harm. Teams may not litter or cause environmental damage of any kind. Leave no trace. Keep litter on you. Subject to checkpoint penalty or disqualification.

Paddling. Unless otherwise stated, checkpoints on paddle legs must be obtained via travel by boat. Teams cannot leave their boat(s) and travel over land to access checkpoints except reasonable exits from the boat to reach CP nearby on land. Portages over dams and other land may be allowed in certain races.

Withdrawal from race. Teams that decide to withdraw from the race must contact race organizers by phone or in person. Letting a volunteer know is not sufficient. Race organizers track to make sure all teams are accounted for. If one member of a team is withdrawing from the race but one or more other members wish to continue as an unranked team, the team must contact race organizers for approval. We will provide a vehicle to pick up teammates who want to withdraw if needed.

Scoring. Teams must arrive back before the race cut-off is reached. In races under six hours, teams will have one CP subtracted for each minute (1-60 seconds is the first minute) they are late up to ten minutes. At that point, they will become an unranked team. In races six hours or over (or designated by race organizers), teams that do not return before the cut-off time will be unranked.

Teams that arrive just before the cut-off and have to wait to turn in their passport, thus causing them to have a time after the cut-off, should notify staff of this. Race organizers will adjust the time to account for the wait (note that teams who are late may think they waited for several minutes but we’ve never noted a wait of over 30 seconds).

The clock time used for each race is the World Atomic Clock used by standard mobile phones. If phones differ, the time is based on race organizer’s mobile phone clock. Synch your watch at the start to the official start time.

Passport. If you lose your passport, you must return to the start for a replacement and re-punch the checkpoints. Bummer. Teams finishing without a passport will still be cheered, but not listed in the final standings. Racers that turn in a passport with illegible punches will not receive credit for those punches. Put your name and mobile number on your passport and someone likely will find it and call you.

Age Guidelines. Racers generally must be at least 10 years old for the Winter Edition and 12 or 14 years old for the other adventure races (due to bike riding in traffic) unless the parent discusses 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. Exceptions may apply (e.g., two responsible 17-year olds racing together).

Thanks to Infiterra Sports for some rule information.