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Required Gear – winter


  • Fatbikes and helmets
  • Snowshoes

** You may bring your own fatbike (3.7″ tire and above) and/or snowshoes. It is your responsibility to lock (or bring back to car) your equipment before and after use if you do not want other teams to use them. You may stage your bike and/or snowshoes at the start of those sections. Please contact us if you plan to use your own fatbike or allow it to be used. If bikes are needed and you allow yours to be used by other racers, you will be allowed to park on site and we will give $15 cash back.

Required Per Person

  • Emergency/space/mylar blanket -full size, metallic style, $2-$4 each at Meijer, outdoor/camping store or online. Buy eamylar blanketrly as they usually run out in GR.

Required Per Team

  • Pencil or pen that works in cold weather
  • Piece of scrap paper (min. 5″ x 5″)
  • Mobile phone – fully charged, powered off and sealed in waterproof or double-ziplocked bag
  • Water/fluids – we won’t be setting a minimum
  • suunto-a-10-compass 150wCompass (base plate or sighting type)
  • *$5 for the charity challenge (only required if you want help with a challenge)


Race gear and clothing really depends on temperature, wind, and snow cover of course, whether you value comfort or performance more, and how fast you will be moving. The general rule of thumb is to dress in layers and as if the temperature is 20 degrees warmer than the “feels like” temperature (factoring in wind chill). Adventure races have more stoppage time than a running race and stopping creates more sweat so keep that in mind if you are a winter runner; you may need an extra layer, at least in your pack. We recommend Gazelle Sports and Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus for all of this gear.

  • Camelbak-type hydration system (per person). Tips to keep water from freezing: Buy an insulating sleeve, remember to blow water back into tube to keep it from freezing, keep tube tucked inside jacket and start with hot water or just water bottles instead
  • Waterproof map case or doubled-up ziplock baggies
  • Contact paper or clear tape to waterproof your instruction sheet and map (at Meijer in household goods)
  • Shoes: your normal running shoe, assuming it doesn’t have a light mesh upper. A trail shoe that offers more protection and traction would be ideal. Shoes with Gore-Tex or similar water-resistant membranes are worth looking into if you do a lot of wet or cold-weather running. You could wear a warmer light hiker if you are okay with the added weight and stiffness. We suggest avoiding heavy boots.
  • Traction: IceSpikes ( – a race sponsor – or similar traction. $25 at Gazelle Sports. YakTrax work fine for some people but others don’t like the feel or how they change the shape of their shoes.
  • Socks: Whatever you have trained in during cold weather. Could be one pair of thin running socks, could be two, could be a thicker sock. I would avoid thick socks if you are not used to running in them.
  • Gaiters: Bill & Paul’s for Outdoor Research gaiters that go up to just below the knee. They work great. Lower-cut running gaiters may work as well. Some just rely on a wool sock and shoe that resists moisture.
  • Lower half: winter running tights or running pants. Running pants or hiking pants (pockets are nice) over the tights if conditions demand it, but it would have to be very cold and windy for warm-blooded types. Wind briefs or lycra-type running shorts on bottom if necessary.
  • Upper half: layers: wicking inner layer, wicking shirt for middle layer, fairly lightweight jacket that’s wind resistant for outer layer (adjust number of layers or thickness based on conditions). Unzip front and/or under arms (if it has pit zips) as needed.
  • Gloves: lightweight. Windproof shell gloves or mittens over it if conditions demand it.
  • Hat: lightweight. Start with warmer hat if conditions demand or headband under had. Balaclava in extreme conditions.
  • Sunglasses: Especially valuable in sunny, windy and bushwhacking conditions. Clear lenses usually best. Wear sunblock on sunny day as the snow reflects the sun back up into your face.
  • First aid kit
  • Sunblock
  • Food (energy gel, bars, etc.; you shouldn’t need a lot though – focus more on fluids)

Bill & Paul’s is offering a 10% discount up until the day of the race on the following with proof of registration: hydration products, snowshoes, traction aids, trail footwear and socks, compasses/navigation tools, fitness watches (except Freestyle or Timex), headlights, nutrition, and paddlesport clothing.

Prohibited Gear

  • GPS that allows you to determine your location on a map is not allowed. A GPS watch is ok, but only to check your route after the race.
  • Maps other than those provided by the race organization
  • Communication devices other than mobile phone
  • Motorized means of transport
  • Sherpas, pack mules, llamas, yetis or other living transport options


Ideally, your training should mimic race conditions. Trails, hills and even off-trail running. That’s not easy for most people who work during the day but use your weekends to train in “real-world” adventure racing conditions. Running easy road miles will help, but for those who really want to improve their performance, here are some ideas.

  • Build a good base of miles, preferably trail running. Six weeks of consistent running before a race is a good target.
  • Include intervals – short segments of 30 seconds to a few minutes during your run at a pace that gets your heart rate up.
  • Run hills – as part of your run or…
  • Even better would be merging the two – hill intervals. Run up the hill hard, recover on the down hill and repeat. Even five or ten of these on a decent hill once a week can really boost your endurance and speed and takes a lot less time than long run for those with limited time.
  • Running on a treadmill weeknights? No worries. It’s still helpful. This High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT; Google it for other workouts) is great for those who want to get off the treadmill as quickly as possible but get in a workout that some studies show is better than a long run:
    • One mile warm up
    • Sprint at 90-95% of your maximum heart rate for 10-30 seconds (high speed and raise treadmill incline as needed to really push yourself)
    • Recover and repeat the cycle for 20 minutes
    • One mile warm down
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