What is Adventure Racing?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 March 2019
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Adventure racing is a type of sport that combines two different athletic endeavors. Frequently, adventure racing consists of running, paddling, climbing, biking, or orienting, though some other sports can be part of adventure racing as well. Generally, people who are interested in adventure racing join a team of like-minded people in order to compete in a competition.

While the true origins of adventure racing are somewhat unknown, many people believe that this sport evolved from the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon, which first began in 1968. Teams of two people entered the Karrimor Marathon in the hopes of finishing the mountainous trek in first place. Not only did these teams traverse slippery mountain peaks in order to compete in the Karrimor Marathon, but each team member was forced to carry heavy mountain equipment during the race.

Once news of the Karrimor race reached athletic enthusiasts, adventure racing was, seemingly, born. Presently, there are many different races of this sort across the globe. The Australian Alpine Ironman is one example of a popular adventure racing competition that combines alpine skiing with trail running and kayaking.


Each race of the adventurous sort takes into consideration different disciplines. Paddling, rope climbing, terrain running, and many other disciplines have been turned into adventure races over the past few decades. While each race is different, all adventure races must follow the same basic rules. These rules include no outside assistance, no motorized vehicles, and the fact that all team members must help to carry all necessary equipment.

Those who wish to compete in an adventure race can prepare for a race by honing skills in specific areas. All race participants should be able to ride a bicycle with ease, run long distances, and paddle effectively in deep water. These skills are necessary, but participants do not have to be experts within each discipline. In fact, many adventure racers enter competitions simply for fun, though some participants train for a race for many years prior to the race date.

There are various adventure racing clubs spread throughout the world. Finding a club to join is as simple as contacting a local athletic club. Since adventure sports have become quite popular, these clubs are relatively abundant. In addition to joining a club and learning how to ride a bicycle, swim, and run long distances, it is important that all participants own the right kind of equipment. A mountain bicycle, backpack, water bottle, and other articles may be necessary in order to compete in an adventure race.



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