2017 Get Your Bearings

The 2017 race was a great day for everyone.  Congratulations again racers and thanks to our volunteers and sponsor, Zanfel!

Full course overall results, click HERE
Family course results, click HERE

Click HERE for Race Update #1 and Gear List
Click HERE for Race Update #2
Click HERE for Canoe Rental Form
Click HERE for DNR Island Lake Recreation Area Map

The 2017 Get Your Bearings Adventure Race opened up registrations to exciting new divisions, including Experienced teams, Parent/Child teams, and teams with First-Time racers.

Race Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Location: Brighton, Michigan (Island Lake Recreation Area)
Length: 4 hour Adventure Race
Disciplines: Trail Running, Mountain Biking, Canoeing & Orienteering
4 Divisions:  4-person Coed, 2-person Open, 2-person First-Timer (at least 1 teammate), and Family (No paddling in this division.  Parent/Child 8-14 year old..no charge for the kid!)
Who: Beginner to Experienced Adventurers!
Racer Check-In: 7:00am to 7:45am
Race Briefing: 8:00am
Race Start: 9:00am
Race Cutoff: 1:00pm
Post Race Food with Prizes & Giveaways: 1:15pm following race finish.

Event Cost:
12/30/16 to 3/17/17 = $85.00 per person (+ small online registration fee)
3/18/17 to 4/23/17 = $90.00 per person (+ small online registration fee)
Registration was open on Dec. 30th, 2016 until 2 weeks prior to the race.  Full team payment is due when team captain registers the team.  Team members can be added later (no later than 4/23/17 for teammate to receive shirt!).

Entry fee includes canoe rental, swag, and post race food. Entry is limited to the team limits noted above. Your team’s entry will not be secured until full payment has been received.


Trekking / Trail Running / Orienteering:
Teams will use provided maps, and their compasses, to find checkpoints (CP’s) scattered throughout the area.  Detailed Orienteering (1:15,000) topographical maps will be provided pre-marked with checkpoints, as well as a DNR Recreation Area map.  The total trekking will be in the 4-6 mile range – depending on a your selected route and number of CP’s achieved.  Not all checkpoints will be required to finish as an officially ranked team; however, the more checkpoints a team obtains, the higher they will rank in the overall standings.  Teams can choose to trek on trails or bushwhack through the wilderness!

Teams will be paddling approximately 4 miles.  Canoes are being provided.  Paddles and PFDs will be provided also; however, you can use your own paddles and PFDs instead if you prefer.  Racers will need to sign a canoe rental waiver which will be provided prior to registration.  It is recommended that your team has canoeing experience.  Practice with Heavner Canoe Rental (www.heavnercanoe.com),  offering a 10% discount on rentals to anyone planning on doing the race.  There is not a paddling section for Family teams.

Mountain Bike:
The mountain bike stage will total 8-10 miles in length as teams collect required checkpoints.  The course will include a mix of paved road, single track and off-road trails.


Get Your Bearings 2017 is designed to provide a challenging race for experienced adventure athletes, as well as a fun adventure for families or people new to the sport.  The 4-person Coed team is the highlighted division and the perfect way for a traditional team to prepare for longer races.  The 2-person team divisions can be made up of any combination of women/men.  Family teams will race a shorter course more suitable to young kids and will not be paddling.

In an Adventure Race, all teammates work together to try and find the checkpoints (like a scavenger hunt!) and make it to the finish before the cut-off time. Teammates must stay within 50′ or eyesight of each other (whichever is closer). The complete team must finish the course in the allotted time to earn an official ranked finish. Teams that work their way to the finish line after the time limit, without a teammate, or without obtaining the required checkpoints will not be a ranked finisher.

There will be a pre-race briefing 1 hour before the race. At this briefing teams will learn details about the course. Race instructions and maps will be handed out. Teams will then have until the start for any last minute preparations or strategizing.

footWhen the race starts, teams will be required to navigate each stage of the race using the provided pre-marked maps. Often, teams can choose their own route to each checkpoint. Make sure at least 1 person on your team understands how to read a map and a compass (GPSs are not allowed!). Watch the “Get Your Bearings Adventure Racing” facebook page for opportunities to learn or practice your navigation/orienteering skills prior to the race. The Southern Michigan Orienteering Club offers great events in the Spring and Fall to learn, practice, or race (www.smoc-runs.com).

Each team will be issued a ‘passport’ that will be punched at each checkpoint along the way. Make sure someone responsible on your team takes care of the passport! It must be turned in at the finish to prove that you found the checkpoints. If you don’t have it, you won’t earn an official finish!

Teams are required to carry certain gear for each section of the race. Race officials often do gear checks and assess time penalties as necessary during the race.  The mandatory gear list will be posted soon.

This is the 6th year of the Get Your Bearings Sprint Adventure Race.  We strive to make it a fun event for friends and family to participate in – whether as a racer or a supporter. There will be some viewing opportunities if your team has a cheering squad.  We will also be serving some good food to racers and volunteers after the race.