Great October Adventure Race
will return at a future date!

Race Date
Location:  TBD
Length: Two Races:  2-hour and 6-hour Adventure Races
Disciplines: Trail Running, Mountain Biking, Canoeing & Orienteering.
Three Divisions, each race: 4-Person Coed, 2-Person Open, Solo.  Also, for the 2-hour race only: Parent/Child 8-14yrs.
Who: Beginner to Advanced – See descriptions below to see which race is right for you.

Two Races in One Day!

The two races will have the same Start/Finish point, in Island Lake Recreation Area, and will be “nested”.  The 6-hour race will start first and finish last.  The 2-hour race will start last and finish first.

2-Hour Race:
So you have never done an adventure race before, and neither has your friend (or spouse, sibling, neighbor, boyfriend/girlfriend…)?  This race is for you!  At only 2 hours, it is ultra-short and the navigating is not too difficult. This is a great introduction to adventure racing for the newcomer!  The family division is only available for the 2-hour race: Parent/Child 8-14yrs.

6-Hour Race:
This race is for intermediate/experienced racers. It will have some of the same elements as the shorter race, with more control points, more challenging navigation, longer biking distances, longer trekking distances, and, of course, a paddle section. While a 6-hour race is still considered to be a “sprint” adventure race, this race will have elements that will challenge even the experienced adventure racer.

Additional Race Details

Trekking / Trail Running / Orienteering:
Teams will use provided maps, and their compasses, to find checkpoints (CP’s) scattered throughout the area.  Maps will be pre-marked with checkpoints.  Various styles of maps may be used during the race:  The total trekking will be approximately 2-4 miles (2-hour) and 6-8 miles (6-hour) – 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.  You will encounter terrain that will vary from open land to open forests, dense brush, hills and swampy lowlands.

Teams will be paddling approximately 1 mile (2-hour race) or 4 miles (6-hour race).  Canoes/Kayaks are provided (Kayaks for Solo Racers only).  Paddles and PFDs will also be provided; however, you can bring your own paddles and PFDs 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.

Mountain Bike:
The mountain biking will total 5-7 miles (2-hour, with optional single track) and 20-25 miles (6-hour) as teams collect required checkpoints.  The course will include a mix of dirt/paved roads, rail trails, single track, and off-road (real mountain bike) trails.


About the Race

The 2-hour race is designed to be a fun introduction to Adventure Racing for people new, or relatively new, to the sport. The 6-hour race will be fun, fast, and just challenging enough for experienced adventure racers.

In an Adventure Race, all teammates work together to try and find the checkpoints and make it to the finish before the cut-off time. Teammates must stay within 100′ or eyesight of each other (whichever is closer). Teams must finish the course in the allotted time. Teams finishing late will be assessed a 1 checkpoint penalty per minute late past the cutoff.

Pre-race briefing content will be provided via email in a racer update the week of the race. This briefing will contain details about the course other pertinent information that will be important for planning your course.

When the race starts, teams will be required to navigate each stage of the race using the provided pre-marked maps. Navigation difficulty will vary by checkpoint. Make sure at least 1 person on your team understands how to read a map and a compass (GPSs are not allowed!).  The Southern Michigan Orienteering Club offers great events in the Spring and Fall to learn, practice, or race (

Each team will be issued a ‘passport’ that will be punched (code recorded) 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 staff may do gear checks and assess time penalties as necessary during the race.

After each race has started, we will be glad to give your supporters suggestions regarding where to go and cheer you on!

Past Race Results

2020 Great October Adventure Race