Start/finish: Riverside Park
2001 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids , MI 49501
Early check-in, Gazelle Sports: Friday from 11:30 am-1:30 pm, 7-9 pm (note the evening time change due to another event from 5-7 pm)
Same-day check-in, Riverside Park: Saturday from 6:15-7:00 am
Race briefing: 7:30 to 8:00 am
Plan your route, final prep: 8:00 to 8:25 am
Race start (wave): 8:30 am female/female, 8:40 am co-ed, 8:50 am male/male
Race cutoff: 12:30 pm female/female, 12:40 co-ed, 12:50 male/male
Lunch: pizza is on us! Fruit, cookies too.
Award ceremony and raffle: 1:30-2:15
Same-day check-in, canoe drop-off, Riverside Park: Saturday from 5:30-6:00 am
Race briefing: 6:15-6:45 am
Plan your route, final prep: 6:45-6:55 am (note shortened planning time; all teams will be traveling same route for first few legs)
Race start (all teams): 7:00 am
Race cut-off: 3:00 pm
Lunch: pizza, fruit, cookies
Award ceremony: TBD based on whether teams clear/finish the course early
BEFORE THE RACE We would encourage you to invite friends and family to watch the race. We will offer race maps to spectators so they can check out some of the fun challenges.
We will race rain or shine. In the event of a thunderstorm, tornado, or freak lake-effect blizzard, we will postpone the race until conditions improve. During the race, please seek shelter during these conditions. No prize is worth risking your life.
Race day check-in Get your shirt, passport, and "bib" number if you didn't make it to Friday packet pick-up. Attach your number on your backpack or wherever most visible. Make sure you keep your passport on you from now until the minute you hand it in! Also, put your names and mobile phone numbers on it in case you drop it so someone can call you and leave it for you to pick up.
Eight-hour teams that bring their own canoe, paddles and PFDs will drop them off at a designated spot. They will likely be shuttled for you to the put-in and back to the finish.
Pre-race briefing We'll go over rules, answer any questions, explain the passport and hand out an instruction sheet and maps. Bring your passport with you. The passport is the piece of paper you'll punch at each checkpoint to prove you found it. You must punch the correct box in the passport so we can verify you were indeed there. A card with a number will be attached to the flag. Check it to confirm you got the right one. At most challenges, you will punch the passport upon arrival and a volunteer will hand you the second punch if you complete the challenge successfully. Punch the "CH" box next to the CP box you just punched.
The race instructions/clues will list the rules, describe the course and the challenge activities, and provide hints about where checkpoints are located.
The maps will be a mix of street, topographical, and/or aerial format. Most, if not all, checkpoints will be shown on them. It's critical that you do not lose or destroy your passport, maps or instructions! You can waterproof your maps with packing tape or contact paper if desired (find at Meijer-type stores).
DURING THE RACE
We will note which checkpoints are "advanced." Teams that are not going at a fast pace should consider skipping these as they require going a significant distance or over dodgy terrain to obtain. They are meant to challenge the elite teams trying to obtain all CPs.
The 4-hour format will be "breakout" style. You can get any checkpoint in any order and all are optional. Teams will head out in dozens of directions. Ideally, this will greatly minimize lines. Riverside Park will be the transition area between running and biking and canoeing will either begin or end at Riverside. You may access your car to change gear.
The 8-hour race will be "linear" style, like most adventure races. All teams will complete legs in order. This helps us better keep track of teams, allows us to shift volunteers once all teams finish a leg, and aids in canoe shuttling. Note that checkpoints within a leg can be done in any order, unless instructed otherwise, and most will be optional. You will complete the full 4-hour course as part of the race. You will tentatively start the race 1.5 hours before the 4-hour teams and will have the advanced portion of the course all to yourselves for roughly 4 hours.
Water and Gatorade MAY be available at various locations on the course. Portajohns are available at the start/finish.
Checkpoints may be out of view, tucked behind trees or a hill, but generally are not difficult to find. They will usually be located at eye level. Check your map to see where the point is located and consult your instruction sheet for the clue which will help you determine its more exact location.
Each checkpoint will have an orange and white (some also have a blue stripe) flag with a punch attached to it. Look for the checkpoint number attached to the flag/punch to confirm which checkpoint you are at and punch the corresponding box on your passport.
The goal is to maximize the number of checkpoints on your passport within the time limit. A team that gets 40 checkpoints in 3 hours and 59 minutes will finish ahead of a team that gets 39 checkpoints in 3 hours.
Medical staff will be on hand to treat injuries. In an emergency, call 911.
A "dry" paddling clinic will likely be offered in June or early July and is recommended for beginner or intermediate paddlers.
4-hour race: The canoe leg will be 2 miles. Paddles and PDFs are included in your entry fee. This will be easy Grand River canoeing so no advanced skills are required. If the Grand poses a danger, the canoe will be cancelled and we will add bike and run checkpoints.
8-hour race: The canoe leg will likely be 4-7 miles.
A compass is required but teams skilled in reading maps and taking risks will be rewarded with faster times.
4-hour race: You will be running and orienteering for 5-8 miles, both paved trail and some light bushwhacking.
8-hour race: Distances TBD, but expect tougher orienteering, an encounter with a swamp, and challenging terrain.
Biking will be primarily paved surface as there are limited non-paved surfaces in the area. There will be some dirt/gravel areas.
4-hour race: The distance likely will be 13-18 miles.
8-hour race: Distances TBD.
Amazing Race-type challenges
Mum is the word on these, but you'll have several unique and fun challenges to overcome. Both distances will feature the same challenges.
AFTER THE RACE Gulp down some pizza, fruit and cookies. We'll furiously count up the checkpoints so bring a chair and stick around for the post-race awards. We'll pass out some great prizes to the top teams in each of the 4-hour divisions and in some other categories. For the 8-hour race, we may have divisions if there are enough teams to justify it; otherwise prizes will go to the top teams regardless of gender (co-ed teams have finished first or second in all of our races). We'll raffle off a bunch of stuff too.
Our charity partner for this race is TBD.
Questions? www.facebook.com/grUrbanAdventureRace is a great place to ask questions and get answers so others can learn from your question. For questions specific to you, email Mark VanTongeren, race director.