Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race: Summer Edition
July 14, 2012
Start/finish: Fifth Third Ballpark (note new location as of June 21)
4500 West River Dr.
Comstock Park, MI 49321
Early check-in, Gazelle Sports: Friday from 4-8 pm
Same-day check-in, Fifth Third Ballpark: Saturday from 6:15-6:55 am
Race briefing: 7:00 to 7:30 am
Plan your route, final prep: 7:30 to 7:55 am
Race start (all teams): 8:00 am
Race cutoff: 12:00 pm
Lunch: pizza is on us! Fruit, cookies too.
Award ceremony and raffle: 12:45ish pm
Same-day check-in, canoe drop-off, Fifth Third Ballpark: Saturday from 5:15-5:45 am
Race briefing: 5:50-6:15 am
Plan your route, final prep: 6:15-6:25 am (note shortened planning time; all teams will be traveling same route for first few legs)
Race start (all teams): 6:30 am
Race cut-off: 2:30 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. There is a small playground next to the Pioneer Deck where we will be.
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 (one or more of these) will drop them off at the ballpark. They will be shuttled for you to the put-in.
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 letter box next to the number 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 may 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. You may access your car to change gear in between legs of the race, but it will be faster for you to carry everything with you as you do not need to return to the ballpark during the race (you may or may not be biking by the park depending on your route).
The 8-hour race will be some “linear” style, like most adventure races, and some breakout style. For the early morning sections, all teams will complete them 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 if not all will be optional. You will complete the majority of the 4-hour course as part of the race. You will start the race 1.5 hours before the 4-hour teams and will have the course all to yourselves for roughly 4 hours.
Water and Gatorade MAY be available at various locations on the course. Restrooms/changing rooms 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.
Distances shown below are to CLEAR the course – to get every checkpoint. Most racers will not get all of this mileage in before time runs out.
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 7-8 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 4-6 miles, both paved trail, downtown sidewalks and some light bushwhacking. Much of the running is broken up with checkpoints and challenges.
8-hour race: Distances TBD, but expect tougher orienteering and challenging terrain.
Biking will be on a variety of surfaces included bike trail, two-track, singletrack, and roads. At least four miles of biking will be unpaved and most of it is singletrack.
4-hour race: The distance likely will be 18-22 miles with very few traffic lights or turns.
8-hour race: Roughly 35-40 miles.
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, prizes will go to the top one or two 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 Friends of the White Pine Trail, which maintains and develops the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park as a safe, accessible, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly recreation opportunity.
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.