so, i have done more than 10 adventure races over the past three years, including 4 just this year so far. but all of these have been of the 'sprint' type, which does not mean you have to sprint during them, but they are fairly short, taking 3 to 8 hours to cover 15 to 30 miles. the most recent Desert Rage at Roosevelt Lake was a little longer, taking me nearly 12 full hours to complete, but still considered a sprint. i have thought about doing a couple 24-hour events, but so far everything has fell through.
but what got me (and probably most people) interested in adventure racing in the first place was the Eco-Challenge. this expedition-type race was much more than a few hours out in the desert. teams had to cover literally hundreds of miles over all kinds of terrain, day and night. strategy and determination became exponentially more important than just being 'fast'.
but most mortal people will never race in the Eco-Challenge. so what is a budding adventure racer to do? enter the Big Sky Breakdown (www.bigskybreakdown.com) - an expedition-type race in montana. the course promises to take racers on a 250-mile course that should take 3 to 4 days to complete. a couple of friends that i met through adventure racing (brad and yvonee of teams Tubac, Start Slow and Taper, and Plan B) have been doing Rogaine's and other 24-hour events and got the idea that they were ready to step up to something bigger. when they asked me if i would be interested, i jumped at the chance. having raced with them several times before, i knew that they shared my outlook on things, namely:
- stay friends
- have fun
- finish the race
- worry about going fast
the race is at the end of july (27-30), so we only have two months to get all of our gear in order and prepare physically for the event. the race directors have already said that the events will include:
- trekking (hiking)
- mountain biking
- river kayaking
- tough orienteering/navigation
- rappelling and Tyrolean traverse