150 km of Epic Wilderness Racing
The race format itself is very simple. When the starting gun blasts you and your team will mountain bike, trek, and paddle non-stop for the next 20 – 30 hours. During this time you must reach a series of checkpoints in sequential order with your team intact until you reach the finish line. Sound easy? Maybe, but there will be a lot of natural (and cerebral!) obstacles in your way and the going will get tough. Physical strength and fitness will be an asset, but it will not be the determining factor in your team’s success. Teamwork…navigation…humility…and mental fortitude will be your allies. Here is what we have in store…
Ontario’s backcountry is a vast landscape of coniferous and deciduous forest, swamps, Canadian Shield rock, broad lakes, and winding rivers. You will face all of these in the trekking sections, totaling 25 to 35 km, and together they will give you a feeling of being truly out there. With your compass, navigation strategy, and sheer will, you will get through it. The best part; there are so many route options, no two teams will have the same stories to tell.
What Ontario lacks in topographical relief, it easily makes up for in the infinite possibilities for crossing over it on a bike. There is a litany of single-track, ATV trails, abandoned railways and old logging roads you'll traverse totaling 75 to 85 km. Raw speed is certainly an asset, but too many wrong turns will eat away your time. Careful execution of a well-laid route plan will see you reach the end, enjoying a thrilling ride along the way.
The 25 to 35 km of water travel on the racecourse will require your full attention. Whether portaging, deciding which route to select, or taking a picture of a loon in the early morning mist, these routes will keep your mind and imagination occupied. Don't expect boring ‘hammerfests’ on some long river or cottage strewn lake…instead paddling will be remote, on rarely used paddle & portage routes, so plan accordingly.
There you have it, 150 km of epic wilderness racing.
There will be no surprise challenges or special tasks as Ontario’s backcountry provides plenty of that. All you need is to commit to the challenge, work together, and never quit in the face of adversity.
Still wondering what to expect? Check out the Get Out There Magazine race video from the 2015 edition by Brad jennings of team Ripkin AR!