Adventure Racing

Adventure Racing (also called expedition racing) is a combination of two or more endurance disciplines, including orienteering and/or navigating, cross-country running, mountain biking, paddling, and rappelling or other related rope skills, such as climbing.  An Expedition Race can span ten days or more, while sprints can be completed in a few hours.  Adventure Racing historically required teams to be of a specified size and to include both men and women, but many races no longer restrict team size and include single-sex divisions.  Some may also include age-based categories.


There are many types of Adventure Races:

  • Sprint: A sprint is typically a two to six hour race, featuring minimal navigation and occasionally involving games or specific tests of agility or cunning.
  • 12-Hour: A six-to-twelve hour race, featuring limited orienteering.
  • 24-Hour: A race lasting between 18-30+ hours.  Basic rope work is often involved, such as rappels or traverses.  Some 24-Hour races are supported, with racers employing support crews to help with gear, while others are unsupported, requiring racers to use bins placed at checkpoints.
  • Multi-Day: A 36-48+ hour race, involving advanced navigation and route choice.  Sleep deprivation becomes a significant factor.
  • Expedition: Three to 11 day race (or longer), involving all the challenges of a multi-day race, but often with additional disciplines, such as extensive mountaineering and rope work.