What to Expect

You will travel as a team of two (2) or three (3) with a map(s) and compass to find a series of checkpoints (CPs) throughout the race course. The points on the course are marked with orange and white flags and electronic devices, so you can prove that you’ve been there.  Completing the race requires reaching all of the checkpoints and crossing the finish line.

Race Check-In

When arriving at the host site you will need to check-in before you can participate. This process can take over 30 minutes. Getting your gear to the necessary transition areas will take additional time. Give yourself at least an hour to get everything done.  If you are not an MOA member you must  print, fill out, and sign the Membership Application & Waiver Form. Each team member must do so in order for your team to participate. Please bring these forms with you during race check-in to speed up the process. Getting your team’s waivers and info sorted out can take a fair bit of time, especially if you’re new to racing. The absolute latest you should arrive at the host site is 6:30am Saturday. It is recommended that you arrive on the Friday evening before the race. Registration on Friday runs from 4:00-10:00pm. Race start time is at 9:00am.

Maps

You will receive a 1:50,000 topographical map. You will also receive maps showing more detail of one or more sections of the race.  All check points will be marked on the map. You won’t need to plot your points. Knowledge of how to take a bearing with a compass is necessary. You will also receive a set of written instructions to aid you in getting from one CP to the next. Only maps supplied by race organizers are allowed.

The orienteering maps that may be used in this event are:

To better orient yourself here are the locations of each orienteering map on larger Spruce Woods maps.

Visit our last year’s event for a sample of the maps and points plotted.

What to wear

Please be prepared for any type of weather. Adventure races can be warm and sunny or cold and wet. Be sure to bring layers you can add if the weather turns. Avoid cotton if possible. Quick dry clothing is preferred. It is recommended to have long sleeves and long pants to avoid being scratched up or to catch poison ivy.

Your feet will get wet, sandy and muddy. Most teams keep their shoes and socks for the entire race. Try to choose shoes that do not hold water and dry relatively fast. Wet shoes will weigh you down. Technical or wool socks are recommended. Many racers will wear two pairs of socks to avoid blisters. Avoid using new shoes for the race as this will most definitely cause blisters.

Some teams will wear bike shoes and use clipless pedals for the bike sections. If you will be riding with bike shoes you may have to carry your running shoes in your backpack to be ready to trek. Ensure that you have a way to attach your bike shoes to your backpack or that your pack is large enough to put your shoes inside.

Please see what clothes you should bring in our Gear List section.

What to eat

The amount of calories you need in order to perform well is dependant on your own body but you should try to eat at least a minimum of 200 calories/hour which is about equal to one chocolate bar an hour. During a race you will burn lots of calories and you should have these types of foods with you to replace what has been used: sugar, fat, protein, salt.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to have salty snacks available on the race course – especially if the weather is hot. When it’s hot out you sweat a lot. When people do not replace their salts from all the sweating they tend to get muscle cramps. Please ensure that you have some salty snack, even if you don’t think you will eat it. Common snacks carried by racers are: energy gels, potato chips, cookies, granola bars, sandwiches, wraps, bagels, protein bars, candy, Hot Rods.

It is a good idea to put extra food in your transition bags. Food can be added into ziplock bags for easy access when you are at a transition area.

How much to drink

On average the minimum you will need is ½  litre of water every 30 minutes. This is totally dependant on your size and athletic ability. Most racers use a hydration system or water bladder as it frees your hands for the race. If temperatures are hot expect to drink way more, often double what you would normally drink.

About each discipline

Trekking

Trekking may be on trails, off trails, or on side roads. Be prepared to go through almost anything from thick bush to sandy hills to swamp or water. You will never need to swim to get to a checkpoint.

Biking

The biking terrain can include roads, back roads, double track trails and single track trails. There may be some technical portions of single track but this is not the majority. It is highly recommended that you service your bike and take it for a test ride prior to race day to ensure it is in proper working order.

Paddling

Padding will be done mostly on river conditions and perhaps on flat water. You must wear your PFD at all times. It is not necessary, but highly recommended that you bring some type of middle seat for the third person in your boat. This will make their life significantly more comfortable. Ensure that your seat will not disintegrate during the race. If you are using pressed styrofoam for your seat, cover it completely in duct tape to prevent bits from breaking off and polluting the water. Please test your seat prior to race day as too high of a seat will make the boat very tippy.

Leave only your footsteps

Please respect the environment and be sure to pick up any trash or garbage that may fall from you while on course. If you are caught littering you will automatically be disqualified from the race. Garbage bags will be at each transition area for you to use. If you see any garbage as you are competing please pick it up. You may not get any bonus points for the race but it’s just good karma.

Stay together

During the entire race you must be within 50 metres of your teammates. A penalty will be given to your team if your break this rule. If your team is caught a second time you may be disqualified.