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Whatchamacallits & Thingamajigs

So, you're curious about adventure racing, huh? Well, let me tell you, diving into this world can sometimes feel like wandering through a maze of strange words and ideas. Trust us, we've all been there!


But don't worry, we've got your back. Whether you're just dipping your toes into the adventure racing waters or you're a seasoned pro looking to refresh your memory, understanding the lingo is key to making sense of it all.


So first and foremost, let's start with Adventure Racing: A multi-sport endurance event that typically involves navigation, trekking, mountain biking, and paddling over varied terrain and distances.


See, simple right?! Okay, here are a few more to help you out and navigate this world with a bit more ease:


  1. Checkpoint (CP): A specific location marked on the race map that teams must visit to verify their route and progress. Checkpoints are often identified by coordinates or descriptions and must be visited in a specific order.

  2. Navigation: The process of finding and following a route using a map, compass, and/or GPS device. Navigation skills are essential in adventure racing for route planning and finding checkpoints.

  3. Orienteering: A sport that involves navigating through a series of checkpoints in a natural environment using only a map and compass. Orienteering skills are often used in adventure racing for land navigation.

  4. Transition Area: A designated area where teams transition between different legs of the race, such as switching from trekking to mountain biking or paddling. Teams may also rest, eat, and replenish supplies in transition areas.

  5. Trekking: Traveling on foot over varied terrain, including trails, mountains, forests, and rivers. Trekking is a common component of adventure racing, often involving long-distance hikes between checkpoints.

  6. Mountain Biking: Riding bicycles over off-road terrain, such as trails, dirt roads, and rugged terrain. Mountain biking segments are common in adventure races, requiring both technical skills and endurance.

  7. Paddling: Traveling in a boat, such as a kayak, canoe, or raft, over water bodies like rivers, lakes, and oceans. Paddling sections are often included in adventure races and require paddling skills and teamwork.

  8. Teamwork: Collaboration and communication among team members to navigate, strategize, and complete the race. Teamwork is essential in adventure racing, as teams must work together to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. Seems straightforward, but we opted to include it.

  9. Gear Check: A pre-race or in-race inspection of teams' equipment and

  10. gear to ensure they have the required items for safety and navigation. Gear checks may include items such as maps, compasses, first aid kits, and safety gear.

  11. Cut-off Time: The maximum allowable time for completing a specific section or the entire race. Teams must reach checkpoints or finish lines within the designated cut-off times to avoid penalties or disqualification.

  12. Route Choice: The selection of a specific route or path between checkpoints based on factors such as distance, terrain, and navigation difficulty. Teams must strategically choose routes to optimize their time and energy during the race.

  13. Sleep Strategy: A plan for managing sleep and rest breaks during longer adventure races. Teams must balance the need for rest with the desire to minimize time spent off-course. At the moment, none of our races will require this - except before and after, of course!

  14. Race Director (RD): The individual or organization responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing the adventure race. The race director ensures that the event runs smoothly and safely for participants.

  15. Course Marker: A physical marker, such as a flag or ribbon, placed along the race course to indicate the correct route to teams. Course markers help teams navigate and stay on course during the race.


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