Adventure Racing can loosely be defined as staged, multiple sports on a course through back country, a sort of 'off-road triathlon'. Races vary enormously in length and ambition, though. Some are a morning of staged sports in a country park; at the other extreme, endure races might consist in six or eight days of non-stop endeavour through some of the wildest terrain on the planet. Even the individual sports in adventure racing are not defined, though there is usually a core of running/hiking, biking and paddling and sometimes rope-work. Often they adapt to the country in which they are taking place - races might include camel-riding, caving and paddling local canoes. The consistent characteristic of the sport is that races tend to take place 'off-road', so that the terrain, and often navigation between checkpoints, becomes an integral part of the challenge. The longer, endurance events are often raced in mixed teams. The two major races at the beginnings of the sport in the 1990s, the Raid Gauloises and Eco-Challenge, are now gone (though you can still click through to articles about these races below), but they have been replaced with races lasting four to six days non-stop, several of which form part of the AR World Series.
To read a general article about adventure racing, published in 1996 by the Telegraph newspaper in London, covering big races such as the Raid Gauloises, Eco-Challenge and the Southern Traverse, see below... Also an article published in High Life, British Airways' in-flight magazine.
We will continue to add adventure races to this page. In fact, if you have a particular favourite which you think might be suitable, then do contact us to let us know about it. We're most interested in races that are the equivalent of marathon length or longer.