Why you should run an Adventure Race
Adventure racing is so hot right now. Just look at the Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, or the run for your life Zombie run. Runners seem to like obstacles in their path or things chasing them to the finish. Whatever the reason, adventure racing can be an amazing way to reinvigorate your running routine.
In 2008, my brother and I participated in the Minneapolis Blackberry Curve challenge. We were given a Blackberry, and a series of clues. We ran around Minneapolis, from the Guthrie to Loring Park to the UofM. We used the clues to get us to the various locations. Once there, we completed a physical or mental challenge before moving on. We ran almost 10 miles and placed third! We won Blackberries and $150 in other swag.
Benefits of Adventure Racing
- Explore the city. Even if you are familiar with a city, you will learn new things about buildings and landmarks you may have past 100 times before. Sometimes, you get to go into buildings or other areas normally off limits. It’s a bit like a treasure hunt.
- Challenge your whole body. Adventure racing is considered a ‘thought sport’ and people often fail to realize that success depends on using both your physical and mental abilities. Imagine running for a few miles, then solving some type of puzzle or challenge. Could you do it? A dozen times?
- Team Effort. Road racing tends to be an individual sport, while adventure racing is team focused. Accomplishing something together is always more exhilarating then doing it alone. Completing one of these with your friends or family members will bring you closer together as you reminisce over your shared challenge.
Three Minneapolis Adventure Races
- Great Urban Race – September 22, $50/person. This race starts at Hubert’s sports bar on 1st Ave. The “Great Urban Race is a wild urban adventure! Teams of two—four solve twelve clues and participate in exciting mental and physical challenges while discovering the city in a fresh way.” The clues lead to puzzles, physical challenges, brain teasers and multi-part challenges that require several steps. First place is $300 and entry to the national race in Las Vegas.
- Oyster Urban Adventure – October 13, $75/person. “Merrell Oyster_The Race is the ultimate urban hybrid adventure, sending teams of 3-6 racers out on a mystery course around the city. The courses can range from 10-30 miles and 2-6 hours, providing an endurance level to suit all appetites. Oyster teams will combine athleticism with thought-provoking strategy and may expect to be running, biking, kayaking, rock climbing and performing other crazy stunts while solving clues and utilizing technology in a race around the city.”
- Haunted Hay Run – October 13, $45. “3.1 mile haunted adventure run with 5 haunted obstacles, haunted trail run and a jaunt with the headless horsemen on the horse racing track Post-race party, live music, beer & an entry into “Nightmare Hallow-Scream Park” Haunted House at the 20th annual Nightmare Hallow-Scream park.” This isn’t a team race, but most run with a group.
I highly encourage you to signup for one of these (or another) adventure race in the next year. It’s an exciting new way to see what you’re made of. Your team might even come away with some pretty cool prizes!