Frequently Asked Questions

Uhh, what exactly is Adventure Racing?

Adventure racing is a multi-discipline sport usually involving mountain biking, paddling, and trekking or orienteering. Sometimes rope work is involved as well as other challenges. Adventure Racing is NOT an obstacle course run.

Races are endurance events ranging in duration from just a few hours to multiple days. It is a team event usually with teams of 2-4 people, although some races do allow solo racers. Race courses are unmarked, and teams make their way through the course only by map and compass collecting checkpoints along the way. Teams are ranked first by the number of checkpoints they collect, then by time.

Read more about Adventure Racing here.

This sounds great, but I don't think I could finish...

Yes you can! The great thing about adventure racing is that you can go at your own pace, skip checkpoints if you have to, and just have fun being outdoors getting some exercise. You could quickly walk the trekking sections, and ride and paddle at a leisurely pace, not take too long of breaks, and still collect a lot of the checkpoints in the allotted time. If you can ride a bike and stay active for 8 hours, YOU CAN finish this race.

Think of this as a fun day with friends paddling, peddling, and hiking in the woods. Not to mention the bragging rights and stories you will tell your coworkers Monday morning...

If you're still not sure, shoot me an email at with your phone number and I can answer more questions or figure out a time to talk on the phone.

I don't know how to navigate with a compass. Can I still participate??

Yes you can. Just check out the introductory videos on our info page. Navigation is not as complicated as it sounds. If you can read a road or trail map, that will get you through 75% of the 9 to 5 course. That last 25% will challenge navigator's skill and speed as well as allow beginners a chance to try it out.

Do I really need all the required gear items?

Yes. The required gear is for your safety. There will be gear checks on the course, and teams failing a gear check will receive a 1 checkpoint penalty. (Teams are ranked by the number of checkpoints they collect.)

Will there be cutoff times?

Most likely. To ensure racer safety and to make sure teams finish the race, cutoff times for certain sections of the race may be implemented. Racers will be "short coursed" if they do not reach certain points in the course by certain times. Any cutoff times will be explained in your race packet and at the prerace meeting.

Is this an unsupported race?

Yes. Racers will not be allowed to receive support of any kind, except from other racers/teams. You are required to help another team in immediate danger, and are allowed/encouraged to help other teams along the course.

Will there be a bike drop? What gear can we leave with our bikes?

There will most likely be a bike drop, the location of which will be in your race packets. You are allowed to leave your individual bike gear (helmets, shoes, etc) with your bikes as well as water bottles attached to your bike. Anything left at the bike drop must be attached to your bike in such a way that you can ride with it there. The bike drop is not a gear drop/refueling location. If you have any questions on this, please ask.

Unplugged Adventures is a new venture looking to offer a variety of outdoor activities in Central Iowa. We provide first class events and enjoyment for all levels of competition, from families to the elite adventure racer.