Dirt Cheap Orienteering

Saturday, September 28, 2013
Robinette’s Apple Haus – 3142 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids

Are you ready for the next challenge: orienteering in the dark? It’s a lot of fun and easier than you think. Night orienteering is also great practice for adventure racing – day or overnight races. It’s popular in Europe but very rare in the United States. Like adventure racing, this is a great chance to do something few others do. If you can read a topographic map, you can take this on.

You are racing on foot; mix of trails and off-trail.

$15 per person; comes with Gazelle Sports scratch-off gift certificate of $5-$20

Check in after 7 pm. Start between 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm (7:30 sunset). Finish by 9:15 pm.

NEW: Registration is online or at the door. We will absorb online fees so we encourage you to sign up online. Those who sign up on race day will miss out on updates and possible tips.

Why online? Online registration allows us to easily get your email address so we can communicate with you about race details and easily load your names into the scoring system (pulling info from Facebook events page is a pain in the arse).

Why $15 instead of $10? After the cost of insurance and maps, very little profit is left over at $10 per person. $15 is still less expensive than 99% of 5K races and this race is longer and a lot more fun according to the vast majority of past participants.

Please print waiver (we will have copies if you forget).

Also: a free Navigation 101 Clinic geared to those prepping for our October 5 GR Urban Adventure Race (but also good education for Dirt Cheap Orienteering) will take place at 5:45 pm that evening at Robinette’s. RSVP here. Stay for Dirt Cheap at 7:45.

Anyone can do this. 

  • Will use a lot of Robinette’s trail system. Some bushwhacking, but mostly good access from trails.
  • Checkpoints/flags are reflective and easier to spot than in daylight when your light hits them.
  • You can quickly learn how to read a map and use a compass with our online tools or search the Internet.
  • We estimate 3-4 miles of running/trekking to get every checkpoint.

Here’s what you do.

  • Park at Robinette’s, south side. 3142 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.
  • Meet at the old school house building behind the Gift Barn/Winery. Thanks to Robinette’s for use of the building and land!
  • Pay $15 cash per person or check to Michigan Adventure Racing. We can take credit cards if necessary. Kids 11-18 are $10. Kids under 10 are free.
  • Sign a waiver, grab a map/passport, and go. We will time you to see how fast you get the checkpoints.
  • Participate as an individual or a group of any size. Any age. Kids under 18 must be with an adult.
  • We reserve the right to postpone the event based on weather conditions (e.g., heavy rain, thunderstorms).

Here’s what you bring.

  • Required: headlamp for each participant. Pick up one at Gazelle Sports. Mention you are doing the race and get 10% off!
  • Suggested: compass, map case or contact paper/tape to waterproof map, clothing with reflective material, eye protection.
  • Brains and brawn – bring it!

Here’s what you get.

  • All participants get a scratch-off card for $5-$20 off any item at Gazelle Sports.
  • Fastest participants and raffle winners will get either Zanfel poison ivy cream ($38 per tube), tech shirts from past races, or discounts off future events.
  • A fun and challenging event in the dark for the price of two frou-frou cups of Starbucks.


  • Your time begins once you receive the map and passport.
  • You will receive one map for every two people in your group as quantities allow.
  • Punch each box on the passport to show you reached each checkpoint.
  • Please protect your map and passport with contact paper, tape, ziplock baggie or map case.
  • You must return by 9:15 pm.

Please fill out our short survey after the event and help us make these events even better.

Thanks to Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery for the use of their building and land and thanks to Gazelle Sports for the scratch off gift cards. Please support both businesses and tell them thanks for supporting Michigan Adventure Racing events.

Questions? Ask on the facebook event page or email Mark at mark@miadventureracing.com.

Past events
March 23 results.

Summer Results (PDF)

Thanks for coming out to our second Dirt Cheap Orienteering event. Congrats to all of you for challenging yourselves! Night orienteering is a difficult format/sport and some of those checkpoints were quite a bit harder than I envisioned so thanks for persevering and having such good attitudes despite that! Hope you can make it to our September 28 event in preparation for our October 5 ArtPrize Edition of the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race. We’ll see if we can fit in another Dirt O in August – a little easier this time!


Michigan Adventure Racing