Race Information

Ada Township Park, Ada
8-9 hour time limit

Introducing the Michigan Adventure Race: Epic Edition, our first “classic” style wilderness adventure race. No urban sections. No Amazing Race challenges. Eight to nine hours of intensely fun and challenging trekking, orienteering, river paddling, road biking and mountain biking over some of the most beautiful and rugged terrain in West Michigan. YOU CAN DO THIS.

Don’t let the eight to nine hour duration keep you from an incredible experience. Just adjust your pace, establish a strong, positive attitude and make sure you know how to use a topographic map and compass. We will let racers know whether it is an eight- or nine-hour cutoff as soon as the course design has been finalized.

On an hourly basis, this race is one of the least expensive of thousands of races in the Midwest this year (roughly $10/hour).

Registration to open March 2014

The race will be capped at 300 participants.

Early and regular entry Includes tech shirt and pizza.
Canoe (teams) and kayak rental (solos) is $30 more if needed.

Early (3/x through 5/4)
$89 per person (solo, 2-person or 4-person team)

Regular (5/5 through 7/27)
$99 per person (solo, 2-person or 4-person team)

Late (7/28-7/30, 5 pm)
$89 per person (solo, 2-person or 4-person team), does not include shirt, $15 after race if available

Ada Township Park, 1180 Buttrick Ave SE, Ada 49301

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Tentative Schedule
Same-day check-in: Ada Township Park (no Friday check-in)
Race briefing:
 7:00 am
Race start:
 8:00 am
Race cut-off:
 4:00 or 5:00 pm
Food: pizza dinner
Award ceremony and raffle: 
goal is within 45 minutes of cut-off

You may race in one of six divisions. Prizes will be be awarded based on a minimum number of teams in each division. Minimum number of teams TBD.

Two-person teams that are top finishers in the Epic Edition and the Championship Series will receive the Championship Series prize and the Epic Edition prize will go to the next highest finisher who is not a Championship Series top team.

  • Solo female
  • Solo male
  • Two-person co-ed
  • Two-person female/female
  • Two-person male/male
  • Four-person co-ed (at least one female)

Championship Series
Two-person team prizes will be awarded based on accumulated points in the Michigan Adventure Racing Championship Series, consisting of the Winter, Lake Michigan and Epic Editions.


See the Gear page for details. Required gear will be standard adventure racing gear (hydration pack/container, compass, emergency blanket and a few other small items). A mountain or cyclocross bike is required. We will have canoes available for rent or you may bring your own. Solo racers may use a kayak. High-performance racing canoes and kayaks will not be permitted. We will provide specific length to width ratios, but almost all canoes and kayaks should fall within standards.

We will race rain or shine. In the event of a thunderstorm, we will postpone the race until conditions improve. During the race, please seek shelter during these conditions. No prize is worth risking your life. Race organizers reserve the right to cancel the event in the case of extended severe weather. We will do everything possible to get the event in, but refunds are not available if it is cancelled due to significant costs we must pay in advance of the race.

Ada Township Park, specific lot(s) TBD.

Race day check-in
Sign the waiver and get your shirt, passport, and “bib” number. Your teammate must provide you their waiver if you are picking up for them get their own shirt and bib so that we ensure we get their waiver.

Attach your number on your backpack or wherever most visible. Make sure you keep track of your passport. Also, put your name and mobile phone number on it in case you drop it so someone can call you and leave it at a checkpoint for you to pick up.

You will receive a short-sleeved tech/wicking shirt with your entry if you register before July 28. Men’s/adult and women’s cuts/sizes.
Women’s shirt specifications
Men’s shirt specifications

Epic-Women-V-Neck     Epic Men new

Buff headwear $10 ($18-$23 for others)

MAR Buff 2_19_14 K 400h

Bumper magnet $2 (50% off)


Stainless steel pint $6 ($15 on most race sites)

GRUAR mock-up

Michigan Adventure Racing ventilated hat (blue or dark gray; only 30 made) $15

Hat Non Staff

Pre-race briefing
We’ll go over rules, answer any questions, explain the passport and hand out an instruction sheet and maps. Bring your passport with you. The passport is the piece of waterproof paper you’ll punch at each checkpoint to prove you found it. You must punch the correct box in the passport so we can verify you were indeed there. A card with a number will be attached to the flag. Check it to confirm you got the right one. At most challenges, you will punch the passport upon arrival and a volunteer will hand you the second punch if you complete the challenge successfully. Punch the “CH” box next to the CP box you just punched.

The race instructions/clues will list the rules, describe the course and the challenge activities, and provide hints about where checkpoints are located.

The map(s) will be topographical. It’s critical that you do not lose or destroy your passport, map or instructions! You can waterproof your map with packing tape or contact paper if desired (find at Meijer-type stores).

The paddling section will be 6-9 miles on a river(s). You will not be carrying your bikes in your canoes. They will be staged. The trekking/orienteering portion of the race is expected to be 12-18 miles to get every checkpoint covering at least six different orienteering areas. The bike section will likely be 35-45 miles. It’s a bit difficult to test the course so far this year  with the snow so we’ll update this asap!

Mix of Mandatory and Optional Checkpoints
The format will be linear/traditional adventure racing. You must get certain points in order. This is so we can “clear” sections, ensuring that all teams have safely moved on the next section which also frees up volunteers to help with a section further into the race. Within orienteering sections, the format will switch to “rogaine” style where you can get any checkpoint in any order.

Water and Gatorade will be available at various points but fill your bladders/bottles when you have the opportunity and bring cash as there will be a few opportunities to buy fluids or food depending on your route.

Checkpoints may be out of view, tucked behind trees or a hill, but generally are not
difficult to find. They will usually be located at eye level. Check your map to
see where the point is located and consult your instruction sheet for the clue
which will help you determine its more exact location.

Each checkpoint will have an orange and white flag with a punch attached to it. Look for the checkpoint number attached to the flag/punch to confirm which checkpoint you are at and punch the corresponding box on your passport.

The goal is to maximize the number of checkpoints on your passport within the time limit. A team that gets 25 checkpoints in 7 hours and 59 minutes will finish ahead of a team that gets 24 checkpoints in 7 hours (if the race is 8 hours maximum).

Call the number on the race instructions sheet for minor medical issues. In an emergency, call 911.

This will be a smaller race so we encourage you to grab some of our pizza and hang out for a while.

Charity Partner

Age Guidelines
Racers generally must be at least 14 years old unless the parent discusses the possibility of an exception with race organizers. Racers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a parent or guardian sign the waiver/consent form provided during online registration. Exceptions may apply.

Questions? www.facebook.com/grUrbanAdventureRace is a great place to ask questions and get answers so others can learn from your question. For questions specific to you, email Mark VanTongeren, race director.