The rugged and wild OutThere No Sleep Adventure Race starts at 7 AM Saturday, June 4, at Shawnee National Forest in Illinois with event tracking from Adventure Enablers.
"We are known for tough navigation," says co-race director John Farless. "With this the first year for us having trackers, we are looking forward to seeing the route choices racers are taking. We used to have to wait for the stories afterwards, but now it is available in real time."
Farless and co-race director Brian Fribley are "old-school" course designers.
“We have a great relationship with the climbing community and still incorporate ropes in our courses,” said Farless.
“And we have a significant rappel that will be one of those pucker moments,” added Fribley.
In addition to a ropes section, racers can look forward to a Friday night of CP plotting and staring at maps—a skill the directors want to make sure racers know not only for safety but also to keep the skill part of AR.
“We have always seen land nav as part of adventure racing and some directors are getting away from it,” says Fribley. “And with technology like google maps, having the ability to not only plot but pinpoint themselves and be able to plot their own location is becoming a lost art of land navigation.”
Without a TA, racers will also have to carry all their gear and nutrition for the duration of the linear, point to point course where racers will not see the same spot on the course twice (at least not by design).
With a five-year permit to conduct races in the Shawnee National Forests, it easy to keep the course fresh.
“[Shawnee National Forest] is massive,” says Farless. “We just shift a little east or west, and we put on a new course.”
The directors start their planning 18 months in advance, reconnoitering areas, comparing with maps, and vetting facilities. Once they have a blueprint, they examine the course in person.
“We try to find unique features that are outside the high tourists spots,” says Fribley. “We steer our racers to those spots. Racers tells that us that they can tell we spend a lot of time on the course.”
“It’s a beautiful course,” adds Farless. “A true wilderness course, expedition style, never going through the same location, racers carry everything with them, not a lot of paved roads. It’s a true wilderness experience.”
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