The Wife Carrying Race is a definite challenge - all 'wives' must weigh at least 50kg (yes, there is a weigh-in), and the 10m ascent doesn't sound like much, but it is very tough indeed. Participants win beer, while the last-placed finishers win the ceremonial pot noddle and tin of dog food. Thanks for the nod, RW!
There's a popular video of the 2011 Wife Carrying Race here:
All no doubt fantastic races - but it's a shame RW uses the term "adventure race" to cover these events.
I think the term "adventure race" should still be kept to describe that broad school of multi-discipline events ( often including elements of biking, running, paddling, skating,swimming etc) that take place over hours, or days and requiring competitors to make navigation and route choices.
It seems Runners World and its readers don't have any idea what an adventure race is. Maybe you should rename this category to "muddy and wacky".
Dr Robert - the wife carry might be a challenge to you, but I'm not sure you'd consider it that if you'd done a proper adventure race (covering a lot more than 10m ascent over many hours or days).
Perhaps it depends on the wife...
Chris... if Wife Carrying isn't challenging enough for you, perhaps you could use it as a warm-up for the Leith Hill half marathon (as some runners do), or enter any of the other Trionium races.... perhaps The Picnic would be a good start (26.2 miles, +6000ft of ascent and descent, in mid-summer).
Seriously though... can you come up with a good definition of an adventure race, that RW can use in the future? I don't expect the Wife Carrying Race to feature on the list of 'adventure races' again (although it was nice to be included this time!)
carlos pretty much covered the definition already. Basically nothing which just involves running (even if that includes carrying wives, bales of straw etc.) would count. It has to be multisport at a minimum, and I think most people would also exclude any event which takes the winners less than 2 hours - I'm having to err lower than I'd prefer there to allow in some events I'd definitely consider to be AR.
The Picnic doesn't sound like a picnic, but I've done adventure races covering hundreds of miles with 5 times that much ascent (not that I'm up to that sort of thing any more due to injuries).
Hmm... so that would exclude things like Tough Guy, Tough Mudder, Rat Races.... but would include half and full Ironman triathlons... hmm...
Wikipedia says "Adventure racing (also called expedition racing) is a combination of two or more <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance" title="Endurance">endurance</a> disciplines, including <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orienteering" title="Orienteering">orienteering</a> (if an <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orienteering" title="Orienteering">orienteering</a> map is used) and/or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation" title="Navigation">navigation</a> (when non-orienteering maps are used), <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-country_running" title="Cross-country running">cross-country running</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_biking" title="Mountain biking">mountain biking</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddling" title="Paddling">paddling</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climbing" title="Climbing">climbing</a> and related rope skills. An expedition event can span ten days or more while sprints can be completed in a matter of hours. There is typically no suspension of the clock during races, irrespective of length; elapsed competition time runs concurrently with real time, and competitors must choose if or when to rest."
So, for the purposes of RW's adventure races of the year, running (but not just running) plus another challenge/sport, where the winner takes at least two hours to complete the course. Fair enough!
Gah! It's not letting me edit that post!
Anyway, just a thought: none of the five races named would fulfil your definition, I think.
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