A highlight of the Spring 2017 Adventure Series is the the Lewis and Clark Adventure Challenge on May 12th . All courses start in the west, Eisenhower Hall parking lot, directly south  of Gruber Gym and adjacent to Smith Lake.  All start times are staggered with olympic, sprint and orienteer challenge racers starting anytime between 8am to 9:30am.   Teams of all ages and sizes compete in the series.  We do not have any age restrictions as long as children and toddlers are accompanied by adults.  However, we recommend against children under 6 competing in the olympic course due to the higher distances, longer time, and endurance levels.   The key is to have fun, work together, and set your own goal for completing the race.

Can’t Decide Which Race Is Best For Me or My Team?

Lets try try to help with your decision. All courses have the same 5 sections.  The difference is in distance and the level of technical orienteering.  Please note you do not have to complete all the sections.  For example, if you do not have a bike, no problem, just skip the section.  Heres a brief summary of courses.

Sprint Course

The sprint course is family friendly where all navigational markers are hung on buildings or closely adjacent to sidewalks or parking lots. The course uses an urban orienteer map (see numerous examples of an orienteer map using our search tab).  The course distance is short with an approximate 2 mile trek, 7 mile bike (street, hybrid, tykes on a tiny bikes are perfect), 1 lap around Lake Smith in the canoe and 2 challenges. The average time to complete the spring is anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours.

Olympic Course

The Olympic Course is longer in distance and contains a higher level of technical orienteering.  The racers receive a USGS topographical map and an orienteer map having land features, some buildings, and vegetation. As usual, the USGS map is approximately 30 years old so it does take some skill to compare the map to present land features.  The course distance is of Olympic size with an approximate 10 mile trek across all types of vegetation, a 12-mile bike (hard top and gravel roads [road, mountain or hybrid, no prob]), 2 laps around Lake Smith and 2 challenges.  The average time to complete the Olympic is 4 to 6 hours.

Course Sections.

Adventure races are traditionally divided into sections where racers transition to different modes of travel or challenges.  Racers are not required to complete all sections, nor are they required to capture all navigational points.  Participants can race as long or as little as they want.  Racers navigate the course using either a race provided orienteer map (sprint course, orienteer challenge) or topographical map (olympic course). The course is not marked and there are no signs.  Thus at least 1 member of the team should have a sense of direction and can navigate.  We post the maps on our website on Wednesday, the week of the race to allow participants a little extra time to develop their attack plan.

We divided the course into 5 different sections. Racers can complete sections in any order. However, adventure racing is a sport that requires time management and mental awareness. Certain sections are only open during specific event hours. We do this on purpose in order to bring the elements of mental agility and teamwork as basic components of the sport. Team members must maintain close awareness to the clock and make decisions as their race unfolds. The finish placement is determined (1st) by number of check points captured and (2nd) finish time.  Thus if you race like a turtle but possesses strong teamwork, mental agility and endurance, you can place at the top of your field.  A brief overview of each section follows. Remember, the distances provided in the write-up are approximate in nature.  The actual distance you travel is highly dependent on your attack plan.  Sprint course teams can gain bonus points by capturing olympic course navigation markers. However, you must capture all your designated course controls for the bonus points to kick-in.  Thus strategize before going too far off course when capturing another course’s points. If you are lucky enough to stumble across another course’s controls, punch away.

 Section 1.  Circular Paddle, Smith Lake. 

In comparison to other lakes in Kansas, Smith Lake is small.  The positives are it is a smooth and safe paddle for skills of any ages.   We provide all paddling equipment to include canoes, paddles, and floatation devices. We have a number of children vests but appreciate families bringing their own if possible.

 Section 2.  Roadie, Hybrid Biking or Tiny Tots on a Tryke.  

For most of you familiar with Fort Leavenworth, the fort is a medium size post with hills.  Due to the base containing an active prison, there are several restricted areas for fear someone will race off with a prisoner on the back of their bike. The bike distances are short compared to other adventure races.  We make up for the distance with the trek :). The Olympic courses consists of hardtop and gravel. The sprint is hard top roads and sidewalks The course is technically low where you do not have to possess high level, mountain biking skills. The olympic course consists of approximately 15 miles of biking (embrace the hills) with the sprint course being approximately 7 miles.  Remember racers choose their own course and how far they want to travel to capture points.

Section 3.  Paintball Shooting Gallery.

At the Paintball Shooting Gallery, racers take aim with a paintball gun (gun and ammo provided by race staff) and shoot at tin cans and scary creatures (markdown halloween decorations) hung in trees.   Similar to the olympic biathlon, if the solos or teams run out of 20 paintballs before hitting 5 tin cans, they must trek a penalty lap.

Section 4.  Trail Run and Orienteer.

 Fort Leavenworth’s trails, historical scenery, views of the Missouri River are beautiful in early May.  Racers trek the section capturing points along the trails.  The sprint/orienteering challenge trek section is approximately 2 miles with the olympic section being somewhere around 10 to 12 miles.   Note these distances are as the crow flies and are highly dependent on your capture strategy.  Racers can bushwhack at their own risk.  The trek section offers the sprint racers an opportunity to gain bonus points by capturing long course navigation points. If the team are strong hikers or trail runners, the trek offers an excellent place to grab bonus points.

Section 5.  Compass Course

Using a compass (loaner compasses are available for free at start), racers shoot a bearing and find a hidden cache.

Section 6.  Challenge, Basketball Hoops & Puzzle Build

We decided to take a page from Survivor where racers shoot a mini-basketball and puzzle build.   Racers will shoot baskets at a tiny tot basketball hoop.  Once they score 3 baskets, they receive a puzzle bag containing 12 puzzle pieces.  Complete the puzzle and get credit for the challenge.

The 5Ws.

Race fees are $25.00 for sprint course/orienteer challenge and $30.00 per person for the olympic course. Our sponsor, Fort Leavenworth, are extremely family friendly and welcome family members seeking to race together. We are pet friendly and pups of all ages are  welcome. Family fees (3 or more, must be related) are $55 and $65 respectively. The meet fee includes: 1:15K waterproof topographical (olympic course) or orienteer map (sprint & orienteer challenge); race clue sheets; orienteer passport; canoe or kayak (solos) with PfDs and paddles; paintball equipment; mental skills challenge; and end of course refreshments (hot dogs, chips, cookies, oranges, drink, chocolate milk). A limited amount of loaner compasses is available for race use. Olympic and sprint adventure courses require that you bring your own  bike. Mountain bikes are available for rent at the FMWR Outdoor Rec Center.  NOTE:  Olympic racers are required to mark their topographical map prior to the race. headerphoto Allow about 15 to 20 minutes to mark map from the master map.  A finisher award of an adventure series logo’d stainless steel 26oz water bottle is presented to each solo and 2-person teams. IMG_0242 First time racers receive a neon orange buff.  Family teams receive 2 stainless steel water bottles and additional finishers awards of their choice (motorized puzzles, trail bags, “stuff”).  In our efforts to keep race’s costs sensible there is no formal awards/medal ceremony.  Also, the use of staggered starts causes a bit of delay when determining who placed where in the finish. We provide overall winners and division leaders a HUGE shout-out on our website.  Thanks to our generous, volunteer photography staff, we provide free race photos for download from our smug mug site.

All packet information (maps, rules, clue sheets) will be posted online by 9 May.  Race day registration is from 7:30am to 9:30am. All start times are staggered with olympics and sprint racers starting the courses anytime between 8am to 9:30am.  That said, all racers must be off the course by 2pm or incur a penalty. For every 2 minutes late, racers incur a subtraction of 1 control. Racers arriving after 2:30pm are listed as “DNF”.

Please note we can only accept cash or check (made out to FMWR) at the race day registration table. You are welcome to pay via credit card at the Gruber Gym front desk at any time during the week or on race day  and bring us the receipt race day morning.

Access for Folks Without a Government Identification Card.

Fort Leavenworth is race friendly.  However, access to post requires a quick background check to ensure there are no adventure racing terrorists.  Visitors are required to check into the Visitors Control Center (VCC) before accessing the front gate. Please bring your license, vehicle registration, and insurance. You will undergo a short computer background check. This normally takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. We suggest felons and folks who have an active warrant for arrest not attempt to take a background check. Please see our homepage reference access information. Gruber Gym, which is adjacent to the race start and finish, opens at 8am. Participants are welcome to use the facilities to include hot showers. Bring your own towel. Text us if you have questions, (913) 683-5634.