Adventure Racing in North Dakota

Big news this week for the sport of adventure racing in. . . North Dakota! Yes, the flattest state in the union has a bonafide adventure-racing series (END Racing, and it’s actually been around for a few years!) and now it is a part of a national-ranking system, Checkpoint Tracker. The organization’s 24-hour race this fall is a part of CP Tracker’s nationwide series!

Last weekend, END held its annual spring race, the ENDSPAR. Here below are two videos from the event for a flavor of what AR is like in the northerly outpost. Says Jason Magness, a Gear Junkie writer and co-founder of END: Adventure racing in the Great Plains region is pretty much brand new, and it is refreshing to see teams show up with 20-year-old Huffy bikes, cotton basketball shorts, and Converse All-stars, and then line up next to teams with much more modern gear. But despite the fact the Huffy bikes often don’t function after a few trips through the river, and the teams in cotton are often shivering so hard that it is difficult for them to read the maps, they still almost always make it to the finish line.

Continues Magness, Watching it all unfold this weekend was a reminder that while the gear is important, passion and teamwork can go a long way to make up for the lack of synthetic super fabrics and high-tech shoes. After all, if a team runs out of willpower when the going gets miserable no amount of carbon fiber will save them. So I raise a cyber toast to all the future gear junkies and AR racers out there who just did their first adventure race in ND. Here’s to you!

More info on END Racing:

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.