Treasure Hunt Success!

On Sunday, July 11, at Explore Park in Roanoke, Va., the Gear Junkie’s inaugural “Treasure Hunt: Roanoke” drew more than 300 racers. Gear and prizes were piled in a tent. A Sylvan GO camper trailer — the event’s $6,995 grand prize! — was parked nearby. Music pumped from an amplifier. Race directors shouted from a bullhorn. And the Treasure Hunt participants — a group of all ages and skill levels — ran and hiked off from the start at the shout of “Go!”

40-foot arch welcomes racers to Treasure Hunt

What followed was a two-hour backwoods race in search of flags hidden in the ravines and twisting trails of Explore Park. A map and a compass (or a GPS) were the racers’ sole guides. They climbed steep trails and paced steps through thick woods to locate checkpoints scattered along a river and into the hills. Some racers found all the flags. Some found just three or four.

Registration area volunteers check punch cards at end of a race heat

Thanks to the Roanoke community (including our 15+ volunteers!), Pete Eshelman with Roanoke Outside, Ronny Angell and the staff of Odyssey Adventure Racing, to SylvanSport for its amazing grand prize GO camper, and to all the additional sponsoring gear companies who helped make this crazy and improbable “gear treasure hunt” event come to life! —Stephen Regenold

In the woods, in search of flags

Racer studying map

Pete Eshelman of Roanoke Outside (left) and Ronny Angell of Odyssey Adventure Racing at the Gear Central tent

Volunteer Lee Crawford takes a break in the gear central tent

Racers running into Treasure Hunt festival area after completing course; Gear Central tent and grand prize Sylvan Go camper in background

Inside of Gear Central tent

Gear Junkie Stephen Regenold (on bullhorn) with trailing local TV crew

Pete Eshelman, on-camera TV interview at Gear Central tent

“Barefoot” competitors: Racers in Vibram FiveFingers shoes

Plotting a course

Regenold inside Gear Central, preparing prize stash

Checkpoint! Racer Brock Foreman of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, at a flag

Flag to flag, through the woods. A racer assesses her route uphill

Punch your card at each checkpoint flag!

Prize winners: Deuter backpack and Thermarest camping pad

Grand Prize Winner Jason Nuss points to his prize: The $6,995 SylvanSport GO camper trailer

Orient the map and go!

Four-legged racer

Last-minute questions before the race begins

“Your Pain is our Pleasure!”

Finishers in line, staging area for Gear Central tent

Cook staff in action

Racer at a flag

Right on!

Orient the map, pick your route

Stamp the correct box at each flag

Checkpoint flag

Prize winner: Lazer bike helmet

Prize winner: Sierra Designs sleeping bag

Swag bag included Stuffits shoe deodorizers

Racer ogling gear central

Prize winners: Gerber multi-tool and Baladeo knife

The Gear Junkie’s “Treasure Hunt: Roanoke” event took place on July 11th, 2010. It was an outdoors adventure and gear hunt the likes of which had never before been seen in the world outdoors. All details on the Treasure Hunt are here: http://gearjunkie.com/treasure-hunt-roanoke

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