The Basics of AR

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If you’re new to the whole adventure racing experience, this article is for you. Here are some basic things you should know about AR...

 

You Can Do This!

Adventure Racing involves navigating the elements while hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, ziplining and more. While Pangea Adventure Races typically include the core of hiking/biking/paddling, each unique race provides both physical and mental challenges with a few surprises thrown in to keep everyone on their toes. We attract a variety of participants from families to casual gym-goers to fine-tuned athletes looking for more of a challenge. Fortunately, Pangea Adventure Racing offers two distinct levels of racing: Sport and Elite. The Sport race was designed with newbies in mind; it requires only a sense of adventure and a moderate fitness level. We even provide a free “AR 101” session prior to the beginning of the Sport race which covers basic navigation and how to run your first adventure race. The majority of our Sport races are only 3 hours in length, so our recommendation is to just get out there and have fun with it!

Finding Team Members

Although we do offer a Solo category in our Sport race (mainly for those who are brand new to the sport and don’t have anyone to race with yet), we highly recommend racing as a team of 2 or more. Why? One of the most fun, and challenging, elements of adventure racing is working through the race as a team. (It’s also fun to have someone to “high five” when you finally cross the finish line.) To find team members, start by considering your closest friends or family members, or even colleagues you’d like to get to know better—this sport can be a great way to build relationships. You can also check out our Forum to find potential team-mates. And if for any reason one of your teammates has to cancel, you can always replace him or her with someone else.

Preparing for Your First Race

Some of our newbies like to just jump into their first race without any preparation—and that’s just fine. If you’re not one of those types, here’s what we recommend: First, go hiking and trail running. Get your hands on a bike with fat tires and ride it on some trails. Go rent a canoe for an hour. Familiarize yourself with how to use a compass and map. Finally, remember that if you don’t end up doing any of these, you can still arrive early for our “AR 101” session before each Sport race, and you’ll do just fine!

Navigation/Orienteering

Orienteering is an integral part of adventure racing, but is also a sport in and of itself, a kind of hiking/running game, which involves using map and compass to navigate through unfamiliar terrain. Our “AR 101” session before each Sport race includes a brief lesson on orienteering. For those who want to get more serious with their orienteering skills, we suggest participating in some of the Florida Orienteering events.

Gear, Gear, Gear

For warmer weather races, most racers wear bike or athletic shorts and an athletic performance shirt such as Mountain Hardware’s Wicked Lite T. Cotton wear is fine for the shorter races, but you may want to shy away from it for the longer races, as it doesn't wick away the sweat like athletic fabrics. For cooler weather it’s a good idea to wear some layers of wicking fabric as you may still get wet. Sunglasses are a must on sunny days along with a cap or visor being a big plus. You should also wear sunscreen and bug repellant. For footwear you might like to wear trail-running shoes or cross-trainers; just know that whatever you wear will probably get wet. Bring a good quality mountain bike and helmet, whistle, water/hydration and food to last the event. Canoes, paddles and life-vests are supplied by Pangea Adventure Racing for all participants. For soloists in the Sport division, we provide kayaks. In addition, each team should have a compass, and cell phone (for emergency use only).

Where to Get AR Gear

For an extensive selection of race related gear and clothing check the Adventure Race Gear section of TravelCountry.com or visit their store in Altamonte Springs. Travel Country fields two nationally ranked adventure racing teams, so they know the best adventure racing gear to recommend.

Food + Water

For the shorter Sport races, bringing a small backpac with 70oz fluid capasity will suffice as there are always water refill locations at Main Transition Area (Main TA). As far as food, energy bars and gels are the norm. You may take them with you in the race, and/or stow additional food items of your choosing at the Main TA.

The Transition Area

The Main TA is the place you keep all your stuff. While each event is unique, most likely you will return to the Main TA multiple times though additional TA's are possible. Many teams bring their favorite beverages, snacks, additional gear/clothing, collapsible chairs and blanket for the Post-Race Awards / Raffle and stage in there transition area.

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