The 7th annual East Grand Adventure Race for adults and teens is set for Saturday, May 12, and will be hosted by the East Grand School Outdoor Education Program and sponsored in part by Ski Rack Sports of Bangor, the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust and First Wind.
The race is designed to get teens and adults outside for some good wholesome physical activity while traveling through rugged and remote eastern Maine wilderness. The 17-plus-mile race includes a 1.5-plus-mile off-trail compass run, 9-plus miles of mountain biking, 7-plus miles of canoeing, an Iron Man-style challenge or two along the way and a climbing wall challenge back at the school’s gym.
What started as a high school race several years ago has grown to include divisions for adults, high school students and a junior-senior division for those who are at least 13 years old — they must complete the race with an adult. There’s also an open division that can be solo, kayakers, race boats or a relay team, which can be any number of people splitting up the different legs of the race anyway they want. For example, with a team of four, one participant does the compass run, one bikes and two canoe; two participants run, one bikes and one kayaks or whatever participants come up with.
All proceeds benefit the East Grand School’s Outdoor Education Program. The entry fee is $20 per person, which includes trophies, T-shirts, lunch and more than $1,000 in prizes for youth divisions. The registration deadline is Friday, May 11, and is limited to the first 100 entrants. This is the seventh adventure race with 63 competing last year. As for the level of difficulty, while the race will be physically challenging, it is not beyond the reach of those who are in reasonably good physical condition.
Organizers do recommend a routine of training, well before the race, that includes biking, jogging or running and canoeing. There will be a mandatory five-minute break between each element to rest, eat a snack and hydrate before heading out on the next leg of the race. Drinks and snacks will be provided at the checkpoints.
Danforth Fire Department, Dirigo Search and Rescue of Bangor, members of the Maine Wilderness Guides Organization and many local volunteers will be assisting with the race to ensure the safety of participants.
For information about the race, necessary equipment, where and how to rent equipment and to register, visit eastgrandschool.org or call race coordinator Dave Conley at 551-8729.