Great Northern Adventure Race

This is the sixth running of the Great Northern Adventure Race, The GNAR, and we want you to be a part of it. This introductory 4-6 hour race will consist of orienteering, mountain biking, running/walking, canoeing, and other mystery challenge events working in three person teams. This is a great race for first time adventure racers as well as a good warm up for the seasoned veterans. The race will take place in the rugged and picturesque area around the Upper Peninsula city of Houghton, MI on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT).

Race Details            

Your Team

Teams may consist of three person co-ed or single gender teams. All team members must complete each required discipline together as a team. Race management will provide any necessary equipment for any mystery challenges. The team provides everything else. Please see detailed equipment list under Equipment List.

The Course

The course of the Great Northern Adventure Race will consist of biking, running/trekking, orienteering and canoeing, as well as a number of "mystery challenges". The course length is to be determined, but will be designed for finish times between four and six hours. The course will utilize the surrounding area of Houghton, Michigan, starting at the Outdoor Adventure Program Rental Center House.


The winner will be the fastest team with the most checkpoints found.


Awards will be presented to the first, second, and third place teams in each category.


$75 per University affiliated teams ($125 for community member teams) includes the race, a t-shirt, and a meal after the race. To register, simply download the application, and send it with your check to the address on the form. Also, the liability waiver and health form will need to be sent in as well.
Cancellation policy: 1/2 refund if a team decides to withdraw from the race. No refund within 48 hours.


Team Check-in & Gear Check  8:00 a.m.   – 9:00 a.m.
Pre-Race Meeting (mandatory for all racers)    9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Race Start  10:00 a.m.
Race cut off time   3:00 p.m.
Race Finish          4:00 p.m. (all teams need to be in)
Post race meal 3:30 p.m.  –  5:00 p.m.
Awards 5:00 p.m.  –  6:00 p.m.



*Registration closes on Friday, September 25 at 5:00 PM.

Rules and Information

  • A team must complete the race with the same team members it starts with. If one team member withdraws at any time during the event, the remaining team members may continue UNRANKED.
  • While on the race course, you must remain in view of your entire team at all times. When in view of team members, you must remain within 100 yards of each other. Teams entering a check point or transition area that are separated by more than the allowable distance may be disqualified
  • Each team member must have their racing bib visible
  • Environmental/ecological preservation will be strictly enforced! DO NOT LITTER- bury all biological waste, and stay on marked trails and paths when available NO TRESPASSING! Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification.
  • Any team/team members intentionally harming/hazing/upsetting ANY type of wildlife will face immediate disqualification
  • Accusations of race course misconduct (including tampering with race course markings) brought to the attention of the race organization staff will be dealt with in accordance with the rules set forth
  • Participants must be 18 years of age on or before date of event.
  • There is one official time clock. The clock starts when the teams start and stops when the last team crossed the finish line. The clock does not stop during the race for any reason. Teams not making cut-off times will not be allowed to continue racing.
  • There will be one cut-off time to be aware of and will be disclosed at a pre-race briefing. These times will be determined by the race director's timepiece. You must finish by the designated time to be ranked.
  • The team that completes the race in the least amount of time, finds the most controls, and finishes by 4:00PM will win!
  • It is mandatory that all racers attend the pre-race briefing scheduled for Saturday, September 27 @ 9:00AM
  • No firearms or weapons are allowed.
  • No GPS units/maps of any kind (except those provided by the race director) are allowed during the race. Pre-race planning is allowed.
  • If any team decides to not finish the race at any time, you must check in with the volunteers at your current transition area before heading back to the finish line.


Equipment List

Mandatory Individual Gear

*Weather Proof Top
*Means of carrying at least 70oz of fluids
*Mountain Bike
*Bike Helmet, ANSI approved

Mandatory Team Equipment

*Basic First Aid Kit
*Cell phone
*Waterproof map case

Equipment Provided by OAP (reservation must be made by participant)

*2 Paddles
*3 PFD's

Additional Notes

*Dress for the weather, it could be warm OR cold.
*Race will start at Michigan Tech Trails Trailhead on Sharon Ave. and end at the OAP. *Bring your bike with you to the start of the race.
*Canoes need to go to OAP to be loaded on trailers- Before 10AM Race Day. Volunteers will be there to welcome your canoe.