Great Northern Adventure Race

This is the fifth 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.

Upcoming Race: Saturday, September 27, 2014

The race begins at 10:00AM and concludes at approximately 4:00PM. Space is limited to 18 teams of 3. Sign up today before all of the spots are filled.

Race gear can be rented from the OAP at 1/2 price. All OAP equipment can be picked up Friday, September 26, between noon and 5:00PM.

Gear List has changed - Please check your email regularly for more GNAR updates.

Please complete and submit the Health History, Registration and Liability forms (required to compete) by September 19, 2014 at 5:00PM.

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 Schedule:Saturday, September, 27, 2014

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.

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. 

Registration Form

To register, simply download the application, and send it with your check to:

Outdoor Adventure Program
Attn: GNAR
207 East Street
Houghton, MI 49931

A liability waiver and health form will need to be filled out by each team member and sent in.

Please complete and submit the Health History, Registration and Liability forms (required to compete) by September 19, 2014 at 5:00PM. 

Link to GNAR Registration Form

Link to GNAR Waiver

Link to GNAR Health History Form

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
Class 3 PFD

Mandatory Team Equipment

Basic First Aid Kit

Cell phone
Waterproof map case
Bike repair kit: (minimum 4 patches & tool)
Spare tubes (2)                 
Bike Pump
Folding 2.5” blade
Emergency Blanket
Canoe (Encouraged to find your own)
2 Paddles

Additional Notes

Bring warm clothes (prepare for cold).
Race will start at Chutes and Ladders and end at OAP. Bring your bike with you to the race start.
Canoes need to go to Chutes and Ladders- Before 10am Race day. Volunteers will be there to welcome your canoe.