Get Your Bearings Adventure Race



2017 Get Your Bearings Adventure Race tentatively scheduled for May 6, 2017.  Look for exciting new divisions, including Experienced teams and Parent/Child teams, along with a division of teams with first-time racers.  Details coming soon!


Results: Click HERE

Race Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Location: Brighton, Michigan (Brighton Recreation Area)
Length: 4 hour Adventure Race
Disciplines: Trail Running, Mountain Biking, Canoeing & Orienteering
2 Divisions: Traditional 4-person Coed Team Division (25 team limit). 2 Person Team Division (40 team limit): Can be Coed, all female, or all male.
Who: Beginner to Advanced – At least one person per team must be a First Time Adventure Racer!
Racer Check-In: 7:00am to 7:45am
Race Briefing: 8:00am
Race Start: 9:00am
Race Cutoff: 1:00pm
Post Race Food with Prizes & Giveaways: 1:15pm following race finish.

Event Cost:
1/8/16 to 3/31/16 = $85.00 per person (+ small online registration fee)
4/1/16 to 4/23/16 = $90.00 per person (+ small online registration fee)
Registration will close on April 23rd (or when each division is sold out).

Entry fee includes canoe rental, a race shirt, and post race food. Entry is limited to the team limits noted above. Your team’s entry will not be secured until full payment has been received.

logoRacer Check In Information & Directions:
Pavilion on east side of Bishop Lake.  See Update Map!

Trekking / Trail Running / Orienteering:
Teams will use provided maps, and their compasses, to find checkpoints (CP’s) scattered throughout the area.  Maps will be pre-marked with checkpoints.  Two styles of maps will be used during the race:  Pre-marked Park Map and a detailed Orienteering (1:15,000) topographical map.  The total trekking will be in the 3-5 mile range – depending on a your selected route and number of CP’s achieved.  Not all checkpoints will be required to finish as an officially ranked team; however, the more checkpoints a team obtains, the higher they will rank in the overall standings.  Teams can choose to trek on trails or bushwhack through the wilderness.  You will encounter terrain that will vary from open land to open forests, dense brush, hills and swampy lowlands.

Teams will be paddling approximately 2-4 miles.  Canoes are being provided.  Paddles and PFDs will be provided also; however, you can use your own paddles and PFDs instead if you prefer.  Racers will need to sign a canoe rental waiver which will be provided prior to registration.  It is recommended that your team has canoeing experience.  Practice with Heavner Canoe Rental (,  offering a 10% discount on rentals to anyone planning on doing the race.

canoeMountain Bike:
The mountain bike stage will total 8-10 miles in length as teams collect required checkpoints.  The course will include a mix of dirt roads, single track and off-road trails.


This race is designed to be a fun introduction to Adventure Racing for people new to the sport. The race will have a 4-hour cut-off time for teams to complete the mandatory elements of the course. A team is required to have at least 1 person who has never competed in or completed an Adventure Race. In a nod to the tradition of the sport, the highlighted division (best prizing!) will be the 4-person coed teams. 2-person teams will race separately and can be coed, all female, or all male.

In an Adventure Race, all teammates work together to try and find the checkpoints (like a scavenger hunt!) and make it to the finish before the cut-off time. Teammates must stay within 50′ or eyesight of each other (whichever is closer). The complete team must finish the course in the allotted time to earn an official ranked finish. Teams that work their way to the finish line after the time limit, without a teammate, or without obtaining the required checkpoints will not be a ranked finisher.

There will be a pre-race briefing 1 hour before the race. At this briefing teams will learn details about the course. Race instructions and maps will be handed out. Teams will then have until the start for any last minute preparations or strategizing.

footWhen the race starts, teams will be required to navigate each stage of the race using the provided pre-marked maps. Navigation difficulty will vary by checkpoint, but will be on the easy side for the majority of this event. Make sure at least 1 person on your team understands how to read a map and a compass (GPSs are not allowed!). Watch the “Get Your Bearings Adventure Racing” facebook page for opportunities to learn or practice your navigation/orienteering skills prior to the race. The Southern Michigan Orienteering Club offers great events in the Spring and Fall to learn, practice, or race (

Each team will be issued a ‘passport’ that will be punched at each checkpoint along the way. Make sure someone responsible on your team takes care of the passport! It must be turned in at the finish to prove that you found the checkpoints. If you don’t have it, you won’t earn an official finish!

Teams are required to carry certain gear for each section of the race. Race officials often do gear checks and assess time penalties as necessary during the race.  Check the Race Update for the mandatory gear list.

This is the 5th year for the Get Your Bearings Sprint Adventure Race. We strive to make it a fun event for friends and family to participate in – whether as a racer or a supporter. There will be some viewing opportunities if your team has a cheering squad. We will also be serving some good food to racers and volunteers after the race.

Follow “Get Your Bearings Adventure Racing” on Facebook for training tips and opportunities!