2014 Untamed New England
4 days of non-stop racing means a race course of around 200 miles. There will be a mix of race disciplines combined together to make for an amazing journey through remote wilderness.
The exact race course remains a secret until the night before the race. About a week before the race, a rough course overview is distributed to teams that shows the order of disciplines, approximate distances, and transition area logistics. This makes packing and planning significantly easier for teams. Racers only learn the location of the race Checkpoints and map details the night before the race start (Tues June 17th for the 2014 race). That night, as part of the fun, we usually have a review of the race course for teams to appreciate what they’ve gotten themselves into .
Before the racing starts, teams check gear bins with race staff that the organization stages at designated “transition areas” around the race course. There may be roughly 6 such transition areas in a race, meaning teams can resupply or change equipment out a number of times through the full race course. Teams race from one Checkpoint to the next, finding their own route using just the race provided maps and their compasses (GPS devices are not permitted). There is a lot of strategy involved as there are often many ways to progress from one race Checkpoint to another.
Trekking means travel on foot over any type of terrain; it could be on trails or roads, or off-trail through forests, swamps, and mountain ranges. What some teams consider as “trail running” might be “hiking” to other teams — it can depend on your route selection, how far into the race you are, and any number of other factors. There is a considerable amount of off-trail travel in an Untamed New England expedition course. Be ready to scramble, bushwhack, and generally persevere through a wide variety of terrain.
Mountain Biking at Untamed New England Untamed New England features a wide range of mountain biking . . . easy rolling fire roads, twisty singletrack, staggering climbs, and anything in between. Racers must bring their own mountain bikes, but rental mountain bikes can be arranged through the race organization.
Using map and compass to find your way is integral to Untamed New England. Many sections of the race are wide open in terms of route selection and how your team should progress, usually with several viable trail or road options and occassionally there may be NO trails or roads. Bushwhacking can be a big component of the race. The topographic maps show the locations of race checkpoints that must be visited in sequence, and it is up to each team to select their exact route. Invariably, teams gain and lose hours of time in the race based on these strategic navigation decisions. The race organization provides all the maps for the race.
The waterways of Untamed New England range from still, crystal clear lakes to rushing rivers. Wind can turn the average pond into a tricky paddling challenge, and the race course is sure to have a wide variety of both calm and moving water. Class I or II whitewater could factor into paddling legs, too, but one won’t find too many sustained sections of rapids for the canoe sections. The race organization provides the canoes and (optionally) paddles and PFDs — but most teams prefer to use their own paddles and PFDs.
“Packrafting” is using small, inflatable crafts to cross and float rivers, streams and lakes, even run rapids or cross bays. Some Untamed New England teams will use individual rafts for this purpose, one paddler per packraft. Other teams will fit 2 people into a boat or maybe even more. Alpackaraft is the official packrafting partner of Untamed New England, and they make the best packrafts in the world! Competitors in previous Untamed New Englands have used everything from pool inflatables to the top-of-the-line Alpackarafts. If you’re shopping for packrafts, consider what you’d prefer to use to cross a windblown lake at 2 in the morning; do not take these sections lightly or as trivial challenges, check out photos or race reviews from our previous events to make as informed a decision as possible.
A tradition at Untamed New England is to have each team member complete an individual map and compass challenge. There are four courses to the relay, each course is usually completed in under an hour: short distance and easy navigation, short distance and hard navigation, long distance and easy navigation, long distance and hard navigation. A different team member must complete each leg, making this another strategic element to the larger race.
New England boasts famous whitewater and conditions in June are perfect for running rapids. Untamed New England teams will be accompanied by a professional rafting guide for these sections, and travel in professional grade whitewater rafts with PFDs specifically designed for whitewater. The race organization provides the guide, the whitewater rafts, PFDs, and paddles for these sections.
Ropes at Untamed New England Racers will have fixed rope sections in the race. This can include rappels, ascents (jumar technique), and tyrolean or other tension traverses. The ropes courses are managed and tested by mountaineering experts and racer activities are closely supervised by these certified professional guides. Climbing harnesses and all rope specific gear is provided by the race organization.
The “100-Mile Wilderness edition” of Untamed New England encompasses a vast array of terrain in Maine’s central highlands. The region is known for pristine waterways, dense forests punctuated by extraordinary mountains, and some of the deepest wilderness in America.
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) oversees great stretches of wilderness through this area. Some have called this region “a chunk of Alaska placed in the northeastern US” and many claim this to be among the most remote corners of the contiguous US.
The forests can be inpenetrable. The rivers can be rushing whitewater or meandering streams between moose bogs. The mountains can be staggeringly tall with wind-swept summits. The lakes are crystal clear. This is adventure racing country, and Untamed New England 2014 will really deliver on it’s tagline . . . more an adventure than a race.
In many ways, this is the land that time forgot; unspoiled, uninhabited, and seldom traveled. This is a land of harsh contrasts; a pleasure to behold, yet unforgiving. Make no mistake about it: this is nature in the raw.
AMCAppalachian Mountain Club
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is America’s oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization. The AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region. In partnership with Untamed Adventure Racing, the 2014 adventure race will showcase the recreational opportunities available to this area and support the AMC mission of encouraging people to experience, learn about, and appreciate the natural world.
Name: UNTAMED NEW ENGLAND
Dates: 17 – 22 June 2014
Disciplines: Trek/Run, Mountain Bike, Kayak, Rafting, Ropes
Winning Time Estimate: 3 Days (72 hours)
Course Open: 4 Days (96 hours)
Team Categories: ARWS Mixed Teams 4 and Mixed, Male and Female Teams 2,3 and 4
Team Number Limit: 40 Teams
Kayak Provision: Kayaks Provided
ARWS Mandatory Equip: YES – this race uses the standard ARWS Mandatory Equipment List
ARWS Standard Rules: YES – this race uses the standard ARWS Rules of Competition
AR World Championship Qualifier: 1st Place receives free entry/ 2nd Place guaranteed spot to ARWC
Total Prize Money Pool: $10,000 USD
Other Prizes: Sponsor Products
Team Entry Fee: $3,000 USD
More info: http://www.untamedne.com